archer's gold thyme in Buffalo NY area

Herbs: versatile, tasty and easy to grow in Buffalo area

by Connie Oswald Stofko “People are so afraid of growing herbs, but herbs are easy to grow,” said Sue Duecker, past president of the Western New York Herb Study Group at the Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens. Duecker will present a free class called “All About Herbs” at 2 p.m. Saturday, May 14 at Zittel’s Country Market, Route 20 between South Park Ave. (Route 62) and McKinley Parkway in Hamburg. Although the event is free, please register at the…

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…

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…

garlic in Buffalo area

Get ready to plant garlic, and try different varieties

by Connie Oswald Stofko Garlic is a must-have for the kitchen, and it grows well in Western New York. What you might not know is that it comes in an amazing range of flavors, said Tom Szulist. He and his wife Vivianne Singer Szulist own Singer Farm Naturals, which specializes in growing organic gourmet garlic. “Spanish Roja is the king of all garlics,” Szulist said, pointing to some of the garlic he has harvested on the farm in Appleton, which…

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….

‘Perennial diva’ offers tips for summer gardens in WNY

by Connie Oswald Stofko “Not everything is hardy. The definition of a perennial is something that lives three or more years– if you don’t kill it.” Stephanie Cohen, known as the “perennial diva,” gave tips on summer gardening in the sometimes irreverent and often funny keynote address of the National Garden Festival in Buffalo (now Gardens Buffalo Niagara). The event was held Saturday, June 19 in the Nichols School in Buffalo. After the talk, Cohen signed copies of her books,…