crassula sedum and string of pearls Mischler's Williamsville NY

Indoor gardening: Create a container of succulents during WNY winter

by Connie Oswald Stofko I know most of you are dreaming of spring right now. You can’t wait to get outside and arrange perennials in a garden bed or mix annuals in a container. Don’t just pout and wait for spring. Here’s a gardening project you can do right now: Create a container garden of succulents that you can grow inside. A project like this allows you to use your creativity, but if you’re a beginning gardener (or a lazy…

Amaryllis is great flower to grow indoors now; see show under way now at Botanical Gardens

by Connie Oswald Stofko The amaryllis is a favorite flower for Western New York gardeners to grow indoors at this time of year because there’s not much going on bloom-wise outdoors. Amaryllis bulbs are popular holiday gifts. My niece, Carrie Hoffman of Cheektowaga, got one and started charting its amazing growth. The plant can grow 1 1/2 inches a day! Amaryllis gets tall and has huge, trumpet-shaped flowers. It’s quite a spectacular plant. Find out how to care for your…

fruit fly trap in Buffalo NY

What can you do about pesky fruit flies? Please help this reader

by Connie Oswald Stofko Here’s a question from a reader: Dear Connie, We are annoyed by fruit flies. I have a few in every room. I have put out small dishes of apple cider vinegar, commercial “fruit fly trap,” sprayed the dirt in my plants with bug spray, no change. I have no fruit or food on counters. Actually, I think there are none in the kitchen, however, they are in the bathroom (no plants there). There is no one…

Houseplants gone wild: It’s fascinating to see them in nature

by Connie Oswald Stofko When my nephew got married this spring in his bride’s home state of Hawaii, I had the pleasure of traveling there for the big event. Besides the beaches and mountains and, of course, the beauty of the bride, one of the things that impressed me was being able to walk around outside and see plants that we know only as houseplants. The first time I had experienced this kind of thing was when we visited friends…

Snap your holiday photo with poinsettias at Mischler’s during Holiday in the Village

Looking for a festive backdrop for your holiday greeting card? Pose with a backdrop of hundreds of colorful poinsettias at Mischler’s Florist and Greenhouses, 118 South Forest Rd., Williamsville. This unique opportunity is part of the Holiday in the Village of Williamsville celebration presented by the Williamsville Business Association. The backdrop will be available from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Nov. 29 and 30, and Saturday, Dec. 7. In addition, beautiful classical and holiday music will be…

‘Snowball’ hydrangea takes you from Thanksgiving into the new year

by Connie Oswald Stofko In a rare occurrence, the first day of Hanukkah falls on Thanksgiving this year. But there are so many holidays at this time of year that many of us will be celebrating more than one in the coming weeks. In addition to Thanksgiving and Hanukkah, there’s the winter solstice on Dec. 21, followed closely by Kwanzaa and New Year’s and Three Kings Day. Oh, and Christmas. When you are looking for a flower that will bridge…

How to care for Christmas cactus in Western New York

by Connie Oswald Stofko Jeff Wilson, who has a Christmas cactus that is probably more than 85 years old, shares some tips with us on how to care for these wonderful indoor plants. We met Wilson and Luis Martinez on Garden Walk Buffalo where they shared their ideas for shade gardening. Wilson’s oldest Christmas cactus is a plant they call “Grandma” because it came from Wilson’s maternal grandmother. However, it had originally been owned by her mother, Wilson’s great-grandmother. Grandma…

Want an indoor flowering plant that’s really different? Grow tea!

by Connie Oswald Stofko If you want a really different kind of plant to grow indoors this fall and winter, grow tea. Yes, tea. The stuff you steep in hot water and drink. You can buy Sochi tea, a tea plant from the Sochi area of Russia, at Lockwood’s Greenhouses, 4484 Clark St., Hamburg. Our climate is almost, but not quite, mild enough to grow tea outside all year long in our gardens, said Fred Safford, who is in charge…

How to keep basil over winter: Free class discusses growing tomatoes inside, too

by Connie Oswald Stofko The days are getting shorter and colder and soon we’ll be seeing snow in Western New York, but you can continue to grow food plants– inside! In this article, Jak Kochems, horticulture consultant at Arbordale Nurseries and Landscaping in the Getzville area of Amherst, gives us tips on how to bring basil plants inside and care for them over the winter. If you haven’t already brought your basil plant inside, do it now– a freeze can kill…

Orchid Show set for Saturday & Sunday at Botanical Gardens

In conjunction with the Niagara Frontier Orchid Society, the Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens will host the fall Orchid Show Saturday, Oct. 12 from 10 a.m.to 5 p.m.and Sunday, Oct. 13 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Botanical Gardens, 2655 South Park Ave., Buffalo. Whether orchids are your passion or simply just a hobby, the Orchid Show offers beautiful and award-winning displays. Get your orchid questions answered. Specialty vendors will also offer a plant sale including merchandise…