Hamburg gardener enjoys the unusual– but stinky– voodoo lily

by Connie Oswald Stofko “It’s quite interesting; it’s not beautiful,” Fran Evans of Hamburg said about his voodoo lily, an unusual plant from Cambodia. Last year Evans showed us his many gardens that were filled with early spring flowers. At the same time, his six-year-old voodoo lily (Amorphophallus konjac), a potted specimen, bloomed for the first time. The blossom has a cool pitcher shape, decorated in regal colors of maroon and gold. I’d say the voodoo lily was pretty– if it weren’t…

Brierly explains hypertufa in Buffalo NY

Hypertufa: additional tips on using this material to make planters

Hypertufa is a concrete-like material that you can use to make planters that can stay outside all winter. In December, Anne Brierley of the Parkside area of Buffalo took us through the steps of making a hypertufa planter. But she had so many great tips, we couldn’t squeeze them all into one video. In the video below, Brierley gives tips on using leaves to make impressions, talks about coloring hypertufa and goes into more detail on the process of making…

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…

Brierly explains hypertufa in Buffalo NY

Hypertufa: What it is and how to use it to make a planter

Back in the 1930s, it was found that some Alpine plants grew well in tufa, a porous rock formed when water seeps through limestone. Tufa was scarce and expensive, so a few gardeners worked to find an inexpensive and accessible alternative. The product they came up with is called hypertufa. Hypertufa is similar to concrete, but lighter and more porous. You can use it to make planters in whatever size or shape you need. Anne Brierley of the Parkside area…

white glitter poinsettia in Amherst NY

Poinsettias are white and pink and speckled– explore new varieties

The traditional poinsettia is beautiful with its red and green coloring, but there are many varieties that you might like even more. You can see many new and nontraditional varieties of poinsettias at Mischler’sFlorist and Greenhouses, 118 South Forest Rd., Williamsville. Mischler’s grows their poinsettias right in their greenhouses in Williamsville. A new one is Picasso, which Yadon describes as “naturally airbrushed,” with shades of cream on red. One of my favorites is White Glitter, which is red with white…

pumpkins with succulents at Lockwoods in Hamburg NY

Easy way to turn a leftover pumpkin into a Thanksgiving centerpiece

If you have a whole pumpkin left over from Halloween, here’s an easy way to fancy it up for Thanksgiving. This idea comes to us from Becky Watts, CNLP, garden consultant at Lockwood’s Greenhouses. Take a whole pumpkin. (Note that the green pumpkin in the photo is a real, fresh pumpkin. It’s a variety called Ghirardelli.) Glue Spanish moss to the top of the pumpkin using Aleen’s Craft Glue. Watts said she spreads a band of glue about two inches…

fall planter in barrel in Amherst NY

Today’s video demonstration: Make a larger & more complex fall planter

Last week Colleen Morrissey of Mischler’s Florist and Greenhouses showed us how to make a super simple fall planter as well as a hanging fall planter in nontraditional colors. Today she demonstrates a more complex project: how to plant a very large container garden using a whiskey barrel planter. Morrissey packs in a large number of plants, which is a key to making the planter look full and lush. Here’s a tip: It’s nice to have a large variety of…

fall containers video in Buffalo NY area

Watch video to make super quick fall planter & hanging pot

Add some autumn color to a porch, patio or other spot in your yard with a fall container. This video demonstration is presented by Colleen Morrissey, herb manager and container designer at Mischler’s Florist and Greenhouses, 118 South Forest Rd. Williamsville. Morrissey starts out by giving suggestions for plants that are frost resistant and should take you into the middle of November. They include annuals, perennials, herbs and grasses. Plants are available now at Mischler’s. She shows you how to…

seating at night in Ken Ton NY

Get a nighttime view of garden that packs many flowers in small space

“It’s like an extension of your house, an outdoor room,”  Russ Polvino said of his fabric gazebo. “I love to sit out here and listen to music.” I visited during the Saturday Night Lights portion of the Ken-Ton Garden Tour held July 21 and 22, and visitors could see his gardens during the  day as well. Polvino shares the home at 1237 Tonawanda St., Tonawanda, with Doug Dedman. The gazebo at the back of the house really does feel like an…

mint water on Argyle in Buffalo NY

Make a refreshing drink & other items too good to miss

Minted water is a refreshing summertime beverage For an easy and refreshing drink this summer, try minted water. I tasted this light beverage in the garden of Kathy and Ed Burke on Argyle Park during Garden Walk Buffalo. Simply place mint in cool water and let it set. Mint is easy to grow and spreads quickly, so this is a great way to use large bunches. It was hot during Garden Walk Buffalo and visitors appreciated this summertime treat. You…