tulip in Buffalo garden

Plan a garden to enjoy year-round in the Buffalo area

Last week we gave you tips on creating a garden you can enjoy during our Buffalo winters. In this article, we’ll give you ideas for creating a garden that looks great in the Buffalo area during the other three seasons as well. For examples of what you might plant, we’ll look to the garden of Wayne Gostomski and Tom Flanigan, who live in Buffalo. Their photos are used throughout this story. For spring color, think bulbs, such as crocuses, tulips,…

Marcus at garden workshop in Buffalo

Want to start seedlings? Build this frame to hold a grow light

You can start seeds anywhere– even in your basement– by building an inexpensive frame that holds a light. At a well attended workshop Saturday at Buffalo ReUse, Danielle Rovillo, ReUse’s community programs director, and Tom Arrigo, volunteer, gave a demonstration on how to build frames using recycled materials. The directions for building two different styles, an A-frame and a box frame, are given below. The A-frame is designed to hold one light and the box frame holds two. You don’t…

emerald ash borer

Ash trees threatened in Buffalo area

by Connie Oswald Stofko The emerald ash borer, an insect that might  be admired for its beauty if it wasn’t so destructive, is threatening ash trees in the Buffalo area. Although the beetle hasn’t yet been spotted in Erie or Niagara Counties, “Unfortunately, it’s pretty much all around us,” said John Farfaglia, extension educator at Cornell Cooperative Extension of Niagara County. “It’s not official, but I think it’s safe to say they’re here in some form.” The emerald ash borer…

moth orchid or phalaenopsis close up

If you’re itching to garden, try easy-to-grow orchids

by Connie Oswald Stofko Your garden looks beautiful under its blanket of snow, but you may be missing the beautiful blooms it offered during the warmer months. If you’re looking for a way to grow flowers indoors over the winter, try orchids. People think they’re difficult to grow, but modern orchid hybridizing has created a wide variety of orchids that you can grow easily inside your home, said Joseph A. DiDomenico Jr., president of the Niagara Frontier Orchid Society. What…

Miscanthus sinensis 'Morning Light' in Amherst NY

The grass that made me cry, and my best organic gardening tip ever

Adventures in Organic Gardening By Laura Sileo-Lepkyj It was potting day last weekend. Oh, how I expected the tears to flow. We’ll be moving in January and I had made a list of a few of the rarer items in my garden that I want to take with me: the newly planted peach tree saplings, the purchased but luckily never planted Japanese holly, the similarly unplanted Corylus avellana “Contorta.” Since the ground will be frozen solid when we move, I…

Western New York Garden Railway Keuther

Incorporate plants into your garden railway

by Connie Oswald Stofko Last week, we introduced you to model railways for the garden. To see one in person, check out the exhibit by the Western New York Garden Railway Society at the Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens, 2655 South Park Ave., Buffalo. The exhibit is running now through Jan. 2. Today we’ll talk about the gardening aspects of the hobby. When choosing plants for your garden railway, you want to look for ones that you can keep…

Western New York Garden Railway Henderson train

Add the element of motion to your garden with a model railway

by Connie Oswald Stofko Many  gardeners work with color and shape and water and aroma when  creating their outdoor spaces.  Consider adding the element of motion by installing a model railway. You can get a peek at a garden railway when the Western New York Garden Railway Society opens its exhibit the day after Thanksgiving at the Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens, 2655 South Park Ave., Buffalo. The society has chosen an Old West theme, with adobe buildings and…

H. Blue Mouse Ears sports in bowl by Mike Shadrack

Intrigued by ‘little’ hostas? Here are tips on caring for them

  by Connie Oswald Stofko “This is the ideal climate for hostas,” said Mike Shadrack. “They like a harsh winter. You can’t grow them in Florida or Texas.” Mike and his wife, Kathy Guest Shadrack, have written The Book of Little Hostas: 200 Small, Very Small, and Mini Varieties. Last week, they introduced us to this plant that enjoys a cult following, and in this article they share some tips on caring for little hostas. (By the way, the proper…

compost for garden in Buffalo NY

Are you throwing away what your garden needs?

by Connie Oswald Stofko If you’re not using your leaves for compost, you’re throwing away a perfectly good supply of nutrients for your soil. When you compost, you allow plant materials to decompose, which produces a dark material that is great for your garden soil. Granted, some municipalities pick up the leaves and do the composting for you. But as a gardener, you may want to try composting. It’s nice to have your own supply of compost on hand when…

Mike and Kathy Guest Shadrack of Hamburg

Hamburg authors write first book ever published on popular “little” hostas

by Connie Oswald Stofko The wife-and-husband team of Kathy Guest Shadrack and Michael Shadrack of Hamburg has written The Book of Little Hostas: 200 Small, Very Small and Mini Varieties, which is scheduled to be released Nov. 24.  “Little hostas are very, very popular at the moment, and their popularity is ascending,” Mike said. “They have a cult following,” Kathy added. “People collect them like tea cups or Hummel figurines.” The Book of Little Hostas is the first published on…