miniature butterfly bush in Burt NY

New small shrubs are great for tight spaces– even containers!

by Connie Oswald Stofko A new trend in gardening is the development  of small bushes that fit nicely into tight spaces– some are even suitable for containers! These new varieties preserve the characteristics we enjoyed in the larger versions. One example of a smaller bush is ‘Bloomerang,’ a very fragrant reblooming lilac introduced two years ago that grows only  four or five feet tall. That’s not like your grandmother’s lilac, which might have gotten 10 feet tall, said Mark Van…

African violet in Buffalo NY

Nine tips to keep your African violet looking its best

by Ruth Syron Good grooming will help keep your African violets looking beautiful for nine months out of the year. (African violets rest for three months. The rest period is usually January through March, but it can be December through February.) Here are nine tips to keep your African violet looking its best: Any leaf with a dried edge or a spot should be removed. Keep the leaves free of dirt and dust by brushing with a soft makeup brush…

mini greenhouse in Buffalo NY

Five great tips for starting new plants from cuttings

by Connie Oswald Stofko Even if you already know how to root a plant in water, you can make the process more successful with great tips from David Clark, professional horticulturist. He also shares tips on two easy methods for starting plants that you may not have used before. Clark recently gave two hands-on workshops on plant propagation at the Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens. He shared a wealth of information, including these five great tips: 1. Create a…

tulip tree

Use your garden to help the Buffalo-area watershed

by Connie Oswald Stofko In the  early 1900s, Margaret Wooster’s family farmed land in the Genesee Valley, south of Rochester.  When salt deposits were discovered underground, the family sold their land to a mining company. A mine shaft was sunk and family members went to work as salt miners for the company. Eventually the mine was sold to what became Azko Nobel and the mine became the largest salt mine in North America. Unfortunately, disaster struck in 1994. Residents of…

rose in bloom in Lancaster NY

Can this damaged rose be saved?

by Connie Oswald Stofko Debbie Hageman of Lancaster e-mailed us this question: “I’m looking for information on winter damage for a rose (I think it’s an old fashioned rose) that split where the two main canes come together. Can they be glued or taped? Thanks for any information.” Yes, they can be taped, answered John Farfaglia, Extension educator at Cornell Cooperative Extension in Niagara County. “Basically you want to get those two pieces to hold together long enough for the…

spring buds and rock in snow in Buffalo

No early spring: Buffalo gardens will have to wait for warm weather

by Connie Oswald Stofko Last year at this time, spring had already arrived in the Buffalo area. The ground was thawed, the sun was shining, the air was warm and I was in my garden getting a head start on pulling weeds. It was glorious! Will we be getting another early spring this year? Probably not. “Last year was an aberration,” said Tom Paone, meterologist with the National Weather Service Forecast Office in Buffalo. We keep getting snow this month,…

bee in Buffalo

‘Organic’ not always best choice for fertilizers & pesticides, chemist says

by Connie Oswald Stofko A fertilizer or pesticide may be called “organic,” but that doesn’t mean it’s the best choice for you, contends Dr. Fran Evans, a master gardener and retired chemist. In a wide-ranging talk about garden conservation this past weekend at the Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens, Dr. Evans touched on “organic” versus “chemical” fertilizers and pesticides. With fertilizers, you could choose seaweed, which is considered an organic fertilizer, or you could choose something that is considered…

Abramovsky wedding at Buffalo Botanical Gardens

Botanical Gardens in Buffalo gets award for weddings

The Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens has received a Bride’s Choice Award 2011 from WeddingWire, the largest wedding review site in the nation. “This is truly an honor,” said Mary Rose, wedding and event coordinator at the Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens. “We are so pleased to have made such wonderful memories for our clients.” Winners of the award were determined by recent reviews and extensive surveys from more than 750,000 WeddingWire newlyweds. Awards were given across 20…

prune shrubs in Buffalo

Now is time to do most pruning in Buffalo area

by Connie Oswald Stofko When it comes to pruning, the most common mistake people make is that they do it at the wrong time, said Sally Cunningham, CNLP, who is a horticulturist, author and garden consultant. Cunningham will join Rex Weber, CNLP, arborist at Bradley Tree, in teaching a pruning seminar on Saturday, March 19 at Lockwood’s Greenhouses, 4484 Clark St., Hamburg. “Where most people go wrong is that they go around like little squirrels and try to tidy things…

daffodil in Buffalo

Daffodils are the birthday flower for the month of March

by Ruth Syron Daffodils (also known as jonquils or narcissus) are the March birthday flower. In the Victorian era, daffodils meant, “You are an angel.” In the modern language of flowers, daffodils are a symbol of domestic happiness and friendship. Both meanings hold very nice sentiments. The daffodil is considered the national flower of Wales. On St. David’s Day, March 1, many folks wear the national flower on hats or lapels. The daffodil competes with the leek as the Welsh…

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