native groundnut

Guide from DEC offers ideas for plants for your water feature

Whether you already have a backyard pond or are just now starting to think about building a water garden, check out the Guide to Water Gardening in New York State from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. This guide includes visuals of some amazing recommended species and tips on avoiding harmful aquatic species. Here are some tips: Place your garden upland and away from waterbodies to prevent storms or flooding from washing away any plants or animals. Before planting,…

amaryllis flowers

Amaryllis: how to keep it blooming inside every year

by Connie Oswald Stofko Amaryllis seems to be the most popular flower on Buffalo-NiagaraGardening.com. Maybe that’s because it has a very large and showy flower– and you can enjoy inside in the winter! Gardeners who received an amaryllis at Christmastime want to know how to keep it blooming year after year. My friend David Clark, international gardening expert, has provided most of the information about amaryllis on my site. Below are links to the articles that you will probably find…

planting around bird bath

Make your landscape more interesting with 360-degree views

  by Connie Oswald Stofko One of the things I noticed in the North Tonawanda yard of Nancy and Charles Bachman was that at every turn, the view was different. It was difficult to take just a single photo of an area because there were so many interesting angles. I visited the Bachmans’ yard on the North Tonawanda Garden Walk in 2020. The Bachmans have a large yard, but you can use ideas from their landscape even if your yard…

Start planning your spring garden now

by Connie Oswald Stofko What’s the next best thing to working in your garden? Planning for next year’s garden! Here are some suggestions on how to make your garden even better than it was this year. What didn’t work? Think about things that went wrong in your garden this past year. For example, maybe your plants limped along because they didn’t have enough water during our hot, dry summer. Make a plan to address it next year. Here are some…

daffodils in garden in spring

Daffodils sprouting in winter: What you should do

by Connie Oswald Stofko I got this question from a reader: I was wondering if there is anything I can do with the daffodil bulbs which are starting to sprout leaves out of the ground because of the mild weather. I am hoping that I don’t lose all of them by the time the cold and snow cover them. Michelle I checked with John Farfaglia, extension educator with Cornell Cooperative Extension in Niagara County. Here’s what he said: “This can…

hill with gardens in South Buffalo

Turn a problem slope into a garden asset

by Connie Oswald Stofko A slope or hill in your yard can pose a problem. What do you do with it? How you make it part of your landscape? See how these Western New York gardeners turned their trouble spots into assets….

bee covered in pollen on swamp milkweed

Support fireflies, plus 4 more reasons to get rid of some of your lawn

by Connie Oswald Stofko Attract fireflies, support pollinators, save yourself some work and have cleaner air. Those are some of the benefits you can reap when you get rid of some of your lawn. Support pollinators Pollinators include butterflies, insects, birds and other animals. To support them, turn a section of your lawn into a garden and include native plants. Native plants are better than non-natives in providing what native pollinators need: nectar, pollen and seeds, according to the New…

funnel to water Christmas tree

Water your Christmas tree without bending using clever trick from reader

by Connie Oswald Stofko “I don’t have to get down on my hands and knees to water the Christmas tree anymore,” said Rick Martinez of Niagara Falls. If you have a real Christmas tree, you know you have to keep it watered. Here’s a great tip from Martinez that makes watering your Christmas tree a little bit easier. You need a small funnel and four feet of half-inch tubing. Insert the funnel into the tubing. Use zip ties to attach…

Four tips to keep deer from eating your plants

by Connie Oswald Stofko We can never get enough tips on ways to keep deer from damaging plants. Some of these ideas may work for you and some may not. And even if the technique you’re using does work, it may stop working after a while, so you have to try something new. Here are four new tips on dealing with deer in your garden. Recipe for deer deterrent Michael Sheehan of the Western New York Hosta Society says this…

living Christmas tree

Living Christmas tree: enjoy inside, then plant outside

by Connie Oswald Stofko One way to make Christmas last a little longer is by buying a living Christmas tree. You can decorate it, enjoy it inside, then plant it outside where it will grow for years to come. Living Christmas trees are available now at at Urban Roots Cooperative Garden Market, 428 Rhode Island St. Buffalo. “We have three or four families who come in every year,” said Patti Jablonski-Dopkin, general manager of Urban Roots. “You’d think kids would want…