opossum on a deck

Opossums are more common than you think, but not a garden problem

by Connie Oswald Stofko I recently got this question from a reader: Hi Connie! Over here on Maynard, I just saw a possum. Is this something new for Eggertsville? Ellyn K. Demler Since I also live in this part of Amherst, this question was especially interesting to me. A few weeks ago, I saw a deer across the street from my house–the first I had seen in my neighborhood in 30 years–and now we have opossums? I called John Farfaglia,…

Symphoricarpos 'Proud Berry'

Order now for Great Plant Sale so you don’t miss out; deadline is April 10

by Connie Oswald Stofko Now is the time to place your pre-order for the Great Plant Sale at the Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens. The deadline to order is Friday, April 10, but don’t wait–some plants sell out early. You can order online. You’ll pick up your pre-ordered plants at the Great Plant Sale at the Botanical Gardens from May 14-16. There will be other plants for sale then, too, that you don’t have to pre-order. But if you…

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____________________ Levels Hyacinth $5.00 USDDaisy $10.00 USDIris $30.00 USDSunflower $50.00 USDSunny Sky $200.00 USD Name for thank-you page Sentence you’d like published ____________________ Are you a Super Reader? Are you inspired by the amazing photos here on Buffalo-NiagaraGardening.com?   Have you found helpful tips that you can use in your own garden? Do you scroll through our events to see classes, garden walks, exhibits, sales and more? Then you may be a Super Reader of Buffalo-NiagaraGardening.com! To stay in business…

spiderwort in Buffalo NY

Don’t let names fool you: You may want ‘weeds’ & ‘worts’ in your garden

by Connie Oswald Stofko A weed is any plant you don’t want in your garden. So who would want a plant with “weed” already in its name? And “wort” sounds like “wart,” those unappealing skin blemishes. Yuck! “Wort” is often coupled with the name of some body part —such as in “lungwort.” Double yuck! Don’t be turned off by those names. “Weed” comes from an Old English word for herb. The archaic meaning of “wort”, which has lingered in some…

witch-hazel flowers

Witch-hazel’s fragrant blooms add interest in autumn & winter

If you’re looking for a plant that blooms in your garden now, consider witch-hazel. American witch-hazel (Hamamelis virginiana) is a native shrub that produces fragrant blooms in late fall and early winter, according to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. The streamer-like flowers are just starting to appear at this time of year, following the annual loss of the shrub’s leaves. The yellow flowers typically last into December. Since witch-hazel is one of the few plants blooming now,…

garden beds in center of yard

Prepare for Open Gardens & get tips from Hidden Gardens of Eden

by Connie Oswald Stofko Open Gardens will be held on Thursdays and Fridays starting next week, so get your booklet now. The booklet lists the locations of the gardens as well as the times and dates that each garden is open. The organizers even included suggested routes to help you see all the gardens. The booklet is available for a $10 donation at many local garden centers– see the list here.  The Open Gardens are like garden walks, but they take…

Pretty native wildflowers & more from Master Gardeners

You might want to include Virginia bluebells (Mertensia virginica) or trillium in your spring garden. Find out why in two articles in this month’s edition of WNY Gardening Matters, produced by the Master Gardeners in Cornell Cooperative Extension of Erie County. Virginia bluebells (Mertensia virginica) is the loveliest spring native wildflower, according to the article by Carol Ann Harlos. Other good news is that Virginia bluebells are not usually favored by deer or rabbits. Another pretty native plant is trillium….

rye grass and foxglove 'Summer King' amd lamium 'White Nancy'

Plants for trouble spots & more at Mischler’s 59-cent perennial sale

by Connie Oswald Stofko Do you have trouble finding plants for a dry, shady area? Or maybe you want beautiful flowers for sun. Or you’re ready to try some native plants. You can find that and more at the 59-cent perennial sale being held from Friday, April 26 to Friday, May 3 at Mischler’s Florist and Greenhouses, 118 South Forest Rd., Williamsville. Hours will be 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and…

woodchuck

Woodchucks are difficult to control; try a rope fence & urine

by Connie Oswald Stofko Maxine Osiewicz of Clarence watched last year as woodchucks decimated her dahlias. “You could see the woodchucks slapping the stems down and eating all the leaves,” she said. Woodchucks (also known as groundhogs) can damage trees and shrubs, too. Woodchucks gnaw or claw woody vegetation, according to a factsheet by Paul  D. Curtis and Kristi L. Sullivan that was produced by Cornell Cooperative Extension and the Wildlife Damage Management Program. Woodchucks also strip bark at the…

penstemon 'Midnight Masquerade'

Unusual plants: Don’t miss these Hot Picks in Great Plant Sale

by Connie Oswald Stofko In the Great Plant Sale, “We want to offer things you’re not going to see everywhere,” said Sharon Reader, volunteer at the Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens and a member of the committee that chose the plants for the sale. The deadline to pre-order is Friday, April 5, but if you want one of the really spectacular Hot Picks, you better order now — They often sell out quick. UPDATE: The deadline to order plants…