Lavandula Munstead courtesy Ball Horticultural

Order now in Great Plant Sale from Botanical Gardens

by Connie Oswald Stofko For gardeners, one of the joys of winter is planning for spring! Start your planning now with the Great Plant Sale from the Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens. Not only can you browse through the selections now, you can order now before anything is sold out. Pick up your plants on May 19 or 20. (The sale will be online only this year.) Joe Mannion, director of horticulture, noted that the Botanical Gardens has contracted…

marigolds in Buffalo Niagara area

Here are my gardening resolutions for 2023–what are yours?

by Connie Oswald Stofko Landscapes are constantly changing. What you did last year may not be what will work for you this year. Trees and shrubs get bigger, making your landscape shadier. Or trees and large shrubs are damaged or destroyed during storms such as this year’s November storm or the Snowvember Storm of 2014. The effects may last for years. I had an arborvitae that was damaged during the 2006 October Storm when a maple tree fell into our…

yellow and orange pansies at Mischler's in Williamsville NY

Welcome autumn with seasonal flowers

by Connie Oswald Stofko Freshen up your landscape with autumn annuals. From traditional mums to a newer variety of ornamental peppers, Mischler’s Florist and Greenhouses has plants to brighten up your autumn landscape. Let’s start with mums. There are early-season, mid-season and late-season mums. They bloom at different times, depending on the variety. Early-season mums are available now. When I took these photos last week, the flowers were just opening. Some people like to choose a plant whose flowers aren’t…

colorful perennials at Mischler's Florist and Greenhouses in Williamsville

Reminder: Still time to plant perennials, some in bloom now!

by Connie Oswald Stofko Gardening season in Western New York is longer than many people think–it doesn’t start and end on Memorial Day weekend. There’s still time to plant perennials, including ones that are blooming now. And you can freshen up your garden with summer annuals as well as autumn annuals. And some of these plants may be on sale! Planting perennials in late summer You can safely plant perennials now through mid-September, said Mark Yadon, vice president of Mischler’s Florist…

daisy fleabane in Amherst NY backyard

Weed or volunteer in your WNY garden: daisy fleabane

by Connie Oswald Stofko Sometimes we get plants that just show up in our gardens. If we want to keep those plants, we call them volunteers. If we don’t want those plants in our garden, they’re weeds. An interesting plant arrived in one of my garden beds this spring. I didn’t know what it was and wasn’t sure whether it was going to be a volunteer or a weed. It grew about five feet tall and got pretty little daisy-like…

healthy plants at Mike Weber Greenhouses in West Seneca NY

How to choose healthy plants in Western New York

by Connie Oswald Stofko You’re at a garden center and you have found the variety of plant you want. There are several specimens to choose from. You pick up a pot. Is the plant you hold in your hand healthy? If it has something wrong with it, how would you even know? Jen Weber, vice president and manager of Mike Weber Greenhouses, 42 French Rd., West Seneca, explains what you should look for when buying garden plants.   Perennials and shrubs…

Great Plant Sale at Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens

Find unusual plants this week at Great Plant Sale

by Connie Oswald Stofko The Great Plant Sale will again be on site in the Administration Building at the Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens, 2655 South Park Ave., Buffalo. There is no admission charge. Your online gardening magazine,, is proud to sponsor the Great Plant Sale! I’ll have a table there, too, so please stop by and say hello! The Great Plant Sale will take place from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday, May 13 and from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m….

seedlings with seed on bottom

When should you start seeds inside for tender plants in WNY?

by Connie Oswald Stofko Tender plants, such as tomatoes, peppers and some flowers, need warm temperatures to thrive, so you want your seedlings to be ready to transplant ouside when the weather is warm. If you plant your seeds inside too early, the weather might still be too cold to transplant outdoors. When should you plant seeds inside to have the plants ready for your garden at the right time? It depends on what you are planting and where you…

pansies in a watering can at Mischler's in Williamsville NY

Get pansies now to brighten outdoor spaces, large & small

by Connie Oswald Stofko Pansies are in bloom now and can add color to your garden, porch or patio. While cold temperatures won’t kill pansies, temperatures in the 20s Fahrenheit can damage the blooms, said Jessica Limardi, who is on the staff at Mischler’s Florist and Greenhouses, 118 South Forest Rd., Williamsville. Nightime temperatures may get that low in the coming week. “Without a good thick blanket of snow, the flowers can get damaged, so pull them close to the…

sowing seeds on snow in Western New York

Sow seeds right on top of snow in WNY!

by Connie Oswald Stofko We’ve talked about winter sowing before, and here’s another method for planting seeds outside during winter. I got this great tip from Linda Blyth of the Town of Tonawanda. “This is what we do with poppies, cleome, datura, bells of Ireland and a few others: sprinkle these seeds on top of the snow,” Blyth said. “Why? Because they all need a period of cold in order to germinate! Have you ever tried planting seeds in the spring…