purple gladiolus in Buffalo NY area

Blooming in Buffalo area gardens now, gladiolus is flower for August

The gladiolus, which is blooming in many Buffalo-area gardens now,  is the birthday flower for August. I’m told you’re supposed to plant gladiolus bulbs in spring. That explains why they didn’t come up the first time I planted them– I planted them in the fall. After that fiasco, I again planted gladioluses (the plural is gladioluses, gladioli  or sometimes gladiolas). The only reason I tried them again was because I got bulbs as a gift.  (Technically, gladioluses have corms, not…

Heimiller Greenhouses celebrates 30th anniversary

Not your grandma’s garden plants: Trend is toward new varieties

Gardeners in the Buffalo and Western New York area have  more plants to choose from than they did just a decade or two ago. The plants are genetically better, too. This is one of the big trends Ron Heimiller has seen in his career as president and head grower at  Heimiller Greenhouses in Newfane. The business is celebrating its 30 anniversary. Breeders searched the world for plants that might do well in the United States and bred them for color,…

front yard in Niagara Falls NY 2011

Niagara Falls gardener shares tips on starting tomatoes from seed

First you notice the color, then you notice the fragrance when you visit the gardens surrounding the home of Barbara and Howard Sperry on Ashland Ave. in Niagara Falls. Sometimes Barbara likes to shake the lavender and other plants to better enjoy the aroma. The Sperrys shared their garden, along with many gardening tips, during the Historic Niagara Falls Garden Walk on Saturday, July 16. The event was presented by the Main Street Business and Professionals Association. Arts in the…

painted lawn in Lancaster NY

Painted lawn is eye-catching on Lancaster Garden Walk

The flowers in the garden beds are beautiful, but it’s the flowers painted on the lawn that get noticed first at the home of Karen and Bernie Farrell of 78 Brunswick, Lancaster. The flowers were painted by Karen, who has started her own business called Lawntastic, where she does custom painting on lawns. Their front yard was on display during the eighth annual Lancaster Garden Walk on Saturday and Sunday, July 16 and 17. Karen got the idea for her…

Vintage patio furniture is a highlight of Eggertsville garden

When Jim Tarantino moved 22 years ago into his home at 1069 Eggert Rd., Amherst, there wasn’t much of a garden. His major concern was erosion in the part of the backyard that slopes down to what is now Kadimah School of Buffalo. He built the retaining wall and planted whatever he could to hold down the soil, happily accepting cuttings from other gardeners. In the photo at left, these lovely plantings are actually outside his fence; his yard is to…

backyard in Cheektowaga NY

Cheektowaga man shares his love of gardening with inmates

When it comes to gardening, “We’re only limited by our imagination.” That’s what Tom Carlucci tells the inmates he teaches at Wyoming Correctional Facility. Carlucci shared his own garden with visitors during the ninth annual  Snyder-CleveHill Garden View. The event was held  Sunday, July 9 in the the Snyder and Cleveland Hill neighborhoods. The garden walk was sponsored by Univera Healthcare and the Harlem Kensington Cleveland Community Association. Carlucci is a vocational instructor in horticulture at the Wyoming Correctional Facility….

Tomaccio dried tomato

Tomaccio: 9-foot plants yield tomatoes that are great for drying

A new tomato this year is the Tomaccio, which has an intense, sugary flavor when eaten fresh or dried. Not only is the fruit supposed to be delicious, but the plant is a stunning specimen for your garden– it can grow to be nine feet tall! The plants at Lockwood’s Greenhouses are already four feet tall, said Teresa Buchanan, general manager. They’re getting clusters of tomatoes, too. But don’t worry, it’s not too late to plant, Buchanan said. In fact,…

completed container garden using Hollywood pop and drop technique

Container gardens: ‘Hollywood pop & drop’ and 3 more tips

by Connie Oswald Stofko Container gardens are great for decks, porches, patios, or anywhere that you need a touch of color. Mark Van Buren, owner of  Zehr’s on the Lake. offers four tips for keeping your containers looking beautiful all season long. Tip #1: The “Hollywood pop and drop” For quick color, try the technique Van Buren calls the “Hollywood pop and drop.” Buy a large hanging basket and a large container. Instead of filling the container with soil, just…

Swinging Linda coleus

Coleus provides color in sun or shade garden in Buffalo

by Connie Oswald Stofko Coleus is  “probably one of the easiest plants to grow in your garden,” said Doug O’Reilly, horticulturist and head gardener at the Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens. “That’s why I grow them.” A Coleus Show will be held from this Saturday, May 7 to Sunday, May 29 at the Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens, 2655 South Park Ave., Buffalo. Hours for the show are  10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is $8 for adults,…

Inticancha White Pink Blush frost tolerant annual

Plant annuals in Buffalo in April! New series available

by Connie Oswald Stofko A new frost-tolerant annual called Inticancha will be available at Mischler’s Florist and Greenhouses in Williamsville. “You can put it out in mid-April in containers or even in ground beds,” said Mark Yadon, vice president of Mischler’s Florist and Greenhouses. “It’s nice to get that kind of color a month ahead of time. “It’s nice to extend the gardening season, too. Here in Buffalo, that’s kind of important.” The Inticancha series is a dwarf alstromeria that…