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….

fly on daisy

Tips on gardening for pollinators

When we think of pollinators, we usually think of bees. But any animal that carries pollen from one plant to another as they collect nectar is a pollinator. This includes hummingbirds, bats, beetles and even flies. More than 75 percent of all flowering plants are pollinated by animals. Since this is National Pollinator Week, we’re sharing some gardening tips on how you can help pollinators. This information comes from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and the…

daylily 'Princess Diana'

How to make daylilies look great for visitors; garden walk season begins

by Connie Oswald Stofko Garden walk season in Western New York starts this weekend with the Lewiston GardenFest–see details below. If you’re sharing your garden on a garden walk, or just plan on having folks over for a barbecue, here’s a tip on daylilies that will make your gardens look pretty. Liveheading daylilies If you want to make your landscape look attractive for visitors, here’s a tip for daylilies from Kathy Guest Shadrack, who does communications for the Buffalo Area…

reuse plastic container to protect garden plants

Can’t recycle those items anymore? Use them in your garden

by Connie Oswald Stofko Now that we can’t recycle as many kinds of items as we did before, can we find ways to reuse them in our gardens? We already use lots of odds and ends in our gardens, but today let’s reach a little higher. Let’s look specifically at items that you can’t recycle anymore — items that get thrown in the trash and end up in a landfill. And let’s look at things that you were throwing into…

horse in Western New York

Can horse manure keep deer away from your garden?

by Connie Oswald Stofko I don’t get deer in my yard, so I haven’t tested whether horse manure might keep deer away. But I know how desperate Western New York gardeners get when it comes to deer, so I figured I should pass along any tip that might help. I got this information from a blog post by Joyce Tomanek on Mother Earth News that was published in 1999. Tomanek lives in the Southeast, which may (or may not) make a difference….

lone star tick

Watch out for scary new tick, plus update on lily beetle

Two invasive insects — one that can make you sick and another that damages your lilies— are discussed in this month’s WNY Gardening Matters. The publication is produced by the Master Gardeners of Cornell Cooperative Extension in Erie County. Lone star tick The lone star tick (Amblyomma americanum) is a scary tick that is now in New York State, according to Lyn Chimera in this article. The bite of the lone star tick can trigger a very dangerous syndrome called…

flower twist tied to a stake

How to properly stake a flower

Some flowers, such as delphinium, may need support so they stand up straight and won’t break in a strong wind. Jen Weber, vice president and manager of Mike Weber Greenhouses, gives us tips on how to do it properly. Start with a bamboo stake that is taller than your flower. (You can get bamboo stakes at Mike Weber’s.) When you’re placing the stake, make sure you’re not too close to base of your plant. The stake should be at least…

North Tonawanda Botanical Garden shares tips on standing water & more

by Connie Oswald Stofko How can you deal with standing water in your yard? What can you plant to attract birds and butterflies? The North Tonawanda Botanical Garden Organization wants to share what they know about these topics and more. “Our ultimate focus is community education,” said Laura Pecoraro, secretary. The group, which became a nonprofit in July 2018, is in its fourth year of rehabilitating a long-neglected park. It’s located at 1825 Sweeney St., North Tonawanda, along the Tonawanda…