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potato image for composting in Buffalo

Start composting now to prepare for spring gardening in Buffalo area

by Connie Oswald Stofko If you don’t have a compost bin going yet, now is the time to start. The temperatures should be in the 50s later this week, and you may get a touch of spring fever. Starting a compost bin will give you a garden-related chore during this brief warm spell. Your goal for the next few weeks is to start accumulating plant materials in your compost bin. Nothing much will actually happen to the materials for awhile,…

dome at Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens

This is last weekend to see Night Lights at Botanical Gardens

“Everything looks so different,” a visitor exclaimed as she toured the Night Lights exhibit at the Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens, 2655 South Park Ave., Buffalo. If you haven’t made it to Night Lights, this is your last chance. The last three days are Thursday, Friday and Saturday, Feb. 17, 18 and 19. The exhibit is open from 5:30 to 9 p.m. “The overwhelming positive response from the public has been nothing short of spectacular,” said David Swarts, president…

view from Amherst Garden Walk 2010

Buffalo’s passion for gardens attracts gardening tourists

Everybody in Buffalo and Western New York gardens. That’s what I decided last year while chatting with a young, single blue-collar guy. When I started talking about this garden magazine, I thought he would announce that he was  in desperate need of some cheese and crackers and wander off. Instead, he whipped out his cell phone and showed me photos of his garden, which he created with a patriotic theme of red, white and blue. Some people think of gardening…


Explore the symbolism of February’s birthday flowers: violet and iris

by Ruth Syron February folks actually have a choice of two flowers for their birthday, the iris and the violet. The violet has a charming and long history in mythology. Greek myth states that Zeus fell in love with Io. Zeus was afraid that Hera, his wife, would discover him and Io, so he made Io into a white heifer. Zeus created the sweet scented flower that we know as the violet for Io to eat while she was a…

Sharon Webber talks with Gary Barnes of Buffalo

Here’s why great soil is so important to your Buffalo area garden

by Connie Oswald Stofko Sharon M. Webber, CNLP was once called to a home with a problem. It had a fairly new landscape, installed just two years before, but the plants weren’t thriving. In fact, normally tough and sturdy varieties of plant, such as forsythia, spirea, day lilies and even black-eyed Susans, were declining, big time. When you want to know why, she said, “Always go to the soil.” It turned out the initial installation had used soil pulled from…

grass in winter by Natividad Lopez

Capture the beauty of your snowy Buffalo garden in photographs

Buffalo gardens have been covered with white, fluffy snow pretty much all winter, and more snow is on the way. Put the snow shovel aside for a few minutes and pick up your camera instead. This is an opportunity to capture the beauty of your Buffalo garden through photography. If you don’t see beauty in your garden during winter, take a look at Buffalo through a newcomer’s eyes. Natividad Lopez, originally from Yuma, AZ, is a personnel specialist in the…

tulip in Buffalo garden

Plan a garden to enjoy year-round in the Buffalo area

Last week we gave you tips on creating a garden you can enjoy during our Buffalo winters. In this article, we’ll give you ideas for creating a garden that looks great in the Buffalo area during the other three seasons as well. For examples of what you might plant, we’ll look to the garden of Wayne Gostomski and Tom Flanigan, who live in Buffalo. Their photos are used throughout this story. For spring color, think bulbs, such as crocuses, tulips,…

Marcus at garden workshop in Buffalo

Want to start seedlings? Build this frame to hold a grow light

You can start seeds anywhere– even in your basement– by building an inexpensive frame that holds a light. At a well attended workshop Saturday at Buffalo ReUse, Danielle Rovillo, ReUse’s community programs director, and Tom Arrigo, volunteer, gave a demonstration on how to build frames using recycled materials. The directions for building two different styles, an A-frame and a box frame, are given below. The A-frame is designed to hold one light and the box frame holds two. You don’t…

winter photo Jaime Pabilonia

Enjoy your Buffalo garden, even during the snowy winter!

Too many of us in the Buffalo area ignore our gardens during winter and miss out on what can be a spectacularly beautiful season. Because it’s too cold to sit outside in your garden during this time of year, you want to create a gardenscape that can be admired while you’re snuggled up inside. Concentrate your efforts on the areas of your yard that you can see from your windows, especially those near your sofa or kitchen table. Start with…

icicle mum in Buffalo

Botanical Gardens chooses Swarts as new president/CEO

David J. Swarts has been named the new president/chief executive officer of the Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens. A lifelong resident of Erie County, Swarts previously served as commissioner of the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles and Erie County Clerk. He also was a Buffalo teacher. Swarts will be responsible for administering the day-to-day operations of the Botanical Gardens and for implementing its overall master plan and the recently adopted strategic plan. “This is an exciting time…

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