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Christmas trees made of tomato cages

4 holiday tips for gardeners in WNY

by Connie Oswald Stofko Keep your garden in mind as you celebrate the holidays with these four fun tips. Reuse a tomato cage to make a Christmas decoration. They’re simple to make. You can unwind the decorations and use them again as tomato cages next summer. When wrapping presents, choose materials that can be composted. You’ll be keeping items out of landfills, plus you’ll be creating wonderful compost for your gardens! Use this tip to water your Christmas tree without…

pink celery at Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens

Eco Garden at Botanical Gardens helps folks in ‘food desert’

The Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens donated 692 pounds of fresh, organic produce to Gerard Place‘s Community Kitchen, noting that the need was three times greater this year because of the pandemic. The food was grown at the Botanical Gardens in the Eco Garden, a 100-percent community-funded organic garden. The Eco Garden was established in 2019 with funding and support from the Josephine Goodyear Foundation, PLANT WNY, the Western New York Foundation and private donors. Gerard Place provides housing for homeless, single parents…

monarch flying off swamp milkweed

Monarchs are in danger; how you can help in Western New York

by Connie Oswald Stofko Monarchs should be on the endangered species list, said Jay Burney, executive director of the Pollinator Conservation Association (PCA), based in Western New York. For years there has been a massive decline in monarch butterflies, but last year the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) declined to add the monarch to the endangered species list, Burney said. The FWS said there will be a yearly review and the monarch will stay in the running for…

dew on blades of grass

Reminder: Don’t fertilize lawn until spring

by Connie Oswald Stofko Your lawn is dormant now, so there’s no need to fertilize. And in New York State, you’re not permitted to use any kind of chemical fertilizer on your lawn from Dec. 1 to April 15. By prohibiting fertilizer application in winter, the New York State Nutrient Runoff Law aims to keep these chemicals from running off your lawn and polluting our waterways. Get some tips on green practices for your lawn and garden here from the…

gardening project by Historic Jefferson Block Club in Buffalo

Beautification grants available for gardening projects in Buffalo

Beautification grants for gardening projects in the City of Buffalo are available through Gardens Buffalo Niagara. This year, previously separate funding programs have been merged into one: the Marvin Lunenfeld Grants (previously the Lunenfeld and Vibrant Buffalo grants). Awards of  up to $1,000 will be based on the overall project cost and matching funds from government, private contributions or volunteer sweat equity.  Projects can include community gardens, street-side planters, historical garden restoration, annuals for baskets—pretty much any garden-related project. Grant…

seating area with grape vines in Kenmore NY

Broken fence became wall for charming outdoor room

by Connie Oswald Stofko A wooden fence used to separate this backyard from a parking lot. Unfortunately, plows clearing the lot shoved snow against the fence, and the snow won. Matt and Tashia Tribo of Kenmore replaced the collapsed fence with a cinder block wall and coated it with a veneer of stucco. The wall, which is as beautiful as it is functional, is part of a charming outdoor room. The Tribos’ garage and their neighbors’ garage act as the…

poinsettias and railway at Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens

See poinsettias & railway exhibit– day & night– at Botanical Gardens

An annual favorite, the Poinsettia & Railway Exhibit will be again be held at the Buffalo and Erie County Botancial Gardens, 2655 South Park Ave., Buffalo. A magnificent display of poinsettias sets the festive tone. See deep reds, magentas, pinks, yellows, oranges and apricots accented by silver and white foliage. A special feature is the Garden Railway display, made possible by the Western New York Garden Railway Society. In addition to daytime viewings, you can also see special nighttime showings. This is a…

image for Blue Sky Level of Super Readers

Would you like your garden to be featured in Buffalo-NiagaraGardening.com?

by Connie Oswald Stofko To show my appreciation to my Super Readers, I offer thank-you gifts at various levels, and I have something new. At the Sunny Sky level, I will feature your garden in Buffalo-NiagaraGardening.com! What’s new is that I have changed that level to just $100! In the past, I have written about gardens that are on garden walks or Open Gardens. You may have been part of one of the programs, but I haven’t visited your yard…

'Autumn Leaves' poinsettia at Mischler's in Williamsville NY

Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day, poinsettias help you celebrate!

by Connie Oswald Stofko Poinsettias are wonderful for all the winter holidays, from Thanksgiving to New Year’s. You can use them to decorate your home or give them as gifts. The colorful part of the poinsettia that looks like a flower petal is actually a bract, a kind of leaf. Poinsettias come in many different colors. Here are just three from Mischler’s Florist and Greenhouses in Williamsville: ‘Autumn Leaves’, which has bracts in autumny orange tones ‘Princettia’, the whitest poinsettia…

harvesting sage in early winter

Don’t desert your garden yet! Tasks for early winter weather in WNY

by Connie Oswald Stofko I wasn’t sure whether to use “early winter” or “late autumn” in the headline. Technically, winter doesn’t start until Dec. 21. Yet we have already gotten snow and more is in the forecast, so I went with winter. Then again, the snow keeps melting, and many of us still have leaves on the trees. Maybe we should call this season “wintumn.” Whatever you call it, there are still tasks you can do in your garden. Harvest…

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