container of flowers on deck railing

Have fun with containers & accept failures, says Buffalo gardener

    by Connie Oswald Stofko Martha and Dan Meegan have many gorgeous container plantings in their yard at 35 Montrose Ave., Buffalo, which they shared this month on the Samuel Capen Garden Walk. But not every gardening project works out the way you plan. “You’re going to fail at some,” Martha said, pointing to a small group of sad pots. “I left those out for people to see.” I loved that demonstration of encouragement to her visitors! I always…

photographers in Buffalo garden

Be thankful: WNY is the envy of gardeners across the country

by Connie Oswald Stofko “We’re going to be the Buffalo of the south,” said Kim Halyak of Memphis, Tennesee. “That’s my goal.” Got that, folks? Gardeners in other parts of the country want to be compared to us! I met Halyak this summer during the conference of GWA: The Association of Garden Communicators, which was held in Buffalo. Halyak was one of the few attendees who had been to Buffalo before. Originally from Pittsburgh, she drove up with her sister to…

illustration for Meet the Authors in Buffalo

Are coffee grounds good for roses, plus why you should attend Meet the Authors

by Connie Oswald Stofko Does sprinkling coffee grounds around roses really help the plants grow? Yes, it’s true that roses like coffee grounds, but they also like banana peels and egg shells, said C.L. Fornari, author of the book Coffee for Roses: …and 70 Other Misleading Myths About Backyard Gardening. In fact, roses like any kind of organic matter. “People have been throwing their breakfast leavings around roses for years,” she said, but if you don’t want your roses to…

savor the beauty poster copyright Stofko

Thought for the day: savor the beauty

by Connie Oswald Stofko Well, it’s official. This was the coldest February on record in Western New York. It’s been a tough winter. Some of us got seven feet of snow in November alone. Even areas of Western New York that don’t normally get much snow have two feet or more on the ground. People are tired of shoveling, of trying to walk on snowy sidewalks, of driving through snow. Then there’s the cold. Day after day of below zero…

Groundhog Day 2015 in Amherst NY

People hated yesterday’s weather, but at least groundhog didn’t see its shadow

by Connie Oswald Stofko I used to think Groundhog Day was silly, but now I really like it. Not because it’s accurate, of course. Let’s take a look at what Western New York’s own Dunkirk Dave has predicted. Since he is billed as the world’s second longest prognosticating groundhog (or woodchuck), he has some experience. In 2012, Dunkirk Dave didn’t see his shadow, which is supposed to mean we would have an early spring. That year we had record-breaking hot…

Inspiration: Look for the diamonds in the snow

by Connie Oswald Stofko You have to brush off your car every time you want to go anywhere. There’s shoveling. Then there’s more shoveling. Then there’s still more shoveling. The air is so bitter that if it touches your forehead, you get brain freeze, also known as an ice cream headache. Only there’s no ice cream. There are a lot of reasons to irritated, fed up and cranky. If you want to pout and complain, you’re justified. And sometimes it…

Frozen in time: Roses are beautiful covered with frost in Western New York

Patty Brandel of Getzville sent in this great photo compilation, saying, “I thought you might like to see these beautiful roses that were frozen in time in my yard early this morning!” While that frost on the ground had many gardeners groaning over what they might have lost in the cold, Patty went outside with her camera and captured this spectacular sight. I’m glad she shared these icy images with us. You can see more great images on the Your…

Plant exchanges set, question on pine chips & more

Plant exchanges set Plant exchanges give you an opportunity to trade those extra plants you have in your garden for new varieties that you don’t already have. (I got my first sunchoke at a plant exchange.) If you’re a beginning gardener and don’t have plants to trade, you can still participate in these two plant exchanges. The Samuel P. Capen Garden Walk will hold a plant and seed exchange from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, June 1 at the…

Carol Franklin garden in Buffalo NY

‘Bloom where you are planted’ is motto of Buffalo gardener

When Carol Franklin is outside watering her garden on Prospect Avenue in Buffalo, people will stop and tell her what a good job she’s doing. They don’t expect to find city areas to look as good as this, she explained, but you can have a great garden wherever you are. “Bloom where you are planted,” Franklin said. I visited Franklin this July during Garden Walk Buffalo. Her welcoming front garden wraps around the side of the house and can be…