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A-frame over shrub in Western New York by Stofko

Prepare your garden for the next wave of winter in Western New York

by Connie Oswald Stofko The forecast for the coming week calls for daytime temperatures above freezing, so if we do get any snow, it should melt. That means you’ll have time to easily walk around your yard and prepare your gardens for another onslaught of snow. When the temperatures do get colder, chances are we will get lake effect snow again. Lake Erie still hasn’t iced over, so cold wind picking up moisture from the lake can fall on land…

graphic of four leaves in four seasons

Communities in Bloom classes start Feb. 10 in Erie County

The 20th Annual Communities in Bloom Classes will be held by the Master Gardener Program of Cornell Cooperative Extension of Erie County. Classes will be of interest to both beginning and veteran gardeners. Dates, locations & topics February 10 – Orchard Park Community Center, 4520 California Road, Orchard Park February 24 – Roswell Park Community Center, 907 Michigan Ave, Buffalo Class times 8:30 a.m. registration / 9–11:45 a.m. class Pre-registration is required. Register here or contact jah663@cornell.edu or (716) 652-5400 ext. 176. Fees 1 day/2…

bent arborvitaes after snow storm in Hamburg NY

Did snow & wind damage your WNY garden? Don’t panic

by Connie Oswald Stofko David Clark, CNLP has sad arborvitaes in his Hamburg yard. “They’re about 15 feet tall, but they’re bent lower than my knees,” he told me over the weekend. While that’s bad, it’s not as bad as it could be because the soil wasn’t frozen yet. The roots of the arborvitaes could come out of the ground a little bit and allow the shrubs to tip, preventing the trunk from snapping. Your azaleas and rhododendrons will be…

orchid arches at Orchid Exhibit in Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens

Ladders on ceiling, arches on floor: See novel orchid displays

by Connie Oswald Stofko Colorful orchids are displayed in a way you’ve never seen before during a new Orchid Exhibit that will open Wednesday, Jan. 24 at the Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens, 2655 South Park Ave., Buffalo. The opening of the exhibit was postponed because of the weather, but it’s worth the wait. Enter through arches adorned with orchids. See orchids hanging from orbs and enjoy the masses of orchids in pots. Make sure you look up to…

gloved hands planting plant

Get free landscape training plus earn up to $1,500; deadline is Jan. 29

Learners will be able to attend class remotely and earn up to $1,500 in the Hybrid–Landscape Maintenance Technician program from the Buffalo Center for Arts and Technology (BCAT). Adults who are accepted into the program will receive a scholarship that will cover 100 percent of tuition, books and work boots. There will be 30 hours of online classes taught by a live instructor. There will also be 30 hours of hands-on landscaping training. The confirmed sites so far are Buffalo Olmsted…

Phlox paniculata ‘Jeana’

Award-winning perennial & more: The Great Plant Sale is here!

by Connie Oswald Stofko The Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens is again holding its Great Plant Sale online, and you can order now. The deadline to order is May 4, but don’t wait–many plants sell out well before then. I am highlighting just three here: I’m proud that Buffalo-NiagaraGardening.com is a sponsor of the Great Plant Sale again this year! About the Great Plant Sale Last year, “A lot of people were amazed by the quality of the plants” they…

Flynn and Goldstein in their Open Garden in Buffalo NY

Bowling balls, cute creatures & more in flower-filled Buffalo garden

by Connie Oswald Stofko Are you ready to see colorful flowers, unique garden art and an overall beautiful landscape? In this video, Jay Jinge Hu, who shares his own landscape on Open Gardens, takes us on a tour of the gardens of Mitch Flynn and Ellen Goldstein, who will again this year share their landscape on Open Gardens and Garden Walk Buffalo. Whatever you enjoy about a garden, you can probably find in these gardens. There’s the sculpture Flynn made…

illustration for gardening in a warmer climate with tree roots from Omar Ram and sun from Connie Oswald Stofko

Gardening classes start Feb. 1 in Batavia & online

The Genesee County Master Gardeners will hold monthly Garden Talk programs in person at the Cornell Cooperative Extension office, 420 East Main St., Batavia, or via Zoom. The programs will start at noon on Thursdays and can be 30 to 60 minutes long, depending on the topic. This free series is open to all, but registration is required. For a Zoom link, click on the link for the program you want to attend. A Zoom link will be sent to your…

garden on Open Gardens in Buffalo NY

A look back on gardening in Western New York 2023

by Connie Oswald Stofko As 2023 comes to a close, it’s time to take a look at the year in gardening in Western New York. Let’s start with events. There were classes, workshops, exhibits, plant exchanges, sales and garden club meetings—all helpful and fun. (All the garden club meetings on my Events page are open to the public.) Then there were the garden walks and Open Gardens. More than 400 gardens were open for you to visit—for free! Garden Walk…

trees in Amherst NY with sky

Value of trees, plus more from Optimistic Gardener

Trees are valuable in many ways, and it really hits home when you link numbers to the value. Here are just a few of the statistics in the article “The Value of Trees By the Numbers” in the newest edition of The Optimistic Gardener: The Optimistic Gardener is produced by the Master Gardeners of Cornell Cooperative Extension in Chautauqua and Cattaraugus counties. Find the newsletter on the gardening page of Cornell Cooperative Extension in Chautauqua (on the lefthand side) and in Cattaraugus (on the…