two bees on a flower

Good news for bees, plus more from Master Gardeners

Due to the much publicized and well researched problems caused by neonicotinoids, the Environmental Protection Agency has banned 12 pesticides because of the harmful effect neonicotinoids have on bees, according to “Good News for Bees and the Environment” by Lyn Chimera. Unlike traditional pesticides, “neonics” are systemic, meaning that when taken up by the root system, the entire plant becomes toxic to insects. That article is one of the three articles in this month’s edition of WNY Gardening Matters, produced by…

David Mischler at Mischler's Florist and Greenhouses in Williamsville

Geraniums have changed in 70 years; celebrate with someone who knows

by Connie Oswald Stofko Geranium plants are better than they were decades ago, said David Mischler, 80. He should know. “I’ve been working with geraniums since I was about 12,” he said. Now the office manager at Mischler’s Florist and Greenhouses, he shares a quick history of geraniums as well as a tip about making geraniums look good for your next party. He will also be giving tours as Mischler’s holds its 75th anniversary celebration from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday,…

sundrops flowers in Grand Island NY

Perennials provide waves of color; supplement with annuals

by Connie Oswald Stofko “My garden makes me happy,” said Mary Vescio. “I love all the colors, all the different plants that are flowering.” Vescio shared her landscape on the Grand Island Garden Walk on Sunday. See the list below for gardens you can visit this week. Vescio has found that perennials are easier than annuals to use in her garden because perennials come back every year. However, the flowers on the perennials don’t last all summer. To maintain some…

metal garden chairs facing in different directions

Garden seating: Get inspiration on Open Gardens, garden walks

by Connie Oswald Stofko Garden seating makes your yard appealing in so many ways. It invites you and your visitors to gather and relax. It can provide you with a warm spot in the sun or a cool refuge in the shade. And a seating area can be the place where you enjoy the wonderful vista you have created. In this article, we’ll look at garden seating in the Amherst landscape of Connie Krueger, which you can visit during Open…

garlic plants with scapes

It’s almost time to harvest garlic; when can you plant?

by Connie Oswald Stofko You can generally harvest garlic in mid- or late-July. The foliage starts to die back, which is an indication that the garlic is ready. Once your garlic is harvested, you’ll have an empty spot in your garden until October, the recommended time to plant garlic. But do we have to wait until October to plant garlic? As we discussed in a previous article, maybe not. Last year, I planted my garlic in intervals starting in August….

oak leaves showing symptoms of oak wilt

Watch out for oak wilt in July, August

The good news is that oak wilt, a serious disease for oak trees, hasn’t been spotted in Western New York yet. The bad news is that it has been identified in Ontario County, southeast of Rochester, as well as in other parts of New York State. See a map here. The good news is that if oak wilt is found, steps can be taken to keep it from spreading. July and August is the time to spot oak wilt disease,…

garden beds in center of yard

Prepare for Open Gardens & get tips from Hidden Gardens of Eden

by Connie Oswald Stofko Open Gardens will be held on Thursdays and Fridays starting next week, so get your booklet now. The booklet lists the locations of the gardens as well as the times and dates that each garden is open. The organizers even included suggested routes to help you see all the gardens. The booklet is available for a $10 donation at many local garden centers– see the list here.  The Open Gardens are like garden walks, but they take…

Pretty native wildflowers & more from Master Gardeners

You might want to include Virginia bluebells (Mertensia virginica) or trillium in your spring garden. Find out why in two articles in this month’s edition of WNY Gardening Matters, produced by the Master Gardeners in Cornell Cooperative Extension of Erie County. Virginia bluebells (Mertensia virginica) is the loveliest spring native wildflower, according to the article by Carol Ann Harlos. Other good news is that Virginia bluebells are not usually favored by deer or rabbits. Another pretty native plant is trillium….

What type of rose is good for your garden? How do you care for roses?

by Bonnie Vitale, president of the Western New York Rose Society There so many different types of roses. Which one is right for you? Here are a few examples of different types of rose bushes that grow well in our area. You can also find out more about roses at the 70th annual Rose Show to be held by the Western New York Rose Society from 1 to 5 p.m. Saturday, June 22 at the Galleria Mall, One Walden Galleria, Cheektowaga. You’ll be…

Corsican mint at Mischler's Florist and Greenhouses

Plants to use in mini-gardens & full-scale gardens, too

by Connie Oswald Stofko You have probably seen mini-gardens on garden walks. There are vast fairy gardens and fairy gardens tucked under a tree and gardens in a tray There are yards with garden railways. And there are mini-gardens that have nothing to do with fairies or trains. Whatever direction you take, you’ll need small plants that give you the appropriate scale. Today we’ll talk about plants you can use in your mini-garden to mimic trees, lawns and flowering shrubs….