patio furniture from pallets in Western New York

Use trash to make vertical garden, plant tags– even furniture!

Items that normally might have been thrown away found new uses in a student exhibit in March at Plantasia, Western New York’s premier garden and landscape show. Aluminum cans became plant tags, coat hangers helped support vining plants and pallets became an A-frame vertical planter and an entire suite of patio furniture! The exhibit was created by students in the horticulture programs at Niagara County Community College (NCCC) and the adult education program at McKinley High School as well as…

Broccoli from Burpee

It’s almost time to plant cool-weather veggies in Buffalo area

You’ll be able to plant cool-weather vegetables soon, said Julie Emerling, who is in charge of herbs and vegetables at Lockwood’s Greenhouses, 4484 Clark St., Hamburg. People know the rule of thumb is that you wait until Memorial Day to do most of your planting. That’s because for many of our plants, we need to wait until the danger of frost has passed and we have warm weather. The vegetables that we’re talking about today should be planted earlier because…

anthurium available at Mischler's

7 great plants to create a tropical feeling in your backyard oasis

Want to add a tropical feeling to your yard? Here are seven plant suggestions from the folks at Mischler’s Florist and Greenhouses, 118 South Forest Road, Williamsville. You can see some of these plants when you visit Mischler’s next week at Plantasia, which has a theme of “Backyard Oasis.” (See the related article for details on Plantasia.) Check out these plants to add a tropical feeling to your backyard. #1, 2 and 3: Anthurium, peace lilies and other indoor plants…

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…