trailing African violet 'Cirelda'

International African violet convention to be held in Buffalo; you can attend

by Connie Oswald Stofko People from across the United States, Canada and the world will come to Buffalo this month for the annual convention of the African Violet Society of America (AVSA), a a joint effort with the African Violet Society of Canada (AVSC). “I’ve even had people from Ukraine and Armenia contact me about how to get visas to come here,” said Judy Niemira, local co-chair for the convention and current president of the African Violet and Gesneriad Society of Western New…

lilacs in Amherst NY

Lilac tips and more from Master Gardeners

Lilacs, a staple of spring in Western New York, don’t like wet feet, according to an article in this month’s edition of WNY Gardening Matters, produced by the Master Gardeners of Cornell Cooperative Extension in Erie County. They will do best on hillsides or on level ground with good drainage. The article “This Month in the Garden” suggests giving lilacs a top dressing of compost worked into the soil to help retain water. Fertilize with a high-phosphorus formula in early spring; too…

planting trees for Leaf a Legacy in West Seneca

Trees planted as Leaf a Legacy project by PLANT WNY

For this year’s Leaf a Legacy project, PLANT WNY member firms planted 22 bare root trees of mixed varieties on Arbor Day, April 27, at the Kids Escaping Drugs (KED) campus in West Seneca. The KED campus recently lost a large number of trees on their campus due to construction. Trees are important for many reasons. They’re calming, add beauty to the campus and absorb and block sound. Trees provide environmental benefits by cleaning the air and providing a home for wildlife….

front porch on Garden Walk Buffalo

Overgrown backyard becomes relaxed space for entertaining

  By Connie Oswald Stofko The front porch “is like another living room,” said Doug Lilley of Livingston St., Buffalo. “I love sitting out here. It’s peaceful.” When he bought this 150-year-old double seven years ago, the upstairs porch was rotting and needed to be replaced. An addition to the back of the house was rotten and Lilley had to lop off the entire addition. The backyard was so overgrown, it was hard to walk back there. Now the house…

Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens in summer

Discounted memberships offered at Botanical Gardens for Mother’s Day

  Mother’s Day is May 13, and the Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens is celebrating with a Mother’s Day membership markdown. From May 1 through May 13, individual memberships will be discounted by 20 percent. It’s a great gift for someone who loves gardens. Yes, you can buy a membership for yourself, too! Memberships include year-round, free admission to the Botanical Gardens; discounts on selected classes, shows, and exhibits; a 10 percent discount in the gift shop and on the…

pink boat and cherry blossoms in Buffalo

Buffalo Cherry Blossom Festival kicks off this week

  The cherry blossoms in the Japanese Garden in Delaware Park will begin to unfold this weekend, just in time for the fifth annual Buffalo Cherry Blossom Festival, said Paula Hinz, co-chairman of the festival. The festival will kick off with an event at 5 p.m. tomorrow, Wednesday, May 2, with many more activities from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, May 5 and 6. When the blossoms are in full bloom, a Japanese tea ceremony will be held on…

Arbor Day poster by student in Grand Island

Arbor Day tree tips, tours & a local poster winner

Trees are so important to our environment that they have their own day– Arbor Day, which falls on this Friday, April 27. How to choose, plant and care for a tree Consider planting a tree on your own property. Do it now; the best time to plant a tree is late winter or early spring before the buds open, according to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC). If you can’t work that quickly, consider waiting until autumn. Trees…

healthy seedling and seedling with damping off

Do your seedlings droop & die? How to prevent damping off

  by Steven Jakobi, Master Gardener Volunteer, Cornell Cooperative Extension of Allegany County After a winter of planning, preparation and expense, few things are more disappointing for the gardener than the failure of seeds to send shoots up from the soil, or watching seedlings emerge, but then suddenly wilt and die. Unfortunately, these situations are fairly common in the field or in the greenhouse under certain conditions. The death of young plants is caused by a group of soil-borne fungi,…

logo for WordCamp 2018

From beginning bloggers to developers: join me at WordCamp May 5

by Connie Oswald Stofko Whether you want to get started in blogging, learn how to make money from your blog, improve your website or learn how to develop apps, there is something for you at WordCamp Buffalo. The daylong workshop for users of WordPress, a free website platform, will be held from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, May 5 in 103 Center for the Arts on the North Campus of the University at Buffalo. Registration opens at 8 a.m. I’ll…

digging in yard by Stofko

Call 811 to dig safely; enter to win bench/tree combo

  by Connie Oswald Stofko Before you dig up an area for a new garden or plant a tree or dig holes for a fence, you should call 811 or use the online Single Address Ticket. When you make your request, your local utilities come out– for free– and flag where their lines are so you don’t accidentally hit them with your shovel or rototiller. You’d be pretty embarrassed if the whole neighborhood lost its cable because you cut the line. And if…

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