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perennial gardens Buffalo NY

Gardeners ditched the barbecue & created an oasis in Buffalo

by Connie Oswald Stofko When Kevin Lickers bought his West Side home in 2007, the small backyard had absolutely no gardens. “There was nothing here. I’m not kidding you. No flower beds,” he said while gazing at the colorful expanse of perennials that fill the yard now. What the yard did have was a big grill. “It was distracting, Lickers said, “and we don’t barbecue much.” He and his partner Ricardo Arce got rid of the large barbecue (they use…

prize from Urban Roots Cooperative Garden Market in Buffalo NY

Tell your gardening friends about our spectacular prize drawing!

by Connie Oswald Stofko This may be hard to believe: There are gardeners in Western New York who haven’t heard of! They don’t know what they’re missing– gardening tips, full-color photos, the up-to-date list of gardening events– and it’s all local! And they don’t know about our wonderful prize drawing with a prize package worth nearly $500! Can you help me spread the word? After all, there will be three winners in our drawing. It could be you and two…

Orchids after Dark at Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens

Orchid Show— daytime & after dark

The Orchid Show at the Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens is always a favorite, with award-winning exhibits of orchids by members of the Niagara Frontier Orchid Society displayed throughout the Botanical Gardens and vendors selling orchids and supplies. New this year is Orchids After Dark, where the plants and the various parts of the conservatory will be lit to provide a spectacular experience– a must-see spectacle for all plant lovers and photographers. (No tripods.) Orchids After Dark will take place from 6 to…

graphic of four leaves in four seasons

Master Gardeners to hold Education Day in person on March 12; register now

The Master Gardener Program of Cornell Cooperative Extension of Erie County will host its 2022 Education Day from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, March 12 in person at Classics V Banquet Center, 2425 Niagara Falls Blvd., Amherst. Advanced registration is required. The fee is $60. Register here.  For more information, contact Jolie Hibit at (716) 652-5400, x174 or Registration is not complete until payment has been received. Joseph Tychonievich, considered one of the top 10 garden speakers in the country, will give two presentations in…

Mischler's prize basket in Williamsville NY

Our prize drawing is back & bigger than ever!

by Connie Oswald Stofko What’s as exciting as the first flower in spring? The annual prize drawing of! And this year the prize package is bigger & better than ever– valued at nearly $500! There will be three winners, and each winner will receive the entire prize package! To enter, just subscribe to, the online gardening magazine for Western New York. It’s free to subscribe! I appreciate my current readers! Have you already subscribed? Then you are already entered into the drawing!…

seed packets from Botanical Interests

Reminder: It’s time to start seeds for cool weather veggies in WNY

Some cool weather vegetables can be started inside now–or soon–depending on the last frost date in your area. Other seeds are sown directly outside. As their name implies, cool weather vegetables can withstand cooler temperatures in the air and soil, which means you can plant them outside in early spring. Cool weather vegetables include broccoli, kale, cabbage, collards, endive and onions. See this previous article where Patti Jablonski-Dopkin, general manager of Urban Roots Cooperative Garden Market, explains the details of starting cool…

Mark Mortenson at Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens

Mortenson chosen as new head of Botanical Gardens

Mark Mortenson will take over as the new president and CEO of the Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens in March when David Swarts retires from the role after 12 years. Mortenson led the transformation efforts at the Buffalo Museum of Science and Tifft Nature Preserve. Most recently he played a dual role as president and CEO of the Richardson Center Corporation and executive director of the Lipsey Architecture Center Buffalo. He also held leadership positions at The Arc Erie…

image for Great Plant Sale at Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens

Pre-sale is open now; Great Plant Sale will be back in person in May!

by Connie Oswald Stofko I am excited to say that is sponsoring the Great Plant Sale at the Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens again this year! There’s so much to talk about. The pre-sale is open online now. And the Great Plant Sale will be back in person in May! Pre-sale is open now The pre-sale is being held online. Find great selections of annuals, perennials and shrubs. Sale orders are due April 15, but you should place…

sowing seeds on snow in Western New York

Sow seeds right on top of snow in WNY!

by Connie Oswald Stofko We’ve talked about winter sowing before, and here’s another method for planting seeds outside during winter. I got this great tip from Linda Blyth of the Town of Tonawanda. “This is what we do with poppies, cleome, datura, bells of Ireland and a few others: sprinkle these seeds on top of the snow,” Blyth said. “Why? Because they all need a period of cold in order to germinate! Have you ever tried planting seeds in the spring…

cardinal and sparrow in snow in Cheektowaga NY

Help researchers with Great Backyard Bird Count

The 25th annual Great Backyard Bird Count, which will be held Friday, Feb. 18 through Monday, Feb. 21, is a way for you to help researchers right from your own backyard. Anyone, from beginning bird watchers to experts, can take part. Participants are asked to count birds for as little as 15 minutes (or as long as they wish) on one or more days of the four-day event and report their sightings online at Each checklist submitted during the Great Backyard Bird…

Upcoming Events

Sunday, May 22, 2022 | 9:00 am - 1:00 pm

Pancake breakfast at Draves Arboretum

Draves Arboretum

Sunday, May 22, 2022 | 10:00 am - 11:30 am

Spring stroll at Penn Dixie