Unusual plants: Don’t miss these Hot Picks in Great Plant Sale

by Connie Oswald Stofko In the Great Plant Sale, “We want to offer things you’re not going to see everywhere,” said Sharon Reader, volunteer at the Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens and a member of the committee that chose the plants for the sale. The deadline to pre-order is Friday, April 5, but if you want one of the really spectacular Hot Picks, you better order now — They often sell out quick. By the way, Botanical Gardens members…

lettuce plants in box on chair in Hamburg NY

Bad knees, no yard, little money? You can still garden!

  by Connie Oswald Stofko “I have so many friends who say, ‘I can’t garden anymore,’ said Margaret O’Brian of Huntington Ct., Hamburg. As they get older, they have bad knees or other ailments that they didn’t have to contend with when they were younger. She tells them: “You may not be able to garden like you used to, so just switch it up.” One way to do that is through container gardening. Container gardening is planting things in pots and other…

Sully garden in Eden, NY

It’s OK to kill plants– Hear Zampini at PLANT WNY’s Education Day

  by Connie Oswald Stofko “It’s okay to kill plants.” When I heard Maria Zampini say that, I gasped. Loudly! I know what she means, but it does take your breath away to hear it stated so bluntly. Zampini, co-author of Garden-pedia: An A-Z Guide to Gardening Terms, will speak at PLANT WNY‘s daylong Education Conference on Friday, Feb. 1. She shared tips with me in a phone conversation from her home in the Cleveland area. Zampini always tells gardeners that your garden is yours, and you don’t need…

flowers and vegetables in front yard

4 tips on using containers to create a gorgeous garden

  by Connie Oswald Stofko Previously I showed you my experiment with a container garden on my front lawn. That container garden wasn’t as successful as I had hoped, but I learned a lot and tried it again. This time it was successful and my neighbors told me they loved it, too! It didn’t look like much in May or June, but in July the plants filled out and it was gorgeous. We had a mild autumn, and the container…

white glitter poinsettia in Amherst NY

Poinsettias are easy to maintain, so why doesn’t yours rebloom?

by Connie Oswald Stofko We know that it’s easy to care for poinsettia plants. They can last through January and into spring without much effort, and many gardeners successfully nurture their poinsettias through summer. So why can’t we get poinsettias to rebloom the following year? And since poinsettias are so easy to care for, why do we buy the plants? Why don’t we start from scratch and grow poinsettia plants ourselves? “It’s difficult,” said Mark Yadon, vice president of  Mischler’s Florist and Greenhouses,…

container gardening on wheelchair ramp

You can do container gardening anywhere– even on a wheelchair ramp!

  by Connie Oswald Stofko Don’t have a big yard? You can do container gardening anywhere–even on a wheelchair ramp! Growing flowers or vegetables in pots is called container gardening. Container gardening counts as real gardening! I’ve seen it done in small spaces on balconies, decks and porches. I saw a clever example of container gardening done on a wheelchair ramp at the home of Dorothy Gambino during the Samuel Capen Garden Walk in July. Gambino chose the vegetables she wanted– tomatoes…

flat spot and hole in petunia

Don’t create flat spots when you water containers

  by Connie Oswald Stofko When you have a mixed container of annuals that includes flowers such as petunias, the plants are supposed to be in a tall, rounded mound with no flat spots. If yours don’t look like that, you’re probably watering wrong, said Jen Weber, vice president and manager of Mike Weber Greenhouses, 42 French Rd., West Seneca. To water prevent holes and flat spots, use a watering can and water slowly. If you have a spikey flower in the center…

container of flowers on deck railing

Have fun with containers & accept failures, says Buffalo gardener

    by Connie Oswald Stofko Martha and Dan Meegan have many gorgeous container plantings in their yard at 35 Montrose Ave., Buffalo, which they shared this month on the Samuel Capen Garden Walk. But not every gardening project works out the way you plan. “You’re going to fail at some,” Martha said, pointing to a small group of sad pots. “I left those out for people to see.” I loved that demonstration of encouragement to her visitors! I always…

get more flowers by deadheading video

Get more flowers by deadheading

by Connie Oswald Stofko Do you know how to deadhead? Deadheading is removing the spent flower from a plant to encourage more flowers to grow. In this short video, learn how to deadhead the correct way with Jen Weber, vice president and manager of Mike Weber Greenhouses, 42 French Rd., West Seneca. They grow Gardener’s Own™ brand plants. Mike Weber Greenhouses is one of the wonderful sponsors of Buffalo-NiagaraGardening.com…

colorful window box in shade

A tip for shade gardens, plus list of garden walks this weekend

  by Connie Oswald Stofko Here’s a quick tip for shady gardens: use annuals. I talked with Kathleen Pratt on the Amherst Garden Walk last weekend, and visitors exclaimed over how much color she had in her gardens even though her yard is so shady. One way she does it is by using annuals. Pictured is the window box on her shed. It contains wandering Jew, which is a plant many of us use indoors; begonias, coleus and fuchsia. The trailing…