Get a sneak peek of ‘Innuendo: The Secret Sex Life of Plants,’ then see it live!

by Connie Oswald Stofko Birds do it. Bees do it. And birds and bees help plants do it. In the video below, we bring you a sneak peek of “Innuendo: The Secret Sex Life  of Plants,” the kick-off presentation of Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens’ 2014 Science Café Series. In this entertaining video, David Clark, horticulture instructor at the Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens, shows us some of the strange ways plants create more of themselves. Clark is…

Gardeners who love birds: Participate in 114th Christmas Bird Count

For many of us, part of the enjoyment of our gardens is watching the birds that come to visit. You can help scientists learn more about the birds in our area by participating in Audubon’s Christmas Bird Count. The census events take place around Christmastime, from Dec. 14 to Jan. 5. The Buffalo Audubon Society and Jamestown Audubon will hold events, and beginners are welcome. The events are: Saturday, Dec. 14 The Jamestown Audubon will hold an event in Warren,…

Land Conservancy gets $500,000 to create Stella Niagara Preserve

An ecologically important parcel of land in Lewiston that supports rare plants is several steps closer to being protected as the Stella Niagara Preserve, thanks to work by the Western New York Land Conservancy. The Niagara River Greenway Commission on July 16 voted unanimously that the proposed preserve was consistent with the Niagara River Greenway Plan. Less than a week later, the Greenway Ecological Standing Committee of the New York Power Authority approved a $500,000 funding request. This grant is…

See monarch butterflies up close, buy milkweed plants at festival

Monarchs in every stage of their life cycle can be seen during the Monarch Butterfly Festival to be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 31 at the Audubon Center and Sanctuary, 1600 Riverside Road, one-quarter mile east of Route 62 between Jamestown, NY, and Warren, PA. The event will include a plant sale aimed at getting more milkweed, the only food of monarch caterpillars, into the community. “Despite a huge drop in the monarch population, we have…

Question on spotty mint, plus more gardening news

What’s the problem with this mint– and oregano, too? Jackie Fialkowski Gatas contacted me with this question: Does anyone happen to know what is happening with my mint? It’s also starting to show on my oregano. Don’t know if it’s a bug or a fungus. Thanks guys. Readers, can you help Jackie? If so, please leave a comment below. Background Sometimes readers contact me with questions that I can’t answer. I’m not a gardening expert– I’m a writer by profession….

Hang feeder now to welcome hummingbirds to Western New York

Hummingbirds will be arriving soon in Western New York. Get ready for them by hanging your hummingbird feeder now. “It may still be a bit early, but you really want the feeder up ahead of their arrival so that they find a food source as they are coming through,” said Penny Durnin of North Tonawanda, moderator of the Hummingbird Forum. “There will be very few natural resources available to them for a while.” If you want to track the hummingbirds’…

Junco by Terry LeBaron from Audubon in Jamestown

Learn to attract birds to your garden, then count them to help science

The Audubon Center & Sanctuary can help you learn how to attract birds to your garden and invites you to help scientists by participating in the Great Backyard Bird Count. Learn to attract and identify birds in your garden “Bird Feeding 101” will be held Saturday, Feb. 16 at the Audubon Center and Sanctuary, 1600 Riverside Road, Jamestown. You can choose one topic during each of the two time periods. 10-10:45 a.m. How to identify common backyard birds and learn…

Check on your amaryllis and other items too good to miss

I walked into my basement this weekend and was surprised to see that my amaryllis bulbs were leafing out. I shouldn’t have been surprised; this is precisely what they were supposed to do. I am forcing them to bloom indoors so I can enjoy gorgeous flowers in the middle of winter. But out of sight, out of mind. I wasn’t paying attention and didn’t notice their activity until the leaves were quite long and I had a flower bud. If…

bird feeders in Amherst NY

Need a gift for a gardener? Here are 5 great ideas

People who want to buy a gift for a gardener often don’t know what to get. They see an item that they think might be nice, but then wonder if it’s really useful or whether the gardener already has it. Today we’re going to give you five suggestions for gifts that gardeners will love. (If you are a gardener, feel free to drop a few hints by sending this article to someone you love. Or, print out the article and…

Northeast native flowers from National Garden Bureau

Perennial for 2013 is ‘wildflower,’ says National Garden Bureau

2013 has been named the Year of the Wildflower by the National Garden Bureau, the non-profit organization promoting gardening on behalf of the horticulture industry. Each year, the National Garden Bureau showcases a plant in each of three categories: vegetable/edible, annual and perennial. The showcased plants are supposed to be popular, easy-to-grow, widely adaptable, genetically diverse and versatile. The wildflower (though it’s more of a category than a plant) certainly meets those criteria. We talked to representatives of Lockwood’s Greenhouses, 4484…