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…

hummingbird at honeysuckle

Cold spring means hummingbirds need feeders now in Buffalo area

by Penny Durnin If you haven’t already hung your hummingbird feeder in your garden, do it now. The spring migration of hummingbirds is in full swing right now and there have been several reports of hummingbirds in gardens in and around Buffalo. My first male showed up Wednesday, May 4 at 7:11 in the evening. He must have been in need of some instant energy as he made about six visits to my feeder before dark. Ruby throated hummingbirds (the…

David Clark rose class in Hamburg NY

Learn about growing and tending roses in Buffalo area

by Connie Oswald Stofko Growing roses in the Buffalo area isn’t as hard as some people think. In the video below, David Clark, professional horticulturist, gives quick tips on selecting roses, caring for roses and managing pests. Want more in-depth information? Clark will give a class on the topic at 1 p.m. Saturday, May 14, 2011 at Lockwood’s Greenhouses, 4484 Clark St., Hamburg. The cost for the class is $12. For reservations, call 649-4684 or visit the shop….

archer's gold thyme in Buffalo NY area

Herbs: versatile, tasty and easy to grow in Buffalo area

by Connie Oswald Stofko “People are so afraid of growing herbs, but herbs are easy to grow,” said Sue Duecker, past president of the Western New York Herb Study Group at the Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens. Duecker will present a free class called “All About Herbs” at 2 p.m. Saturday, May 14 at Zittel’s Country Market, Route 20 between South Park Ave. (Route 62) and McKinley Parkway in Hamburg. Although the event is free, please register at the…

lily of valley

Lily of valley is flower for May

by Connie Oswald Stofko Tiny yet powerfully fragrant, the lily of the valley (also called May bells)  is a favorite for spring gardens. It is the flower for birthdays in May and symbolizes sweetness, purity and return of happiness. The scientific name for the plant is Convallaria Majalis. Lily of the valley is easy to grow. It is a perennial, so it comes back every year. It spreads and keeps its green leaves all summer long, so it can be…

Swinging Linda coleus

Coleus provides color in sun or shade garden in Buffalo

by Connie Oswald Stofko Coleus is  “probably one of the easiest plants to grow in your garden,” said Doug O’Reilly, horticulturist and head gardener at the Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens. “That’s why I grow them.” A Coleus Show will be held from this Saturday, May 7 to Sunday, May 29 at the Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens, 2655 South Park Ave., Buffalo. Hours for the show are  10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is $8 for adults,…

composting with worms in Buffalo Ny

Turn garbage into compost for your garden with red wriggler worms

by Connie Oswald Stofko I saw some amazingly beautiful compost a couple weeks ago in an Earth Day demonstration at Buffalo ReUse. The compost was dark brown and crumbly and pure, with almost no soil mixed in. The secret to this compost is red wriggler worms. They eat garbage and turn it into compost. “They eat their weight in garbage every day,” explained Kevin Hayes, executive director at Buffalo ReUse. “They’re voracious.” The earth worms that you find in your…

Queen Anne's Lace in Buffalo NY

Native plant or invasive species in the Buffalo area?

by Connie Oswald Stofko I was going to plant Queen Anne’s lace in my garden.  I used to love picking these pretty wildflowers in the fields when I was growing up in Cheektowaga.  And hey, planting native species is good for the environment, right? One problem: Queen Anne’s lace grows wild, but it’s not a native species. “We’re at the point where the most common stuff is non-native,” said Paul Fuhrmann of Ecology & Environment and the New York State…

sparrows in juniper in Buffalo-Niagara area

Keep Earth Day in mind as you set your gardening goals

by Mike Van Der Puy On the border of my lot stands a mature evergreen bush that holds little aesthetic appeal for me. At six feet high and about eight feet in diameter, it does function to some degree as a windbreak. Its primary function, however, is serving as the equivalent of Starbucks to many sparrows. They come here for daily chitchat, protection from the weather and protection from that hawk watching from the nearby maple. The sparrows have not…

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