mass of mums at Lockwood's in Hamburg NY

Should you treat mums as perennials or annuals?

by Connie Oswald Stofko Are mums perennials? For almost all the varieties that you will find for sale in Western New York, the answer is no. Local growers will call them fall mums or garden mums, but they won’t call them hardy because they’re not. And they definitely won’t call them perennials. There are two reasons that mums aren’t considered perennials, according to staff at Lockwood’s Greenhouses in Hamburg and Mischler’s Florist and Greenhouses in Williamsville. The first reason is…

three season container planting from Mischler's in Williamsville

Learn the secret of this award-winning container– It lasts from spring to winter!

Here’s a great container called “Winter Green” created by Mark Yadon of Mischler’s Florist and Greenhouses, 118 South Forest Rd., Williamsville. You can plant up a container like this in spring and enjoy it throughout summer, autumn and even into winter. “It will stay nice probably until Christmas, even if it gets snowed on,” Yadon said. “More people have to do this.” Of course, the gardening season doesn’t end with Labor Day, and you can still plant up a container…

Create a no-bending, no-kneeling garden like this one in Buffalo

by Connie Oswald Stofko JoAnn Yager has a small garden along the fence in her backyard, but the plants there struggle. “They never grew,” she said, “and it was too hard bending and weeding.” This year she tried something new. Her reward is that she is surrounded by flowers and herbs and vegetables, plus she eliminated all that bending and kneeling. Her trick? She used containers on her back deck. Yager shared her tips during the Black Rock & Riverside…

A lot of garden is packed into small Buffalo yard– ponds, falls, hot tub & many plants

by Connie Oswald Stofko The description of this yard on the Garden Walk Buffalo map summed it up perfectly: A lot of garden crammed into a tiny space. Bruce and Renée Adams of 533 Auburn, Buffalo, have a backyard that is about 36 feet wide but only 20 feet deep, yet they manage to squeeze in two ponds, a stream, a patio table and chairs, a hot tub and lots and lots of plants. I visited their home during the…

Clay, tree roots & shade: Get tips in this video

by Connie Oswald Stofko I love Western New York gardeners. I tried waiting out the rain Sunday, but it just kept getting worse, so around 1 p.m. I made my way out to the Snyder-CleveHill Garden View, a garden walk that covers parts of Amherst and Cheektowaga. I stopped at the home of Terrie and Jerry Newman at 194 Lamarck Dr. The description on the map said they had struggled with clay soil, something that a lot of Western New…

container planting from Mischler's in Williamsville NY

Show off your talent in container design contest at Mischler’s & you could win great prizes

Mischler’s Florist and Greenhouses, which has won awards for its own container designs, gives you a chance to show off your talent and possibly win a great prize in its new Container Design Competition to be held Saturday, Aug. 2 at Mischler’s, 118 South Forest Rd., Williamsville. It’s free to enter. The first, second and third place awards are gift certificates from Mischler’s for $100, $50 and $25, respectively. The first place winner gets an additional honor: the opportunity to…

Garden walk preview: See how these Hamburg gardeners reuse scrap materials

by Connie Oswald Stofko “We never throw anything out,” said Ken Haberman of 39 West Ave., Hamburg. He and his wife Shirley have found ways to use scrap material in their gardens. When a driveway was put in, the extra topsoil became raised beds at the front of the house. Broken concrete was used to hold the soil in place and create a lovely terraced effect. When a chimney had to be torn down, they used the flues as tall…

Coleus can add color & height to shady gardens; see spectacular displays at Botanical Gardens

  by Connie Oswald Stofko “The colors are breathtaking,” said Jeff Thompson, director of horticulture at the Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens, talking about the coleus ‘Chocolate Covered Cherry’. “It will visually will stun you.” The colors in ‘Chocolate Covered Cherry’, which you can see in the first photo, are indeed mouth watering. A center the color of cherry candy is surrounded by a chocolatey brown. A thin border of  minty green traces around the edges. “The color combination is…

tip for planting containers from Buffalo Botanical Gardens

Tips on color and more from my sneak peek at Celebration of Coleus & Color

By Connie Oswald Stofko Because Buffalo-NiagaraGardening.com is the proud sponsor of the upcoming Celebration of Coleus & Color exhibit at the Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens, I was given a peek of what’s in store–It’s going to be spectacular! I got to see some of the containers being prepared for the show and Jeff Thompson, director of horticulture at the Botanical Gardens, shared tips you can use at home, too. Mark your calendar: The show will be held from…

pansy in Buffalo

Flowers for outside right now? Pansies. More cool-weather flowers available next week

by Connie Oswald Stofko In other years you might have been able to work the soil and plant some cool-weather annuals in your flower beds at the beginning of April, but not this year, said Mark Yadon, vice president of Mischler’s Florist and Greenhouses, 118 South Forest Rd., Williamsville. “It’s crazy,” he said.”It’s been too cold. “My advice for this year is to do your early plantings in containers.” Even if this past weekend’s snow has melted from your yard,…