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lilies and roses in flower arrangement at Mischler's in Williamsville NY

Brighten your day–or a friend’s day–with flowers now

by Connie Oswald Stofko If you’re tired of the gray, gloomy skies we’ve been seeing for weeks, get a little sunshine in your life with fresh flowers. Spread the cheer by sending flowers to your Valentine or to your friends. What might make you even happier is supporting a local grower and getting flowers picked that day. At Mischler’s Florist and Greenhouses, 118 South Forest Rd., Williamsville, they grow their oriental lilies in their own greenhouses. “We cut them fresh daily,”…

looking at mint plant in Amherst NY

Garden Talks begin in Batavia & on line

The Genesee County Master Gardeners will hold monthly Garden Talks starting in February. Garden Talk programs start at noon and can be 30 to 60 minutes long, depending on the topic. They will be held on Thursdays. This free series is open to all, but registration is required. You can attend in person at the Cornell Cooperative Extension office, 420 East Main St., Batavia, or online via Zoom. To attend in person, contact Mandy at 585-343-3040, ext. 101 or For a Zoom…

wood sorrel in Amherst NY

Weed or volunteer in WNY: wood sorrel

by Connie Oswald Here’s another article on the theme: What is this plant and do I want it in my garden? This pretty plant looks like clover with yellow flowers. It added itself to several of my pots. I hoped it was clover and would add nitrogen to my soil. Unfortunately, it isn’t clover. It’s wood sorrel. “It can be aggressive,” said Lyn Chimera of Lessons from Nature. Because it can spread easily, “if it’s in the lawn, I wouldn’t…

tree trunk with snow and missing a branch in Williamsville NY

Winter damage to shrubs & trees, plus more from Master Gardeners

“Helping Woody Plants Survive Heavy Snowfalls” by Carol Ann Harlos is the topic of an article in the most recent edition of WNY Gardening Matters, produced by the Master Gardeners of Cornell Cooperative Extension in Erie County. You can find more tips on dealing with damaged trees and shrubs in this previous article with David Clark. For information on how to prune, see the article on page 34 of the December 2020 edition of NYS Conservationist Magazine. _____ Also in…

Garden Walk Buffalo poster

Art sought for Garden Walk Buffalo; deadline is Jan. 31

Garden Walk Buffalo, America’s largest garden tour, is looking for submissions of original artwork to promote the 2023 event, which will be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, July 29 & 30. Entries are due Tuesday, January 31. This is an opportunity to share your artwork with hundreds of local gardeners and tens of thousands of visitors from around the U.S., Canada and abroad. Submission guidelines: Email your entry to Include ART ENTRY in the…

hand pointing to sun

Blizzard of 2022 in Western New York

by Connie Oswald Stofko While other parts of Western New York had winter storm conditions last week, areas around Buffalo had blizzard conditions. It was sad for some people because they couldn’t celebrate Christmas with family and friends. Others were worse off, trapped in their homes without electricity or heat. Still others were trapped in their cars. About 40 people died. My heart goes out to those who suffered. I wasn’t planning to publish again until Jan. 17, but I…

marigolds in Buffalo Niagara area

Here are my gardening resolutions for 2023–what are yours?

by Connie Oswald Stofko Landscapes are constantly changing. What you did last year may not be what will work for you this year. Trees and shrubs get bigger, making your landscape shadier. Or trees and large shrubs are damaged or destroyed during storms such as this year’s November storm or the Snowvember Storm of 2014. The effects may last for years. I had an arborvitae that was damaged during the 2006 October Storm when a maple tree fell into our…

snow on evergreen in Amherst NY

Winter solstice: days will be getting longer in WNY

by Connie Oswald Stofko Surprise! Tomorrow is the first day of winter. Yes, Western New York has snow on the ground, and parts of Western New York got 80 inches of snow in November, but that’s just weather. We’re talking about how close–or far away– Western New York is to the sun. As the Earth spins on its axis, the Northern Hemisphere gets closer or farther away from the sun. When the Northern Hemisphere is at its farthest point, we…

art work by Mike O at Yartworks in Cheektowaga New York

Buy, order or make art for your garden

by Connie Oswald Stofko Buy it from an artist. Commission something that fits in with the theme of your garden. Or make it yourself. As you’re planning next year’s garden, consider integrating art into your landscape. Buy garden art Beth and Brian Kreutzer of Cheektowaga, who share their landscape on Open Gardens, happily display a metal sculpture by Mike O of Yartworks titled “Mousetrap.” “I bought it at one of the first Buffalo Style Garden Art Sales,” Beth said. They…

turkey vulture in Tonawanda NY

Join Audubon’s Christmas bird count to help scientists

You can help scientists learn how birds are faring in Western New York by volunteering for Audubon’s 123rd Christmas Bird Count. It’s one of the longest-running wildlife censuses in the world.  Audubon’s Christmas Bird Count will take place between Wednesday, Dec. 14 and Thursday, Jan. 5.   Each individual count takes place over the course of 24 hours, in a 15-mile-wide circle, and is led by a compiler responsible for organizing volunteers and submitting observations directly to Audubon. Participation is free. Within each circle, participants tally…

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