patriotic heart light for garden in Buffalo NY

Decorate your Buffalo garden for Valentine’s Day with these lights

by Connie Oswald Stofko Your garden in the Buffalo area might not have much color this time of year, but you can change that by making your own Plexiglass light toppers. You can decorate for Valentine’s Day and other holidays, show your support for the Buffalo Sabres or other teams, or express your personal interests with these simple lights. This idea comes from Ben Sperandeo of Buffalo, who shared views of his yard as well as his lights with visitors…

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

Milk jug allows you to sow seeds outside in Buffalo area– now!

by Connie Oswald Stofko At a recent workshop at the Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens, David Clark shared this ingenious way to plant hardy annual seeds right now in the Buffalo area– outside! I love this idea because I always get itchy to do some gardening at this time of year, but there’s generally not a lot to do outside. I’ve tried to start seeds inside at this time of year, but it doesn’t work. It’s simply too soon…

plant tags by Anne Gareis in Buffalo NY

Make plant tags for your Buffalo-area garden

Right now you may be able to name all the plants in your garden, but next season, will you still know what’s what? Make these sturdy plant tags and you’ll definitely be able to keep track of your perennials. You can keep the tags outside all winter and, unlike flimsy plastic tags that get trampled by rabbits or pushed over by heavy snow, these wooden plant labels will still be standing in spring. Best of all, they’re so pretty that…

gazing ball in Kenmore NY

Light up a gazing ball, make a trap for fruit flies, plus more news

This is another one of those articles I like to think of as potpourri– a little bit of this and a little bit of that. I hope you find something that’s useful or entertaining. Light up a gazing ball. These instructions for making a lighted gazing ball, like the one you see at left, come from Kathi and Craig Schwab of Kenmore: “We used an extra LED light that we had, put it inside the globe and connected the lighted gazing globe…

mini greenhouse in Buffalo NY

Five great tips for starting new plants from cuttings

by Connie Oswald Stofko Even if you already know how to root a plant in water, you can make the process more successful with great tips from David Clark, professional horticulturist. He also shares tips on two easy methods for starting plants that you may not have used before. Clark recently gave two hands-on workshops on plant propagation at the Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens. He shared a wealth of information, including these five great tips: 1. Create a…

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…

herbed vinegar from your garden

Herbed vinegar makes a great holiday gift

by Connie Oswald Stofko Whether you need a hostess gift to take to Thanksgiving dinner, or you’re looking for a holiday gift with a personal touch, herbed vinegar is a good choice. Use herbs from your garden, buy a beautiful bottle for a couple of dollars and you have an elegant, yet inexpensive gift. It’s very easy to make herbed vinegar. I got the directions from one of my sisters. I didn’t follow the directions she gave me exactly, and…

tussy mussy at Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens

What is a tussy mussy?

We received a question about our article last week on the Victorian Week and Ivy Show at the Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens: What is a tussy mussy? A tussy mussy is a nosegay or an herbal bouquet or a small bunch of flowers, explained Lee Schreiner, a member of the Western New York Ivy Society. Tussy mussies date back to the 13th or 14th century. A small bunch of flowers would be attached to the wrist or shoulder….

Brad and Scott from Buffalo ReUse with cold frame

Make a cold frame to extend growing season

by Connie Oswald Stofko A cold frame is a terrific way to extend the gardening season. These can be used like  mini-greenhouses during the autumn in raised beds to keep lettuce or spinach growing, and in the  spring to keep tender tomato seedlings warm. Buffalo ReUse recently held a free workshop on how to build a cold frame. The workshop was led by Brad Kujawski, left, green space coordinator for ReUse, and Scott Kozak, resource educator for ReUse, right. If…