garden gate from Kerry Ann Mendez

Your plants aren’t your children: advice for low-maintenance gardens

by Connie Oswald Stofko Kerry Ann Mendez, garden designer, author and consultant, will kick off the festivities for the National Garden Festival on Friday, June 24 with a talk on “Tips for Low-maintenance, High-impact Perennial Gardens.” You can also join her that day for a tour of the perennials and shrubs at the Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens. (See details of the opening day activities at the end of this article.) Mendez has written two books. The Ultimate Flower…

completed container garden using Hollywood pop and drop technique

Container gardens: ‘Hollywood pop & drop’ and 3 more tips

by Connie Oswald Stofko Container gardens are great for decks, porches, patios, or anywhere that you need a touch of color. Mark Van Buren, owner of  Zehr’s on the Lake. offers four tips for keeping your containers looking beautiful all season long. Tip #1: The “Hollywood pop and drop” For quick color, try the technique Van Buren calls the “Hollywood pop and drop.” Buy a large hanging basket and a large container. Instead of filling the container with soil, just…

QueenMoonstone rose in Western New York

June’s birthday flower is the rose, called the world’s favorite flower

by Connie Oswald Stofko Feel fortunate if your birthday is in June. Your birthday flower is the rose, which is called the world’s favorite flower, according to an exhibit last summer at the Buffalo and Erie County Public Library. Roses were in such high demand during the 17th century that royalty used roses and rose water as legal tender to purchase other items or to pay debts. Luckily, today even we common folk can buy roses as cut flowers or…

pitcher plant from Kenny Coogan

Fans of carnivorous plants are forming club in Buffalo area

Plants that turn the tables on the animal kingdom and get their nutrients from insects are fascinating. If you are a fan, or if you would just like to learn more, check out the Western New York Carnivorous Plant Club that is being formed. The new organization is for amateurs as well as professionals. Kenny Coogan, one of the founders, said the group’s mission is “to function as an educational organization interested in all phases of cultivating carnivorous plants and…

bus with flowers

Hurry, don’t let the bus leave without you!

Tours of some of the best gardens in the Buffalo area– led by an expert guide– will be available starting in June, and now is the time to register. The day-long bus tours have been organized by the Automobile Association in partnership with Horizon Club Tours as part of the National Garden Festival in Buffalo. The tours will not only give you the opportunity to get an up-close and personal look at some great Western New York gardens, but your…

corn

New Yorkers favor corn over onion as New York State vegetable

by Ruth Syron The battle is still on for declaring a state vegetable, but sweet corn is favored over the onion by seven out of ten New Yorkers in the Marist – NY1/YNN Poll released on May 13. State Sen. David Carlucci has a large area of “black-dirt” onion growing in his home district of New City. (The Black Dirt Region takes its name from the dark, extremely fertile soil left over from an ancient glacial lake bottom augmented by…

statue with bleeding heart flower in Lancaster NY garden

Statue collection decorates gardens, ponds at home in Lancaster

by Connie Oswald Stofko When Janice Hetrick sees a statue that reminds her of one of her kids, she buys it for her gardens. Janice has six children, but the statues outnumber the kids 36 to 1. Her collection includes more than 220 statues, which are displayed in a number of gardens and around a couple ponds at her home on Schwartz Rd. in a rural part of Lancaster. She and her husband, Jeff, have just finished putting the ornaments…

Amy_Stewart

‘Wicked Bugs’ author to speak at Clearfield Library May 25

by Connie Oswald Stofko You may have heard Amy Stewart speak last year during the National Garden Festival in Buffalo on her book, Wicked Plants: The Weed that Killed Lincoln’s Mother & Other Botanical Atrocities. If you did, you already know what an engaging speaker she is. If you missed her last year, hurry and register for her talk tomorrow on her newest book, Wicked Bugs: The Louse that Conquered Napoleon’s Army and other Diabolical Insects. The talk will take…

side garden at 2 North Parade in Buffalo NY

Front garden makeover in Buffalo shows off architectural details

by Connie Oswald Stofko Showing off the beautiful brickwork of the house was one of the goals in the makeover at 2 North Parade St. during last year’s Front Yard Contest, part of the National Garden in Festival in Buffalo. Check out this article to get ideas for your own yard, and make a note to visit this year’s  Front Yard Contest, which will be held on Newman Place in South Buffalo. Work will take place from Monday, July 11,…

Stormy weather getaway from Holland NY Garden Club

Holland Garden Club had us singing in the rain with show this weekend

by Connie Oswald Stofko “Singing in the Rain” was an appropriate name for the Holland Garden Club’s standard flower show, held during soggy weather Friday evening and Saturday. But what a delight to step inside! The show included a horticulture division, and the smell of so many spring blossoms was wonderful. At left is one of the entries in the design category called “A Stormy Weather Getaway.” Entrants were asked to create an expressive design in an Oriental manner, staged…

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