American chestnut tree

American chestnut among offerings in tree seedling sales

by Connie Oswald Stofko If you’d like to help perpetuate the native American chestnut tree, check out the tree seedling sales in Western New York. Three counties are offering the native specimens. See details on the tree seedling sales below, and get tips on how to plant your tree seedling to maximize its chances for success. American chestnut The American chestnut seedlings are being offered in sales in Erie County, Niagara County and Genesee County. The American chestnut (Castanea dentata),…

overall garden in snow by Connie Oswald Stofko

How to make your garden look great in winter

by Connie Oswald Stofko Is your garden exciting in winter? Do you enjoy gazing at all its beautiful features? Or are you one of those people who didn’t even know it’s possible to have a garden that looks great in winter? Today we’ll take a look at a Pendleton garden has been featured on Open Gardens. It’s amazing in the summer, but it sparkles in winter, too! Tom and Darcie Homme had lived in Lockport before they moved 11 years…

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,…

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…

Thanks, Super Readers!

My Super Readers show how much they value this online gardening magazine. I appreciate all of you! Connie Oswald Stofko, publisher 2022 Hyacinth Level Susan Szafranski: Thank you to all the gardeners who share their beautiful ideas Iris Level Anonymous: The photos keep the SAD away. __________ 2021 Hyacinth Level Patty E. Brandel: Thank you for offering this great emagazine!! __________ Daisy Level Greta Doscher: Thank you for all the great gardening tips and interesting local articles! Linda Meissner: Matthew…

Sweet Emotion abelia from Proven Winners

When to plant shrubs, plus shrubs new to you & a longtime favorite

by Connie Oswald Stofko Don’t hurry to plant shrubs in Western New York. That’s one tip from Jen Weber, vice president and manager of Mike Weber Greenhouses, 42 French Rd., West Seneca. We’ll give you more details on when to plant shrubs, as well as a suggestion for a tried-and-true shrub and a couple of shrubs that may be new to you. When to plant shrubs When people lose shrubs, it’s usually because they planted too early. “Wait until Father’s Day,”…

perennials at Mischler's Florist and Greenhouses in Williamsville

59-cent perennials at Mischler’s– they’re bigger than in April!

If you weren’t able to make it to the 59-cent Perennial Sale at Mischler’s Florist and Greenhouses when it was launched in April, you’re in luck. Rows and rows of those perennials are still available! And the plants are still the same price! Here are the advantages to buying the sale perennials now: The plants are bigger than they were in April. They are healthy and look great. In June, you don’t have to worry about protecting the plants from…

lawn in yard using permaculture

This Grand Island landscape is suburban in front, natural in back

by Connie Oswald Stofko It’s like visiting a home out in the country–depending on what side of the house you’re on. In front, the home of Denise and Don Freedman has a typical suburban landscape. In back, it’s more natural, with fruit trees, a rain garden and trees that were there when they bought the land. They’ve been using permaculture techniques before they ever heard that word. What does permaculture mean to them? “It’s using your land to your advantage,”…

snowdrops flowers by Stofko

Gardening things you can do now despite the COVID-19 cancellations

by Connie Oswald Stofko Plantasia is cancelled. The Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens is closed until at least April 20. Lots of other places and activities are shut down, too. It’s disappointing, but we all need to do what we can do to slow the spread of COVID-19. But here is good news: Spring is arriving on March 19. The weather seems to be getting milder. And there are actually some gardening activities you can do now! I’ll list…

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,…