six-pack of deer-resistant perennials

Pick up– or send– a six-pack of can’t-miss perennials

by Connie Oswald Stofko Some gardeners know exactly what plant they want and can ask for it by its Latin name. Then there are others, like me, who just have a vague idea of the plant they want. Something that deer don’t like, or something that hummingbirds or butterflies do like. Or maybe native plants because they’re usually easy to maintain. If you’re not sure where to go from there, Mischler’s Florist and Greenhouses can help. “We take the complexity…

blacklegged ticks, adults and nymphs

Could you get sick from a tick while gardening in Western New York?

by Connie Oswald Stofko “Compared to 10 years ago, calls and questions about ticks have more than doubled,” said John Farfaglia, extension educator with Cornell Cooperative Extension in Niagara County. The geographic range of ticks has been increasing, he said, and ticks can transmit Lyme disease as well as other diseases. Are you at risk in your garden? Your garden probably isn’t a high-risk place, but the areas near your garden might be. If your yard has well tended beds…

seating area with southwestern feel

Scattered seating areas means there’s always a place to sit in the shade

by Connie Oswald Stofko No matter how hot it gets, you can always find a shady spot to sit in the yard of Sharon and Bob Rowitsch of Springville. They have made a point to create seating areas throughout their half-acre landscape. You can see their gardens during the Scene Garden Walk, which will be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, July 8 in Springville. Pick up maps at Fiddler’s Green Park, Franklin and S. Buffalo St., Springville….

Spirea japonica Double Play Candy Corn

‘Candy Corn’ has different looks on one shrub; orders for Great Plant Sale due April 7

  by Connie Oswald Stofko A shrub that has different looks from spring through summer is just one of the exciting plants that is being offered through the Great Plant Sale of the Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens. Hurry and order– The deadline to pre-order is Friday, April 7, and some of the popular plants get sold out. See the entire pre-order list and place orders online. No orders will be shipped; you will pick up your plants at…

spring bulbs sprouting

What does this warm weather mean for your WNY garden?

by Connie Oswald Stofko We’ve been enjoying weather in the 50s, and it might go up to 60 degrees Fahrenheit in the next few days. What does this mean for our gardens in Western New York? Spring bulbs First, if the snow in your yard has melted, you’re probably seeing spring bulbs such as daffodils and hyacinths sprouting. That’s usual for this time of year, said John Farfaglia, extension educator with Cornell Cooperative Extension in Niagara County. If you didn’t…

soap slivers to keep deer and rabbits out of your garden

Simple and cheap tips for preventing deer & rabbits from eating your plants

by Connie Oswald Stofko You can never have too many tips for keeping deer and rabbits away from our plants. Even if we find something that works, the animals often get used to that technique and we have to try something else. Here are a bunch of tips. One is from me, but the rest are ones that local gardeners have shared with me. (These tips are often shared in quick conversations, so I often don’t have the name of…

For desperate gardeners, new idea to keep deer out of your garden

by Connie Oswald Stofko I saw some beautiful gardens when I was in Atlanta a couple weeks ago to attend the conference of GWA: The Association of Garden Communicators. But since the climate is so different there, I wasn’t sure I would be able to bring back any tips that would help us here in Western New York. Then we went to the home of Lee Dunn and her husband Mike. There I saw something that should interest gardeners who…

annuals in pots in Amherst NY

What does this mild autumn weather mean for Western New York gardens?

by Connie Oswald Stofko What’s up with this warm weather in Western New York? We can’t predict these things with 100 percent accuracy, but because of El Niño, it looks like we are going to have a mild autumn and early winter, said John Farfaglia, extension educator with Cornell Cooperative Extension in Niagara County. Our winter may not be as cold as the two previous winters have been, “which would be nice for a change,” he added. We may not…

CD's to keep deer away in Amherst NY

Use old CD’s to keep deer & rabbits away, plus more tips on garden pests

by Connie Oswald Stofko When it comes to dealing with pests such as deer and rabbits, the bad news is that there is no single technique that works all the time. The good news is that there are lots and lots of things you can try. When I speak to gardening groups, I get a chance to talk with gardeners, and they’re happy to share what works for them. I’m always coming across new ideas on how to deal with pests….

deer eating at Tift Farm in Buffalo NY

Suburban sprawl isn’t taking habitat from deer; it’s creating havens for them

by Connie Oswald Stofko If you’re a gardener who has complained about deer eating your plants, you’ve probably had someone respond with “Well, the deer were here first.” But gardeners who have been in their house for a few decades insist they were there before the deer. They’re right. While many people think that we are encroaching on the deer’s long-established habitat when we build new developments, suburban sprawl is actually creating refuges for deer, said Paul D. Curtis, associate…