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eastern cicada killer compared to Asian giant hornet

Reminder: No murder hornets in WNY; how to identify lookalikes

by Connie Oswald Stofko “We do not have Asian giant hornets (also known as murder hornets) anywhere in Western New York,” said Sharon Bachman, Agriculture & Natural Resources Educator at Cornell Cooperative Extension in Erie County. We ran an article about murder hornets in October 2021. We didn’t have any in Western New York then and we still don’t have any. I keep hearing from people who think they have spotted murder hornets–or even insist that what they encountered was…

peonies at Graycliff in Derby NY

What’s blooming at Graycliff now

by Connie Oswald Stofko Every so often, we’ll post a photo (or two or three) of what’s blooming at Graycliff, 6472 Old Lake Shore Rd., Derby. See beautiful plants that are in bloom now, but won’t be noticed on a garden walk because the plant will be past its prime. These are plants you might want to add to your landscape for some early summer color. The photos also give you a peek at the stunning Graycliff landscape, which was initially…

common ninebark courtesy Dow Gardens, Bugwood

Free native plants, nationally known author & more at Plant for Nature!

by Connie Oswald Stofko Get a free native plant, hear the author of The Humane Gardener, and find out more about how you can create a wonderful garden that works with nature rather than against it. It’s all part of the event Plant for Nature! to be held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, June 4 at the WNY Welcome Center, 1999 Alvin Rd., Grand Island. It is hosted by the Citizen Coalition for Wildlife and Environment, which received a…

digging in yard by Stofko

Reminder: Call 811 before you dig

by Connie Oswald Stofko You’d be pretty embarrassed if the whole neighborhood lost its cable because you cut the line while you were digging or rototilling. And if you hit a gas or electrical line, you and others could be injured or even killed! So before you dig a hole for a fence post, water feature, garden or pool, you need to know where all those utility lines are so you don’t accidentally hit them with your shovel or rototiller….

quirky shed in Jim Charlier yard in Buffalo

Get maps early for Garden Walk Buffalo, East Side Garden Walk

More than 75 gardens will be featured on the East Side Garden Walk. Even though the event has expanded to two days this year, that’s still a lot of gardens to see in a weekend. Garden Walk Buffalo will have more than 300 gardens to visit in two days. It’s the largest garden tour in North America! Make the most of your time by getting maps of those two walks ahead of time so you can plan out your route….

orange and red peppers

Inflation: Ideas for growing food in WNY

by Connie Oswald Stofko Maybe you haven’t noticed, but food prices are going up and may continue to rise. Food plants may be a good investment right now. To deal with inflation, consider growing vegetables, herbs or fruit that: You are really going to eat Are expensive to buy You can share with others Plant what you like to eat I used to have a large section of garden filled with chives. They grow easily and get a pretty purple…

picking garden at Graycliff in Derby NY

Tour beautiful, historic gardens at Graycliff starting June 5

Learn more about the beautiful and historic gardens during landscape tours at Graycliff, 6472 Old Lake Shore Rd., Derby. The tours will be held at 10:30 a.m. every other Sunday. Dates are: June 5, 19 July 3, 17, 31 Aug. 14, 28 The 90-minute landscape tour focuses on the history and restoration of Graycliff’s historic gardens and grounds. It includes the first floor of the main house, designed by famed architect Frank Lloyd Wright. Wright created the initial design of…

photo illustration of seeds by Stofko

New seed library opens at Orchard Park Library

by Connie Oswald Stofko A seed library started May 11 at the Orchard Park Library and it’s already popular. About a week after the seed library was set up, the stock of seeds in the drawers had to be replenished, said Tim Allman, library assistant. The Orchard Park Library is located at S-4570 South Buffalo St., Orchard Park. When you enter the library, immediately to your right, in the book nook where the Friends of the Library hold their sale,…

eggplant Listada courtesy Seed Savers Exchange

Tasty eggplants that you can’t buy: grow these heirlooms yourself

by Connie Oswald Stofko You may have heard that if you want flavorful tomatoes, go for heirloom varieties. But did you know that there are heirloom and specialty varieties in other vegetables including eggplants, cucumbers and peppers? “These are varieties that you wouldn’t even see in a supermarket,” said Patti Jablonski-Dopkin, general manager of Urban Roots Cooperative Garden Market, 428 Rhode Island St., Buffalo. Urban Roots carries about 35 varieties of heirloom and specialty vegetable plants. “We choose varieties that…

iris 'Inviolate' in Western New York

Iris & Perennial Show set; anyone can enter the judging

The WNY Iris Society will hold its annual Iris and Perennial Show from 1 to 4  p.m. Saturday, June 4 at the Reinstein Library, 1030 Losson Rd., Cheektowaga. New this year: Anyone can enter to win ribbons and awards. To compete for prizes, the iris must have its cultivar name and the perennial must have its botanical name. People entering plants in the show should be at the Reinstein Library by 9 a.m. Judging will occur from 11 a.m. to…

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