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signpost from book Harry Potter: Herbology Magic

Magic meets gardening in new Harry Potter book by Buffalo’s Jim Charlier

by Connie Oswald Stofko “My whole thing is art in gardening,” said Jim Charlier, who created gardening projects on the theme of Harry Potter, the boy wizard in the popular series of children’s books and movies. Charlier is co-author of the new book Harry Potter: Herbology Magic. The subtitle gives you a hint of what is in the book: Botanical Projects, Terrariums, and Gardens Inspired by the Wizarding World. It contains gardening tips, instructions for creating unique Harry Potter-inspired terrariums…

bee on swamp milkweed flower

News from Master Gardeners: soil blocks, swamp milkweed & more

Check out these two publications from Master Gardeners in Western New York–they’re full of great information. Learn about soil blocks in the newest edition of The Optimistic Gardener, produced by the Master Gardeners in Chautauqua and Cattaraugus counties. You don’t need containers for seedlings when you have soil blocks, according to Mark Messinger, Master Gardener apprentice. “You can see the roots fill out the blockscompletely, and instead of swirling around and tangling themselves, each root just stopswhen it hits the…

flowers on easel during Snyder-CleveHill Garden Walk in Amherst and Cheektowaga NY

Bumper crop of garden walks in WNY this weekend; Open Gardens start, too

by Connie Oswald Stofko Open Gardens start this Thursday and Friday, and six garden walks will be held this weekend. Tip: When you visit these gardens, take note of things that interest you, such as the flowers flowing out of the picture frame in the photo here. See it in the garden of Courtney Gorman, who will share her landscape on the Snyder-CleveHill Garden View. “One of my best friends, Sandy Hoffman, made this easel for me out of scrap…

nymph of spotted lanternfly on person's fingernail

Spotted lanternfly in WNY: what you need to know

by Connie Oswald Stofko I saw a post on social media today from a gardener at the West Seneca-South Buffalo border who said she saw two adult spotted lanternflies. However, at this time of year, Western New York probably has nymphs, an earlier stage of the spotted lanterfly, rather than adults, said Brian Eshenaur, Senior Extension Associate with Cornell University and the New York State Integrated Pest Management Program. We probably won’t see adults in Western New York until early August….

bee on ironweed flower

Help the pollinators so they can help your plants in Western New York

Cornell Cooperative Extension of Chautauqua County’s Master Gardener Program is celebrating National Pollinator month by sharing information and resources to help create a garden for your favorite pollinators. by Shannon Rinow, Master Gardener Coordinator, Chautauqua County Butterflies and honeybees may come to mind when you think of pollinators, but pollinators also include wild native bees (there are 450 native species of bees in New York State), beetles, moths, bats, wasps, birds, specialized flies and other beneficial insects. They all play an important…

landscape with native plants in Town of Akron NY

Garden walks this weekend: Lyndonville & Akron-Newstead

Two garden walks will take place in Western New York this weekend. Lyndonville Garden Walk The Lyndonville Garden Walk will take place from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, July 1. See the list of gardens here. Lyndonville is in Orleans County. A suggested $10 donation benefits Yates Community Library. Akron-Newstead 2023 Bicentennial Garden Walk The Akron-Newstead 2023 Bicentennial Garden Walk will take place from 2-5 p.m. and 7-10 p.m. Sunday, July 2. Pick up maps at Pixleys Surefine, 81…

MixMaster annuals in flower box at Mischler's Florist and Greenhouses in Williamsville NY

For July 4: red, white & bluish flowers

by Connie Oswald Stofko Creating a theme for the Fourth of July in your garden isn’t as easy as it might seem. While there are many red and white flowers to choose from, finding true blue flowers is difficult. “Blue flowers are never blue, even if they’re named as such,” said Mark Yadon, vice president at Mischler’s Florist and Greenhouses, 118 South Forest Rd., Williamsville. “They tend more to purple.” If you want flowers that are closer to blue, try these plants….

art for sale at Buffalo Style Garden Art sale at Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens

This weekend: Garden Art Sale, South Buffalo Garden Walk

Two great events are taking place in the same South Buffalo area this weekend. Visit more than 50 vendors at the Buffalo Style Garden Art Sale on Saturday and Sunday and enjoy a tour of gardens on the South Buffalo Garden Walk on Sunday. Get a map for the South Buffalo Garden Walk at the garden art sale. Buffalo Style Garden Art Sale The garden art sale will be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, June 24 and…

shrub in flower at Graycliff in Derby NY

Learn to prune in next class at Graycliff

Learn from a professional when you attend the Garden Education Series at Graycliff, home to historic gardens designed by Frank Lloyd Wright with contributions from Ellen Biddle Shipman, pioneering landscape architect. Emma Hahn, Graycliff’s head gardener, will lead you through techniques you can use in your own garden. Hahn is an International Society of Arborists certified Arborist trained at Harvard’s Arnold Arboretum. Each session has a different focus. The series has been scheduled to make use of Graycliff’s historic gardens….

decorative plates in garden in Lewiston NY

Lewiston GardenFest kicks off garden walk season in WNY

The season of garden walks will kick off this weekend with Lewiston GardenFest from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, June 17 and 18 on Center Street in Lewiston. Here are some photos–and tips!–from a couple of the gardeners who will be sharing their landscapes during the Lewiston GardenFest. You can see and learn more during the actual event. “Celebrate summer at Lewiston GardenFest and come away inspired to enhance your own green spaces,” said Mary Ann Yates,…