seed packets from Botanical Interests

Reminder: It’s time to start seeds for cool weather veggies in WNY

Some cool weather vegetables can be started inside now–or soon–depending on the last frost date in your area. Other seeds are sown directly outside. As their name implies, cool weather vegetables can withstand cooler temperatures in the air and soil, which means you can plant them outside in early spring. Cool weather vegetables include broccoli, kale, cabbage, collards, endive and onions. See this previous article where Patti Jablonski-Dopkin, general manager of Urban Roots Cooperative Garden Market, explains the details of starting cool…

sowing seeds on snow in Western New York

Sow seeds right on top of snow in WNY!

by Connie Oswald Stofko We’ve talked about winter sowing before, and here’s another method for planting seeds outside during winter. I got this great tip from Linda Blyth of the Town of Tonawanda. “This is what we do with poppies, cleome, datura, bells of Ireland and a few others: sprinkle these seeds on top of the snow,” Blyth said. “Why? Because they all need a period of cold in order to germinate! Have you ever tried planting seeds in the spring…

annuals along pat in Orchard Park NY

Orchard Park gardener shares tips on annuals in sun, shade

by Connie Oswald Stofko There’s a lot to see in Pat Gurney’s large Orchard Park landscape, but what surprises many people when they visit during Open Gardens is her use of annuals. Gurney uses annuals to add color to shady areas, to fill in areas when perennials are done blooming and to add height or interest in an area. She uses a lot of containers, setting them wherever they are needed. Though she uses annuals, trees and perennials are the…

statues of face, dragon and Chinese warrior in Amherst NY garden

Statues & negative space can add a lot to your garden

by Connie Oswald Stofko “I find a statue, then think, ‘What can I plant around it to accent it?’” said Jim Bardot. The statue that was the inspiration for this garden is the Chinese head, situated in the very center. “It sat by itself in the backyard for years,” Bardot said. “I placed it here, I placed it there, then I brought it out front and found other things to go with it.” This Asian garden is one of the…

wintergreen Gaultheria procumbens

Native wintergreen, plus more from WNY Gardening Matters

American wintergreen (Gaultheria procumbens), a native plant, is an appealing evergreen groundcover, according to this article in the most recent edition of WNY Gardening Matters. Its glossy leaves emit a pleasant teaberry scent when crushed. Its white flowers are tinged with pink in summer and develop attractive red berries. There’s another evergreen groundcover with the common name of wintergreen, but it’s in an entirely different family. Learn more about spotted wintergreen (Chimaphila maculata) in this article, too. Also in this…

mini-greenhouse made from recycled plastic milk jug in Buffalo NY

Reminder: you can plant seeds outside now using winter sowing

by Connie Oswald Stofko Yes, I know there’s snow on the ground and temperatures have been in the single digits here in Western New York. But here’s a gardening task you can do outside now: plant seeds. It’s called winter sowing. You do it by making a mini-greenhouse and using seeds that take cold temperatures. Plant the seeds in your mini-greenhouse, set it in a sheltered area (such as against a fence) and wait for spring. When the temperatures get…

seven gardens in front yard in Amherst NY

Why hide your gardens? Amherst gardener has seven in front yard

by Connie Oswald Stofko Jim Bardot used to relegate gardening to his backyard until he realized: “I’m the only one who sees it. What’s the fun of that?” Now his gardens—seven of them—are displayed in his large front yard for the world to enjoy. “Why hide it?” said Bardot, who lives on busy French Road in Amherst. “It’s a thrill when somebody stops because they see me out there. One person said, ‘Thank you. For years I’ve been watching it…

bee and hose and compost represent sustainable gardening

NEW: ‘Sustainable Gardening’ course starts Saturday at Botanical Gardens

by Connie Oswald Stofko “Sustainable gardening works with nature so you don’t have to do as much work trying to control pests, diseases and soil issues,” said David Clark, CNLP. Clark, a nationally known horticulture educator, will teach the new series of horticulture classes on sustainability. Classes will be taught from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays starting this Saturday, Jan. 22 in the Administration Building at the Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens, 2655 South Park Ave., Buffalo. These classes are…

waterfall view from island planting

A look back at the year in gardening in Western New York

by Connie Oswald Stofko It’s time for me to take a short break over the holidays. Since this is the last edition of Buffalo-NiagaraGardening.com for 2021, let’s take a look back at the year in gardening. The pandemic was in the background of everything we did this year. At the beginning of the year, some events were canceled, such as garden club meetings and Plantasia, the premier garden show in Western New York. (We are optimistically looking forward to Plantasia…

Christmas trees made of tomato cages

4 holiday tips for gardeners in WNY

by Connie Oswald Stofko Keep your garden in mind as you celebrate the holidays with these four fun tips. Reuse a tomato cage to make a Christmas decoration. They’re simple to make. You can unwind the decorations and use them again as tomato cages next summer. When wrapping presents, choose materials that can be composted. You’ll be keeping items out of landfills, plus you’ll be creating wonderful compost for your gardens! Use this tip to water your Christmas tree without…