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Western New York Garden Railway Henderson train

Add the element of motion to your garden with a model railway

by Connie Oswald Stofko Many  gardeners work with color and shape and water and aroma when  creating their outdoor spaces.  Consider adding the element of motion by installing a model railway. You can get a peek at a garden railway when the Western New York Garden Railway Society opens its exhibit the day after Thanksgiving at the Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens, 2655 South Park Ave., Buffalo. The society has chosen an Old West theme, with adobe buildings and…

rock border in Williamsville NY garden

Finding inspiration in the garden

Many of us find spiritual inspiration in our gardens. Mary Jo Foley of Williamsville shares a gardening experience that reinforced her outlook on life: My friend Beth was helping me get my landscaping ready for my son’s high school graduation party. I told her I wanted stones as a border, but didn’t want to spend a lot of money on them.  After pruning the bushes with her electric trimmer, we decided to take a walk, as I do everyday to…

H. Blue Mouse Ears sports in bowl by Mike Shadrack

Intrigued by ‘little’ hostas? Here are tips on caring for them

  by Connie Oswald Stofko “This is the ideal climate for hostas,” said Mike Shadrack. “They like a harsh winter. You can’t grow them in Florida or Texas.” Mike and his wife, Kathy Guest Shadrack, have written The Book of Little Hostas: 200 Small, Very Small, and Mini Varieties. Last week, they introduced us to this plant that enjoys a cult following, and in this article they share some tips on caring for little hostas. (By the way, the proper…

compost for garden in Buffalo NY

Are you throwing away what your garden needs?

by Connie Oswald Stofko If you’re not using your leaves for compost, you’re throwing away a perfectly good supply of nutrients for your soil. When you compost, you allow plant materials to decompose, which produces a dark material that is great for your garden soil. Granted, some municipalities pick up the leaves and do the composting for you. But as a gardener, you may want to try composting. It’s nice to have your own supply of compost on hand when…

Mike and Kathy Guest Shadrack of Hamburg

Hamburg authors write first book ever published on popular “little” hostas

by Connie Oswald Stofko The wife-and-husband team of Kathy Guest Shadrack and Michael Shadrack of Hamburg has written The Book of Little Hostas: 200 Small, Very Small and Mini Varieties, which is scheduled to be released Nov. 24.  “Little hostas are very, very popular at the moment, and their popularity is ascending,” Mike said. “They have a cult following,” Kathy added. “People collect them like tea cups or Hummel figurines.” The Book of Little Hostas is the first published on…

Orchard Park Garden Club flower show

Orchard Park Garden Club holds standard flower show

by Connie Oswald Stofko Imaginative and lovely displays were exhibited at the standard  flower show held by the Orchard Park Garden Club Saturday and Sunday. The theme was “Celebrating Our Town.” The show was held at Fox Run,  a lifecare community (also known as a continuing care retirement community) in Orchard Park. At left is the first place winner in the “Dining in the Village” class, designed by Lois Fleck. The challenge was to design an informal, functional table for…


To cut or not to cut: that is the question

Adventures in Organic Gardening By Laura Sileo-Lepkyj I tried an experiment this summer. I wanted to see how much difference it really made deadheading my flowers. Until this past growing season I had been a dedicated deadheader (not to be confused with a similar-sounding fan of the Grateful Dead).  I’d pop off a few Coreopsis tops on my way to the car, bring the pruners with me to cut off spent Echinacea on my way to gather vegetables, and so…

herbed vinegar from your garden

Herbed vinegar makes a great holiday gift

by Connie Oswald Stofko Whether you need a hostess gift to take to Thanksgiving dinner, or you’re looking for a holiday gift with a personal touch, herbed vinegar is a good choice. Use herbs from your garden, buy a beautiful bottle for a couple of dollars and you have an elegant, yet inexpensive gift. It’s very easy to make herbed vinegar. I got the directions from one of my sisters. I didn’t follow the directions she gave me exactly, and…

lava chrysanthemum in Buffalo

See amazing mums at Botanical Gardens’ new exhibit

by Connie Oswald Stofko Some spectacular blooms are on display at the 105th annual Chrysanthemum Show at the Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens, 2655 South Park Ave., Buffalo. Pictured at left is lava, a spider mum in fiery tones. “All of these are indoor mums,” explained Doug O’Reilly, horticulturist at the Botanical Gardens. “They wouldn’t last outside.” You could grow specimens like these only  if you have enough light. You probably need a greenhouse, he said. Many of the…

raised bed in Buffalo

How to create a yard that’s easy to maintain, yet colorful

by Connie Oswald Stofko If you want a yard that is colorful but easy to maintain, take some tips from this makeover. As we promised, throughout the fall and winter we’re bringing you articles on the Front Yard Competition that was held as part of the National Garden Festival in Buffalo this summer. Today we’ll take a look at 80 North Parade St., designed by Elbers Landscape Service, Inc. Before the makeover, three yew bushes were planted to the right…

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