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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…

Horticulture Scholarships at Niagara County Community College

Deadlines near for scholarships to study horticulture at NCCC

If you want to start a green career or just learn more about plants, you may be eligible for a scholarship to study horticulture at Niagara County Community College. NCCC offers the only college horticulture program in Western New York. The deadlines to apply for the scholarships are approaching. Horticultural Training and Development Award Deadline to apply: May 16 Funded by the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo, this scholarship offers $2,500 to attend the NCCC horticulture program full or part…

Smallwood Garden Club in Amherst

Visitors’ Choice Awards announced by Inaugural Site in Buffalo

The Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural Site tallied your votes and announced the winners in its annual Victorian Christmas Visitors’ Choice voting. Each year, the stately Wilcox Mansion,  641 Delaware Ave., Buffalo, where Theodore  Roosevelt took the oath of office, is decorated for the holidays by members in the Federated Garden Clubs of New York State, Eighth District. Different areas of the mansion are decorated by different garden clubs, and visitors are invited to vote for their favorites. The winners were announced…

Fargo Estate Neighborhood Community Garden in Buffalo NY

Lend a hand– or some perennials– to Grassroots Gardens of Buffalo

by Connie Oswald Stofko Grassroots Gardens of Buffalo is looking for volunteers to help break ground on new community gardens and open established gardens for the season. The work will take place from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday, April 17. While Grassroots Gardens now works with a total of 72 community gardens all over the City of Buffalo, just 11 gardens are on the list for extra help this weekend. “All of the gardens are completely different,” explained Linda…

Delorme and Jenkins at Botanical Gardens in Buffalo NY

Feel a blast of spring at Botanical Gardens’ annual show in Buffalo

New and fresh designs await visitors at the annual Spring Flower Show at the Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens, 2655 South Park Ave., Buffalo. In the photo above, Shannon Delorme and her daughter, Brynn Jenkins, 11 months, enjoy the rustic fountain. Flowers take center stage in that panorama, but you can see swaths of long green grass behind Shannon and Brynn. That fresh grass makes you feel as if you have been transported to a tranquil meadow. What’s most…

Spicy scented sweet peas are the flower for April

by Ruth Syron The sweet pea is a charming cool weather flower that is the April birth flower. It has a wonderful spicy, sweet scent that is delicate, yet substantial enough not to be missed. The sweet pea symbolizes “thank you for a lovely time.”  I think this meaning fits the scent of the sweet pea because experiencing the aroma is a fleeting pleasure, hard to describe, but you feel thankful that you have enjoyed it.  The sweet pea also…

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