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arbor at entrance to backyard

Arbors, sheds & other hardscapes can enhance your garden

by Connie Oswald Stofko Visitors to the gardens of Jerry and Marie Wysocki in Hamburg delight in the abundance of plant material. But hardscapes are integral parts of the gardens, too. Hardscapes are the constructed, non-plant features in a landscape, such as the arbor and path that lead you into the backyard. The Wysockis shared their landscape during Open Gardens in July. When you tour garden walks and Open Gardens, try to look past the brightly colored flowers and see…

wrapping paper

Buy wrapping paper that you can compost

by Connie Oswald Stofko Before you buy wrapping paper, make sure you know which kinds you can compost. Some wrapping paper contains heavy metals that can contaminate your compost. Get all the details in this previous article. If you don’t compost yet, autumn is a great time to start because you have oodles of fallen leaves at your disposable. Your plant material will break down faster if you balance your kitchen scraps with materials such as dry leaves and paper….

happy flower, sad flower

Why bad things happen to good plants, & more from Master Gardeners

If your plant dies, it may not be your fault. Learn “Why Bad Things Happen to Good Plants” by Carol Ann Harlos in the newest edition of WNY Gardening Matters. Your plant could be immune to pathogens in the environment. But what happens when those pathogens change? Read more here. Other articles in this issue are: “Joe Pye Weed Plants Are Not All the Same” by Lyn Chimera “Research Summary: Climate Change is Increasing Impacts from Forest Pests“ WNY Gardening…

red leaf with frost by Stofko

8 gardening tasks you can do in late autumn

by Connie Oswald Stofko Even though we got a taste of winter weather, it’s still autumn in Western New York. And there are still gardening things you can do! Bring in & store tender bulbs How should you care for bulbs of plants such as dahlias and canna lilies? Dig up the bulbs after the first killing frost, said John Farfaglia, extension educator with Cornell Cooperative Extension in Niagara County. By now, most, if not all, of Western New York…

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…

graphic of four leaves in four seasons

List your garden club meetings & more on our Events page

by Connie Oswald Stofko If your nonprofit group has meetings or other events that are open to the public, send me the details and I will share them on our Events page. If I already have your event listed, please let me know that you are still planning to hold that event, either in person or virtually. I will happily keep it posted. If I don’t hear from the group, the event gets deleted. That’s because when the pandemic hit,…

autumn leaves on trees

Quiz time: What do you know about gardening in WNY?

by Connie Oswald Stofko How much do you know about gardening in Western New York? Here’s a fun quiz that will allow you to test your knowledge. Some questions are easy, but one or two might trip you up. You can see the answers below along with a link for more information. 1. What can you do with autumn leaves? A. Put them in your compost B. Spread them around your perennials C. Start a new garden D. All of…

title page of ebook on Garden Tips

Garden Tips ebook is ready for Super Readers at Iris Level

by Connie Oswald Stofko The ebooks on Garden Tips: Random, quirky, fun and useful is now ready for Super Readers! To write this ebook, I sifted through great ideas I have come across in my 10 years publishing I searched for tips that were quirky, fun and, most of all, helpful. There is a tip on where to start if your landscape is a blank slate, a tip on how to harvest tomatoes through November, a tip on how…

red door in garden

Garden decor of a single color creates cohesive look

by Connie Oswald Stofko Buffalo-style gardens are known for displaying quirky objects as garden art, such as a gumball machine or a giant bird cage. Put an elegant spin on that idea with a monochromatic theme. Choose one color for the decorations in a section of your landscape. Using objects of the same material, such as glass, can also make the space more cohesive. Here are some examples from this summer’s Open Gardens….

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