Got clay or rocks in your soil? Use pallets to create a raised bed– It’s simple!

by Connie Oswald Stofko You may be reluctant to start a new garden bed if you have a site that’s less than ideal. Maybe it’s full of stones that you would have to sift out or pick out by hand. Or maybe the soil is compacted or riddled with clay, so you face the prospect of having to work in lots and lots of compost to break it up. An easier solution is to create raised beds using pallets. This idea…

Miniature gardens tell a story with plants– Make them as gifts!

by Connie Oswald Stofko A cat is curled up in one of the Adirondack chairs at the koi pond. On the table rests a goblet filled with Merlot, and the glass dome has been removed from a plate of cheese. “It’s a miniature fantasy,” said Dan Meyer, greenhouse associate at Mischler’sFlorist and Greenhouses, 118 South Forest Rd., Williamsville. “It’s a comfortable setting that makes you feel good. And you’re telling a story with plants.” The miniature garden above has many…

Make food a permanent part of your Western New York yard with edible landscapes

by Connie Oswald Stofko When we want to grow food, we generally think of smallish plants that we would categorize as “vegetables” or “herbs,” such as tomatoes or zucchini or parsley. Today we’re going to challenge you to think bigger. When you think of food, think of trees and shrubs. The concept is called edible landscapes, said Fred Safford, who is in charge of trees and shrubs at Lockwood’s Greenhouses, 4484 Clark Street, Hamburg. It’s a way to work with…

Get custom potting mix for indoor plants at Lockwood’s

Now is a good time to repot your houseplants, but don’t use just any soil—Use what the professionals use at Lockwood’s Garden Center, 4484 Clark Street, Hamburg. Lockwood’s Garden Center creates their own soilless potting medium, and you can buy the same mixture they use. It contains a slow-release fertilizer and is great for African violets, houseplants and outdoor window boxes and pots. While you’re there, pick up some new houseplants, too. Lockwood’s carries a wide variety of plants including…

crassula sedum and string of pearls Mischler's Williamsville NY

Indoor gardening: Create a container of succulents during WNY winter

by Connie Oswald Stofko I know most of you are dreaming of spring right now. You can’t wait to get outside and arrange perennials in a garden bed or mix annuals in a container. Don’t just pout and wait for spring. Here’s a gardening project you can do right now: Create a container garden of succulents that you can grow inside. A project like this allows you to use your creativity, but if you’re a beginning gardener (or a lazy…

Amaryllis is great flower to grow indoors now; see show under way now at Botanical Gardens

by Connie Oswald Stofko The amaryllis is a favorite flower for Western New York gardeners to grow indoors at this time of year because there’s not much going on bloom-wise outdoors. Amaryllis bulbs are popular holiday gifts. My niece, Carrie Hoffman of Cheektowaga, got one and started charting its amazing growth. The plant can grow 1 1/2 inches a day! Amaryllis gets tall and has huge, trumpet-shaped flowers. It’s quite a spectacular plant. Find out how to care for your…

grow tunnel in Buffalo NY

Grow tunnel lets you grow veggies during winter in Western New York

by Connie Oswald Stofko The temperature was in the teens this past weekend, but the vegetables in the grow tunnel at City Honors School in Buffalo are still going strong. In this video, Caesandra Seawell, garden manager, shows us how the grow tunnel can extend the gardening season, allowing us to grow vegetables in autumn and winter in Western New York. She describes how the grow tunnel was constructed, and it seems pretty easy. There have been some developments since…

How to keep basil over winter: Free class discusses growing tomatoes inside, too

by Connie Oswald Stofko The days are getting shorter and colder and soon we’ll be seeing snow in Western New York, but you can continue to grow food plants– inside! In this article, Jak Kochems, horticulture consultant at Arbordale Nurseries and Landscaping in the Getzville area of Amherst, gives us tips on how to bring basil plants inside and care for them over the winter. If you haven’t already brought your basil plant inside, do it now– a freeze can kill…

Now is the time to plant cold tolerant annuals, spring bulbs

You can add color to your autumn garden now with cold tolerant annuals. You can find many varieties, grown on site, at Mischler’s Florist and Greenhouses, 118 South Forest Rd., Amherst. Winter pansies, seen here, are popular. They’re frost tolerant and capable of withstanding our unpredictable fall weather. If you plant them in containers, they’re annuals, but if you plant them in the ground, they might come back in the spring. Ornamental kale and mums are favorites for autumn, but…

Learn to make a fairy garden with holiday theme in hands-on classes at Mischler’s

Learn how to make a fairy garden with a Halloween or Christmas theme in workshops to be held Friday and Saturday, Sept. 27 and 28 at Mischler’s Florist and Greenhouses, 118 South Forest Rd., Williamsville. Workshops will be held at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. each day. Each workshop will last about two hours. The first half of each workshop will consist of an explanation and demonstration by Mischler’s creative staff.  The second half of the workshop will be hands-on, with…