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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…

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…

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