how to deadhead hanging basket by shaking

Here’s an easy way to deadhead annuals in hanging baskets

by Connie Oswald Stofko Here’s an easy way to deadhead some annuals in hanging baskets. I got this great tip from Kristin Pochopin, interim director of horticulture at the Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens during the recent Great Plant Sale. Instead of picking off the dead flowers one by one, hold the basket by the hook, as she is doing in the photo. Hold it close to the ground and shake the basket. The dead flowers will fall off…

healthy impatiens in Lancaster NYJune 2013 closeup

You can plant impatiens in your shady garden if you want to play the odds

by Connie Oswald Stofko If you want to plant impatiens this year, you can take steps to decrease your chances of having your flowers killed by the blight called downy mildew, said Margery Daughtrey, senior extension associate with the Section of Plant Pathology and Plant-Microbe Biology at Cornell University. One thing you can do is to plant your impatiens in hanging baskets where they might be more sheltered from the disease. You can also plant them among other plants so…

pansies at Mischler's in Williamsville NY

It’s time for pansies! Yes, you can plant them outside now

by Connie Oswald Stofko Pansies in blues, purples, yellows and oranges are displayed on long tables outside Mischler’s Florist and Greenhouses, 118 South Forest Rd., Williamsville. The exciting word in that sentence is “outside.” “When we put them out (on display), we’re confident that they’re ready to be out, and to stay out,” said Mark Yadon, vice president of Mischler’s. “We usually put them out the first week of April, but this year we’re doing them a little earlier.” The…

Waterman's Greenhouse in Springville NY

Enjoy a short drive to the country to get specialty services at Waterman’s Greenhouse

by Connie Oswald Stofko Sometimes when you’re shopping for hanging baskets or other containers of annuals, you wish you could swap out the plant combinations. The basket in front of you would be your favorite, if only it had that pretty grass that’s in the basket across the way. And this other basket is nice, but the flowers are orange and you really had your heart set on pink. At Waterman’s Greenhouse, you can get exactly what you want. Place…

flowers on sunchoke in Amherst NY 2013

Get free sunchokes & plant them now; tell us how they grew for you

by Connie Oswald Stofko It’s the time of year to harvest sunchokes, also known as Jerusalem artichokes, and for me to share them with local gardeners. I’ll give you some for free, but there’s one catch. You have to pick them up or get someone you know to pick them up. I don’t want to have to mail them. I’m in the Eggertsville area of Amherst. If you don’t get out this way, you probably have a neighbor or cousin…

osteopermum by Stofko

What you can do in your early autumn garden in Western New York

by Connie Oswald Stofko That muggy weather we’ve had this past week made it feel more like July than September. But Labor Day is over and kids are headed back to school. That makes many people think the gardening season is over. No it’s not! Here are a few reminders of things you can do in the garden now and for the next few weeks. Start a new garden Many people think spring is the perfect time to start a…

aster yellows on coneflower

Disease called aster yellows is affecting coneflowers in WNY; get rid of diseased plants

by Connie Oswald Stofko Margaret Raupp, coordinator of Open Gardens, brought to my attention a couple plant problems  that she noticed around Western New York this summer. Last week we talked about the lily leaf beetle, which is damaging lilies. This week we’ll discuss aster yellows disease, which affects coneflowers and causes the blossom to be deformed. “I saw it everywhere and most gardeners were not aware of it,” Raupp said. Bizarre green tufts growing out of the flower are…

begonia Whopper at Mischler's in Williamsville

You can still plant perennials & annuals– and there are sales!

by Connie Oswald Stofko A lot of gardeners seem to view Memorial Day weekend as a deadline. They think that all of their planting has to be done by then. Not true! “There is still lots of time to enjoy flowers,” said Mark Yadon, vice president at Mischler’s Florist and Greenhouses, 118 South Forest Rd., Williamsville. This is a great time to buy annuals for several reasons, Yadon said. The plants that you buy now are larger than the plants…

Jerry Powarski in his garden in West Seneca

Get tips on going big from this West Seneca garden

by Connie Oswald Stofko Go big. That’s the lesson I took away from the gardens of Jerry Powarski of George Dr., West Seneca. Powarski gave me a sneak peek last week as a preview of the West Seneca Tour of Gardens, which will be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, July 18 and 19. The garden walk season kicks off this weekend with the 10th annual Lewiston GardenFest, which will be held 10 a.m. to 5…

coleus Kingswood Torch at Buffalo Botanical Gardens

8 reasons why the Botanical Gardens uses coleus– & why you should, too

by Connie Oswald Stofko Coleus doesn’t get showy flowers, yet it’s the featured plant in the Celebration of Coleus and Color show that starts Saturday, June 13 at the Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens, 2655 South Park Ave., Buffalo. Even without an emphasis on flowers, this exhibit is a favorite among some visitors to the Botanical Gardens, said Jeff Thompson, director of horticulture. What’s the attraction of coleus? Today we’ll give you eight reasons why the Botanical Gardens showcases…