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Garden in Cottage District of Buffalo

What do we have to be thankful for this year? Gardening!

by Connie Oswald Stofko “During this Covid pandemic, gardening has been our therapy,” said Marie Wysocki of Hamburg. She and her husband Jerry shared their landscape during Open Gardens. “Weeding is very therapeutic for us. I’m usually a calm person, but if I didn’t have this…” Many gardeners echoed that sentiment this year, and I feel the same way. We were able to get plants, thanks to the folks at our local garden centers who scrambled to create new systems…

poinsettia and model train at Buffalo Botanical Gardens

New ‘Gardens After Dark’ to open for holidays at Botanical Gardens

Gardens After Dark: Magical Poinsettias is the first in a new series of lighting exhibits at Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens, 2655 South Park Ave., Buffalo. The Botanical Gardens will be filled with colorful and soft lighting to enhance and showcase the plant collection and the beautiful historic landmark that surrounds it. Various exhibits in the Gardens After Dark series will be held throughout the year. Magical Poinsettias will be held from 5 to 8:30 p.m. on these dates:…

living Christmas tree

Living Christmas tree: enjoy inside, then plant outside

by Connie Oswald Stofko One way to make Christmas last a little longer is by buying a living Christmas tree. You can decorate it, enjoy it inside, then plant it outside where it will grow for years to come. Living Christmas trees are available now at at Urban Roots Cooperative Garden Market, 428 Rhode Island St. Buffalo. “We have three or four families who come in every year,” said Patti Jablonski-Dopkin, general manager of Urban Roots. “You’d think kids would want…

rabbit with daisies

Roses can help save other plants from rabbits

by Connie Oswald Stofko I was intrigued by this tip. I have rabbits in my yard, and in the spring they munch on everything, including my rose bushes. But here is a way to use the canes from rose bushes to protect your other plants from hungry rabbits. This tip was shared by a reader named Susan: We had problems with rabbits munching our morning glory vines (or any lovely vine, for that matter). When I trimmed the rose bushes,…

Arbor Day poster for 2020

Dec. 31 is deadline to enter Arbor Day poster contest

Your photo or artwork could be on the 2021 New York State Original Artwork Arbor Day Poster. The deadline to enter the competition is Dec. 31. 100,000 posters are distributed to 3,500 New York State schools, the New York State Fair and other venues. The winning artist is honored at the annual state Arbor Day celebration in Albany. Photos and artwork must feature trees within New York State and should be sent to arborday@dec.ny.gov. Participants will be limited to five submissions…

arbor at entrance to backyard

Arbors, sheds & other hardscapes can enhance your garden

by Connie Oswald Stofko Visitors to the gardens of Jerry and Marie Wysocki in Hamburg delight in the abundance of plant material. But hardscapes are integral parts of the gardens, too. Hardscapes are the constructed, non-plant features in a landscape, such as the arbor and path that lead you into the backyard. The Wysockis shared their landscape during Open Gardens in July. When you tour garden walks and Open Gardens, try to look past the brightly colored flowers and see…

wrapping paper

Buy wrapping paper that you can compost

by Connie Oswald Stofko Before you buy wrapping paper, make sure you know which kinds you can compost. Some wrapping paper contains heavy metals that can contaminate your compost. Get all the details in this previous article. If you don’t compost yet, autumn is a great time to start because you have oodles of fallen leaves at your disposable. Your plant material will break down faster if you balance your kitchen scraps with materials such as dry leaves and paper….

happy flower, sad flower

Why bad things happen to good plants, & more from Master Gardeners

If your plant dies, it may not be your fault. Learn “Why Bad Things Happen to Good Plants” by Carol Ann Harlos in the newest edition of WNY Gardening Matters. Your plant could be immune to pathogens in the environment. But what happens when those pathogens change? Read more here. Other articles in this issue are: “Joe Pye Weed Plants Are Not All the Same” by Lyn Chimera “Research Summary: Climate Change is Increasing Impacts from Forest Pests“ WNY Gardening…

red leaf with frost by Stofko

8 gardening tasks you can do in late autumn

by Connie Oswald Stofko Even though we got a taste of winter weather, it’s still autumn in Western New York. And there are still gardening things you can do! Bring in & store tender bulbs How should you care for bulbs of plants such as dahlias and canna lilies? Dig up the bulbs after the first killing frost, said John Farfaglia, extension educator with Cornell Cooperative Extension in Niagara County. By now, most, if not all, of Western New York…

baskets on top of hosta plants

Tip to keep voles from damaging hostas

by Connie Oswald Stofko Here is a tip about voles from Kathy Guest Shadrack, board member and communication liaison with the Western New York Hosta Society. She has a problem with voles even though hawks, foxes and coyotes visit her gardens. In order to give her garden a fighting chance, she covers the crowns of her hostas with baskets she got from a dollar store. If the crown is really large, she chooses deer netting instead of a basket. She…

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