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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…

straw flower in Amherst NY

Stretch the season with frost-tolerant annuals

by Connie Oswald Stofko We’ve had a frost, but that doesn’t mean you have to abandon flower gardening for the year. You can stretch the season well into November with frost-tolerant annuals. While many people are familiar with mums and pansies, there are many more choices, such as the straw flower, seen here. “Many people have them as annuals during the summertime, but they don’t realize the straw flower is frost tolerant,” said Mark Yadon, vice president of Mischler’s Florist…

look inside bee hive in Buffalo NY

Get a look inside a bee hive in Buffalo

by Connie Oswald Stofko If you want to make sure your garden has pollinators, you might want to try beekeeping, as we discussed in a previous post. Today we peek inside to see how a bee hive is constructed.  Building a hive would be a good winter project, or you can purchase a hive. Philip Barr, who presented a workshop on beekeeping for Buffalo ReUse, builds what are called Langstroth hives, seen below right. The hive is named for its…

garlic in Buffalo area

Get ready to plant garlic, and try different varieties

by Connie Oswald Stofko Garlic is a must-have for the kitchen, and it grows well in Western New York. What you might not know is that it comes in an amazing range of flavors, said Tom Szulist. He and his wife Vivianne Singer Szulist own Singer Farm Naturals, which specializes in growing organic gourmet garlic. “Spanish Roja is the king of all garlics,” Szulist said, pointing to some of the garlic he has harvested on the farm in Appleton, which…

waterfall in Youngstown NY

Youngstown garden is influenced by Philippines

by Connie Oswald Stofko “As you can tell, I like the ripple of water,” said Jaime Pabilonia. He and his wife Linda have many water features in the gardens of  “Waterscape,” their Youngstown home. “I was born in a place with a waterfall,” said Jaime , who is originally from the Philippines. When he moved from the Philippines, he chose to settle in Niagara Falls because the falls is one of the natural wonders of the world. Jaime and Linda,…

beekeeping in Buffalo

Get pollinators for your garden by keeping bees

by Connie Oswald Stofko If you want to make sure there are plenty of honey bees around to pollinate your garden, consider beekeeping. Philip Barr recently presented a workshop on beekeeping for Buffalo ReUse. “I got into beekeeping because I wanted more vegetables,” he said. Bees are important pollinators, but a phenomenon called colony collapse disorder has reduced the number of honey bees. No one knows why this is happening, but Barr thinks traditional beekeeping practices might be overtaxing bees…

Western New York activities for 350 10/10/10

Pick a project on 10/10/10 to cut carbon (gardening is an option!)

by Connie Oswald Stofko It’s easy to tell ourselves that we puny humans couldn’t possibly be affecting the earth’s environment. But puny humans polluted the Cuyahoga River in Ohio so badly it caught fire, and our own Lake Erie was once declared dead. We do affect our environment. That’s the bad news. The good news is that while we have the power to harm our environment, we also have the power to improve our environment! On 10/10/10, Western New Yorkers…

glacier winter hardy ivy on display in Buffalo

Take a peek at some of the 400 varieties of ivy on display in Buffalo

by Connie Oswald Stofko Here’s a peek at some of the approximately 400 varieties of ivy that you can see during the Victorian Week and Ivy Show that is running until this Sunday, Oct. 3 at the Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens, 2655 South Park Ave., Buffalo. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The show is brought to you in part by the Western New York Ivy Society. The Botanical Gardens houses the largest public ivy collection in…

caryopteris wide angle

Mums are nice, but think outside the box for autumn color in your garden

Adventures in Organic Gardening By Laura Sileo-Lepkyj Mums are everywhere now. Heck, you can even buy them at gas stations. I’ve got fifteen dollars on pump number three, this Slim Jim, and oh, a burgundy cushion mum, please. While I do love mums’ bushy blooms and their pungent smell, I have other plant friends that bring a different look to my garden. Rest assured they require only loving neglect, as I’ve talked about in previous columns. Caryopteris “Sunshine Blue,” seen…

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Lumagination at Botanical Gardens