flower lettuce for winter seed sowing in Western New York

Is it too late for winter sowing in Western New York?

by Connie Oswald Stofko This could be the warmest winter in the history of record-keeping in Western New York. Yesterday it was sunny with a high of 53 degrees Fahrenheit in Buffalo, and overnight it never reached freezing. It was even warmer today—We broke the previous record of 64 degrees for this date. Maybe it’s too warm to do winter sowing. But then again, WNY will have a high in the 20s on Thursday. So maybe we can still do…

Moonlight Garden in Amherst NY

Amherst artist uses color on Open Gardens

Putting purple and orange together creates excitement in your garden, says painter Val Szeluga. See how it’s done in Val & Gene Szeluga’s Moonlight Garden in the video above. The video was created by Jay Jinge Hu, who shares his Williamsville landscape on Open Gardens. You can also see the Szelugas’ marvelous garden in person on Open Gardens in July. The Tours of Open Gardens Guide, which you need to visit these exceptional gardens, will be available at Plantasia. You can…

garden where ash trees used to be in Hamburg NY

Hamburg gardener lost 50 ash trees; see how she coped

by Connie Oswald Stofko When Carol and Rick Stumpf bought an empty lot for their home 30 years ago, ash trees were already established. A house and gardens followed and the Stumpfs enjoyed their landscape. “It was all shaded back here,” Carol said. “I had all my beds how I wanted them.” She gazed longingly around her huge backyard, remembering how it used to be before her mature ash trees–and many others across Western New York– were killed by emerald…

oak tree under utility wires in Amherst NY

Utility pole? Find out where to plant a tree; sales happening now in WNY

by Connie Oswald Stofko You don’t want to be that person—the person whose tree branch knocked out the electricity for the whole neighborhood. And you don’t want to plant a tree or shrub in a spot where the utility companies will do the pruning for you. The result isn’t pretty and it’s not good for the tree. That’s why you need to make sure you choose the right tree or shrub for your landscape before you buy one from the…

mature trees in huge backyard in East Aurora NY

Towering trees create spectacular landscape in East Aurora

by Connie Oswald Stofko Majestic trees rise high above the huge backyard of Kim and Seth Kaiser. “I retired a couple years ago,” Kim said, “but when I was working, this was my respite.” The size of the backyard itself, 200 feet deep, is remarkable. “Who would ever think this is back here?” a visitor wondered. Kim replied: “It’s a surprise!” When the Kaisers moved into their East Aurora home 33 years ago, “There were no flowers here,” Kim said….

A-frame over shrub in Western New York by Stofko

Prepare your garden for the next wave of winter in Western New York

by Connie Oswald Stofko The forecast for the coming week calls for daytime temperatures above freezing, so if we do get any snow, it should melt. That means you’ll have time to easily walk around your yard and prepare your gardens for another onslaught of snow. When the temperatures do get colder, chances are we will get lake effect snow again. Lake Erie still hasn’t iced over, so cold wind picking up moisture from the lake can fall on land…

bent arborvitaes after snow storm in Hamburg NY

Did snow & wind damage your WNY garden? Don’t panic

by Connie Oswald Stofko David Clark, CNLP has sad arborvitaes in his Hamburg yard. “They’re about 15 feet tall, but they’re bent lower than my knees,” he told me over the weekend. While that’s bad, it’s not as bad as it could be because the soil wasn’t frozen yet. The roots of the arborvitaes could come out of the ground a little bit and allow the shrubs to tip, preventing the trunk from snapping. Your azaleas and rhododendrons will be…

Flynn and Goldstein in their Open Garden in Buffalo NY

Bowling balls, cute creatures & more in flower-filled Buffalo garden

by Connie Oswald Stofko Are you ready to see colorful flowers, unique garden art and an overall beautiful landscape? In this video, Jay Jinge Hu, who shares his own landscape on Open Gardens, takes us on a tour of the gardens of Mitch Flynn and Ellen Goldstein, who will again this year share their landscape on Open Gardens and Garden Walk Buffalo. Whatever you enjoy about a garden, you can probably find in these gardens. There’s the sculpture Flynn made…

trees in Amherst NY with sky

Value of trees, plus more from Optimistic Gardener

Trees are valuable in many ways, and it really hits home when you link numbers to the value. Here are just a few of the statistics in the article “The Value of Trees By the Numbers” in the newest edition of The Optimistic Gardener: The Optimistic Gardener is produced by the Master Gardeners of Cornell Cooperative Extension in Chautauqua and Cattaraugus counties. Find the newsletter on the gardening page of Cornell Cooperative Extension in Chautauqua (on the lefthand side) and in Cattaraugus (on the…

early winter gardens in Amherst NY and East Aurora NY on the same day

Early winter (late autumn?) gardening tips for Western New York

by Connie Oswald Stofko I often write articles about what you can do your garden right now. But today, what you can do in your garden depends on whether you live in the northern part of Western New York or the south. Wyoming, Chautauqua, Cattaraugus, and Southern Erie counties are getting heavy lake effect snow. The rest of Western New York is looking at a few flurries. But as we gardeners know, the weather in Western New York can fluctuate….