six-pack of deer-resistant perennials

Pick up– or send– a six-pack of can’t-miss perennials

by Connie Oswald Stofko Some gardeners know exactly what plant they want and can ask for it by its Latin name. Then there are others, like me, who just have a vague idea of the plant they want. Something that deer don’t like, or something that hummingbirds or butterflies do like. Or maybe native plants because they’re usually easy to maintain. If you’re not sure where to go from there, Mischler’s Florist and Greenhouses can help. “We take the complexity…

bird in hanging basket

What can you do to prevent birds from nesting in hanging baskets?

by Connie Oswald Stofko Here’s a question from a reader: Have you heard of any way to deter pesky little birds from nesting in my hanging planters? Carol Thibault of Elma We love birds visiting our gardens, but I can see where it would be a nuisance if birds nest in hanging baskets. When you try to water your plants, you disturb the birds, and if you don’t water, your plants will die. Plus, the nest may mess up the…

two bees facing each other on flower by Stofko

Join the challenge to attract pollinators– bee one in a million!

by Connie Oswald Stofko No matter what size garden you have– even if it’s only a few containers on your balcony– we invite you to join the Million Pollinator Garden Challenge. One of the significant threats to the health of pollinators is the scarcity and degradation of plants that they use for forage. The Million Pollinator Garden Challenge wants to increase the number of landscapes of every size– including pots on a balcony– that have plants that provide the nectar…

hummingbird at Salvia

How to attract hummingbirds to your garden in Western New York

by Connie Oswald Stofko Hummingbirds are making their way back to Western New York, said Penny Durnin of North Tonawanda, moderator of the Hummingbird Forum. They’re hungry after their long trip, so now is a good time to hang your hummingbird feeder. You can track their migration on this map by Lanny Chambers at the Hummingbirds.net website. Dots are added as people send in reports that they have spotted ruby-throated hummingbirds. Durnin has very generously shared lots of great information…

chokeberry

Plantasia preview: Plants that look good & taste good, too

by Connie Oswald Stofko We buy plants with our eyes, said Ken Parker, CNLP, native plant expert and consultant. But when we choose plants that are edible as well as beautiful, we make our garden functional. “Plants are not just for aesthetics,” Parker said. And the edible plants that he recommends also attract pollinators, “so it’s win, win, win.” In this article, he shares some recommendations for trees and plants that that not only look attractive in our landscape, they…

butterfly weed

Why you should plant butterfly weed, plus more tips from Master Gardeners

Butterfly weed (Asclepias tuberosa) is a butterfly magnet. It’s a native plant and doesn’t get serious diseases. Not only that, deer usually avoid it. The only negative thing about the plant is that it has “weed” in its name, according to an article in this month’s issue of WNY Gardening Matters, produced by the Master Gardeners of Cornell Cooperative Extension in Erie County. See that article about butterfly weed here. You can also read about: A disease affecting spinach plants….

asters in Amherst NY garden autumn

Preparing for winter: Tips from Master Gardeners

The October issue of WNY Gardening Matters, published by the Master Gardeners of Erie County Cornell Cooperative Extension, is full of tips on what you should do in your garden now as we prepare for winter. Find out what you can plant now, what you should cut back and what you have to bring inside as well as more tips in the article “This Month in the Garden.” There are two other articles in this edition, too. Find out why…

vinca minor in Amherst NY by Stofko

Fungal disease may affect vinca minor, plus more info from Master Gardeners

If you’re noticing dying stems and leaves on your vinca minor (also known as myrtle or periwinkle), it might not be due to the dry weather. It might be a fungal disease. You find out more in the article “Potential Problem with Vinca Minor,” one of the articles in September’s edition of WNY Gardening Matters, produced by the Master Gardeners of Cornell Cooperative Extension in Erie County. In This Month in the Garden, you get tips on planting cool-season crops…

bee and milkweed flower in Buffalo

No, there’s no labeling on use of neonicotinoids in plants or seeds

by Connie Oswald Stofko I got this question from a reader: Hi Connie, How can we be sure that we aren’t buying plants that have been treated with neonics, or grown from seeds containing neonics? Is there a standard label to look for? Or certain brands that don’t deal in them? Thanks. Kristen Buffalo Since I’m not a gardening expert, I contacted someone who knows more about  neonicotinoids, which are used in pest control. I talked to John Farfaglia, the…

gull flying with reflection on water

Four fun bird-related activities that will enhance your gardening experience

by Alex Clark The only thing that can make a garden more lively than the bright, exuberant colors of flowers, is the subtle, yet amusing presence of birds. Here are are four things you can do to learn more about birds and enjoy them in your garden. The Great Backyard Bird Count Help out your community by participating in the Great Backyard Bird Count. This was the first online citizen-science project to collect data on wild birds and to display…