plants at Urban Roots in Buffalo NY

Don’t panic– there will still be plants to buy after Memorial Day

by Connie Oswald Stofko Many gardeners are in the habit of buying all their plants on Memorial Day weekend. Garden centers have always been packed. Because of the pandemic, this year garden centers have to limit the number of people they can let in at one time. There won’t be crowds to deal with (yay!), but not everyone will be able to stock up this weekend. Don’t worry. There will still be plenty of plants to buy next week. “You…

snow in May 2020

Mow, snow, grow: wild spring weather in Western New York

by Connie Oswald Stofko We had a mild winter and last month it seemed that spring had arrived in Western New York. There was a lot of rain, but every so often the rain took a break and people mowed their lawns. But there were stretches when it seemed like it was constantly cloudy. We yearned for sunshine! But this past week really made us shake our heads. The mowing days alternated with snowing days. Big, fat snowflakes floated in…

mint by Stofko

Invasive plant or aggressive? There is a difference

by Connie Oswald Stofko What is the difference between an invasive plant and an aggressive plant? Sometimes gardeners use the terms interchangeably, but aggressive and invasive aren’t the same thing. Aggressive plant An aggressive plant is one that spreads faster than preferred, or into an area of your garden where it is unwanted, according to the Chicago Botanic Garden. But what one gardener views as an aggressive plant might not be viewed that way by another gardener. As the Chicago…

sand by bar and pond in barckyard in Buffalo NY

You may be able to visit Northwest Buffalo garden walk in person!

by Connie Oswald Stofko If all goes well, you will be able to visit gardens in person during the 2020 Northwest Buffalo Tour of Gardens (formerly Black Rock & Riverside Tour of Gardens) on Friday and Saturday, July 17 and 18. Gardeners who want to share their gardens on the tour have three choices: They can sign up for the traditional tour, which will be held if it is safe to do so. There will be night tours and a…

grassless front yard

New program will replace Garden Walk Buffalo this year

by Connie Oswald Stofko Garden Walk Buffalo won’t be held as a two-day walking tour this year. Instead, a new program called Buffalo Garden Views will feature a variety of activities throughout July suited for these difficult times.  Gardeners from the Buffalo Niagara region–and around the world–can experience these activities from home on social media. And there will be some in-person activities, too, such as touring front-yard gardens. We know that Buffalo has gorgeous front yards. What you might not…

four gardening images

More gardening & nature activities you can do during the pandemic

by Connie Oswald Stofko First: Our Events page is back! For awhile, the page was overwhelmed by cancelled events. There was no reason to check it out. But organizers have been creating interesting new events that keep participants safe during the pandemic. I am delighted to be post them on my Events page. On the Events page, you’ll find activities that are being held at a particular time and on a certain date. Most of them are online talks and…

deck in backyard in South Buffalo

Secluded deck provides sanctuary in South Buffalo

by Connie Oswald Stofko Today I want to share some photos from the landscape of Sally and Paul Tucker of South Buffalo to give you inspiration for your own gardens. I visited them last July during South Buffalo Alive. Before we talk about the Tuckers’ yard, I know you are wondering what is happening with garden walks this year. My understanding is that two of the garden walks that take place early in the season, Lewiston GardenFest and Springville Garden…

clay in soil

Clay soil: compost is better than sand

by Connie Oswald Stofko When you have clay soil, should you add compost or sand? Compost. “In the long run, by far, the best thing you could possibly add is organic matter,” said John Farfaglia, extension educator with Cornell Cooperative Extension in Niagara County. Organic matter can be compost, autumn leaves, peat moss or other plant material. Organic matter is better because you have to add so much sand to loosen the clay, it’s not practical, Farfaglia said. I asked this…

don't use lawn fertilizer with phosphorus

Keep our waterways clean: look for zero on lawn fertilizer

Do you like swimming or fishing or clean water in general? Then help our lakes, rivers and creeks by not spreading phosphorus on your lawn. If you fertilize your lawn, look for a bag with a zero in the middle. Fertilizer labels have three numbers. The number in the middle is the percentage of phosphorus in the product, such as 22-0-15. Excess phosphorus has made many waterways in New York State un-swimmable and un-fishable, according to the New York State…

Centaurea montana courtesy Ivy Garth

Mischler’s 59-cent perennial sale to start on Friday!

by Connie Oswald Stofko Hurray! One of Western New York’s favorite gardening events is taking place on the planned date! Mischler’s Florist and Greenhouses will hold its yearly 59-cent perennial sale starting this Friday, April 24. The plants are sold only in packs of four plants at $2.36 per pack. You will order your plants online. When you order, you’ll indicate what date and time you would like to pick up your plants at Mischler’s, 118 South Forest Rd., Williamsville….

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