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…

Echinacea

To cut or not to cut: that is the question

Adventures in Organic Gardening By Laura Sileo-Lepkyj I tried an experiment this summer. I wanted to see how much difference it really made deadheading my flowers. Until this past growing season I had been a dedicated deadheader (not to be confused with a similar-sounding fan of the Grateful Dead).  I’d pop off a few Coreopsis tops on my way to the car, bring the pruners with me to cut off spent Echinacea on my way to gather vegetables, and so…

raised bed in Buffalo

How to create a yard that’s easy to maintain, yet colorful

by Connie Oswald Stofko If you want a yard that is colorful but easy to maintain, take some tips from this makeover. As we promised, throughout the fall and winter we’re bringing you articles on the Front Yard Competition that was held as part of the National Garden Festival in Buffalo this summer. Today we’ll take a look at 80 North Parade St., designed by Elbers Landscape Service, Inc. Before the makeover, three yew bushes were planted to the right…

straw flower in Amherst NY

Stretch the season with frost-tolerant annuals

by Connie Oswald Stofko We’ve had a frost, but that doesn’t mean you have to abandon flower gardening for the year. You can stretch the season well into November with frost-tolerant annuals. While many people are familiar with mums and pansies, there are many more choices, such as the straw flower, seen here. “Many people have them as annuals during the summertime, but they don’t realize the straw flower is frost tolerant,” said Mark Yadon, vice president of Mischler’s Florist…

look inside bee hive in Buffalo NY

Get a look inside a bee hive in Buffalo

by Connie Oswald Stofko If you want to make sure your garden has pollinators, you might want to try beekeeping, as we discussed in a previous post. Today we peek inside to see how a bee hive is constructed.  Building a hive would be a good winter project, or you can purchase a hive. Philip Barr, who presented a workshop on beekeeping for Buffalo ReUse, builds what are called Langstroth hives, seen below right. The hive is named for its…