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…

roof planted with flowers in Tonawanda NY

Look up– There’s a flower garden on the roof!

by Connie Oswald Stofko Denis Uminski said he should put a sign in his backyard that says, “Look up!” Otherwise visitors can miss one of the newest and most interesting features of the landscape: a flower garden planted on the slanted roof of the Uminskis’ garage at 95 Columbia Blvd., Kenmore. He and his wife Mary Jane got the idea during a visit to Plantasia five years ago. They had the garden installed during the second week in June, so…

Four spectacular ways to use succulents in your garden or home

by Connie Oswald Stofko The wonderful shows at the Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens can give you lots of great ideas that you can use in your own garden or home. Here are four spectacular looks from last year’s succulent show that you could adapt for your own home. Get more ideas at this year’s succulent show to be held from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily from Saturday, Sept. 7 to Sunday, Oct. 6 at the Botanical Gardens,…

gardens around inground pool with waterfall in Amherst NY

Amherst backyard with lavish gardens was setting for wedding

by Connie Oswald Stofko Pam Weinrieb  loved her home at 445 Lebrun Rd., Amherst, but she didn’t like how it looked in the front. So for years she concentrated her gardening efforts on the front. When her son decided to get married and wanted the 2011 ceremony in her backyard, she turned her attention to the backyard. The result is a 1.3-acre lot filled with lavish gardens. I visited during the Amherst Garden Walk, held July 20. Above you can…

front garden in Buffalo NY

Gardener goes old school with organic gardening in Buffalo

“We’re from New York City,” said Shawn King. “It’s all concrete there. When we got here and saw all this land, we just started planting.” She and her husband, Lew-Jean, have lived for 27 years at 166 Lasalle Ave., Buffalo. I visited them on July 13 during the Samuel P. Capen Garden Walk. “We’ve always had a garden,” Shawn said. “The love of gardening was instilled in me by my grandmother.” In the front yard, a neat arrangement of flowers…