alocasia 'Regal Shields'

Monumental growth in one season; you can get these plants now

by Connie Oswald Stofko If you are aching to garden, check out exciting tropical plants called elephant ears and red banana plants, which can grow to impressive heights by the end of summer. The best part is that you don’t have to wait to get started — you can grow them inside now! Those are are some of the plants you’ll be able to buy next week at Mischler’s Florist and Greenhouses’ booth at Plantasia. Plantasia, Western New York’s premier…

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…

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…

spider plant

Caring for spider plants, plus more tips from Master Gardeners

Spider plants are popular for indoors because they look great with a waterfall of foliage and little “spiderlets” of leaves. They’re easy to care for, too, according the article in this month’s edition of WNY Gardening Matters, produced by the Master Gardeners of Cornell Cooperative Extension of Erie County. Read more about spider plants here.  Also in this month’s edition, read: Fall fungi, which discusses mushrooms that pop up in your lawn Crazy about clematis This month in the garden,…

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…

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…

tiny gardens from Williamsville Garden Walk

You can enter Tiny Garden Contest in Williamsville; learn basics this weekend

  You can enter your own container garden in the Tiny Garden Contest, which will be held as part of the Williamsville Garden Walk on Saturday, July 21. You don’t have to live in Williamsville to enter. There will be a category for children 12 and under as well as a category for adults. The contest is still a month away, and if you’re not sure how to construct a container garden, you can learn the basics in a free…

trailing African violet 'Cirelda'

International African violet convention to be held in Buffalo; you can attend

by Connie Oswald Stofko People from across the United States, Canada and the world will come to Buffalo this month for the annual convention of the African Violet Society of America (AVSA), a a joint effort with the African Violet Society of Canada (AVSC). “I’ve even had people from Ukraine and Armenia contact me about how to get visas to come here,” said Judy Niemira, local co-chair for the convention and current president of the African Violet and Gesneriad Society of Western New…

front porch on Garden Walk Buffalo

Overgrown backyard becomes relaxed space for entertaining

  By Connie Oswald Stofko The front porch “is like another living room,” said Doug Lilley of Livingston St., Buffalo. “I love sitting out here. It’s peaceful.” When he bought this 150-year-old double seven years ago, the upstairs porch was rotting and needed to be replaced. An addition to the back of the house was rotten and Lilley had to lop off the entire addition. The backyard was so overgrown, it was hard to walk back there. Now the house…

container garden in front yard

Not sure where to create garden bed? Try it out with containers

by Connie Oswald Stofko Our front lawn is big and open, so it used to be the place to play catch or soccer. Now that the kids are grown, I thought I’d use some of that space for growing plants other than grass. Since the front yard is a bit sunnier than the back, I especially wanted to try vegetables, which need some sun. The problem was that I wasn’t sure exactly where I wanted the new garden to be….