poinsettia 'Christmas Mouse' at Mischler's Florist and Greenhouses

So cute! Poinsettia ‘petals’ shaped like mouse ears at Mischler’s

by Connie Oswald Stofko We gardeners tend to look for color when we choose plants, but shape can add interest, too. Let’s take a look at three varieties of poinsettias at Mischler’s Florist and Greenhouses, located at 118 South Forest Rd., Williamsville. All three are red, but each has “petals” with different shapes. Tip: What we think of as flower petals on poinsettias aren’t really petals. They’re bracts, a kind of leaf. Technically, the flower isn’t the colorful part; it’s…

branch of Christmas tree with ornament

Buy locally in WNY: Christmas trees & more

by Connie Oswald Stofko I just received this reminder: You can buy Christmas trees grown right here in Western New York. “Purchasing a local tree is easy and affordable, and it helps support our local agriculture industry,” said Cassandra Skal, Agriculture Program coordinator with Cornell Cooperative Extension of Chautauqua County. You can also purchase meat, including hams, turkeys and lamb, from local producers. For details on where you can get farm products, check out the Chautauqua Grown directory here. See…

gift bag that is compostable

Make gift bags you can compost in WNY

by Connie Oswald Stofko Have you accumulated extra paper bags since the ban on plastic bags at stores went into effect in New York State? I have. And I’ve done it on purpose. The other day I stopped into a store and bought one small item. It wasn’t raining out; I could have easily carried the item to my car with no help from a bag. But when the cashier asked me if I wanted a bag for just a…

child next to large poinsettia at Mischler's in Williamsville NY

Twice-as-tall poinsettias now available at Mischler’s

by Connie Oswald Stofko Most poinsettias are 18 inches tall, but Mischler’s Florist and Greenhouses offers poinsettias that are about three feet tall–twice as tall as other poinsettias. One recent shopper called them “magnificent,” said Mark Yadon, vice president at Mischler’s. While they’re unusual, these poinsettias are, oddly enough, traditional, too. They aren’t a different variety of poinsettia; they’re just grown differently. Typically, poinsettias are pinched back (which means cutting back some stems), Yadon explained. That encourages the plant to branch…

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…

'Autumn Leaves' poinsettia at Mischler's in Williamsville NY

Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day, poinsettias help you celebrate!

by Connie Oswald Stofko Poinsettias are wonderful for all the winter holidays, from Thanksgiving to New Year’s. You can use them to decorate your home or give them as gifts. The colorful part of the poinsettia that looks like a flower petal is actually a bract, a kind of leaf. Poinsettias come in many different colors. Here are just three from Mischler’s Florist and Greenhouses in Williamsville: ‘Autumn Leaves’, which has bracts in autumny orange tones ‘Princettia’, the whitest poinsettia…

funnel to water Christmas tree

Water your Christmas tree without bending using clever trick from reader

by Connie Oswald Stofko “I don’t have to get down on my hands and knees to water the Christmas tree anymore,” said Rick Martinez of Niagara Falls. If you have a real Christmas tree, you know you have to keep it watered. Here’s a great tip from Martinez that makes watering your Christmas tree a little bit easier. You need a small funnel and four feet of half-inch tubing. Insert the funnel into the tubing. Use zip ties to attach…

living Christmas tree

Living Christmas tree: enjoy inside, then plant outside

by Connie Oswald Stofko One way to make Christmas last a little longer is by buying a living Christmas tree. You can decorate it, enjoy it inside, then plant it outside where it will grow for years to come. Living Christmas trees are available now at at Urban Roots Cooperative Garden Market, 428 Rhode Island St. Buffalo. “We have three or four families who come in every year,” said Patti Jablonski-Dopkin, general manager of Urban Roots. “You’d think kids would want…

snowball hydrangea

4 ideas for hostess gifts and holiday gifts for gardeners

by Connie Oswald Stofko Thanksgiving is this Thursday, and from there we rush headlong into any number of holiday celebrations. Here are four ideas for thoughtful gifts to give gardeners and non-gardeners alike. ‘Snowball’ hydrangea We’re starting off with the ‘Snowball’ hydrangea because it can serve as a festive accent in your home from Thanksgiving through all the winter holidays. This potted plant will last probably a couple months, according to Mischler’s Florist and Greenhouses, 118 South Forest Rd., Williamsville….

white glitter poinsettia in Amherst NY

Poinsettias are easy to maintain, so why doesn’t yours rebloom?

by Connie Oswald Stofko We know that it’s easy to care for poinsettia plants. They can last through January and into spring without much effort, and many gardeners successfully nurture their poinsettias through summer. So why can’t we get poinsettias to rebloom the following year? And since poinsettias are so easy to care for, why do we buy the plants? Why don’t we start from scratch and grow poinsettia plants ourselves? “It’s difficult,” said Mark Yadon, vice president of  Mischler’s Florist and Greenhouses,…