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…

Thanksgiving still life in Amherst NY

When I count my blessings on Thanksgiving, I think of you

I hope this doesn’t sound corny, because I mean it. As we approach Thanksgiving, I realize that I have many things to be grateful for, and you are one of them. I started Buffalo-NiagaraGardening.com a little more than two years ago. It seemed like a good idea, but there were so many unknowns. It was the middle of the biggest recession this nation has seen since the Great Depression, and that seemed like a risky time to start a new…

canna lilies by fence in Buffalo NY

How to keep your canna lilies over the winter & 2 more tips

“I haven’t bought canna lilies in years because they multiply,” said Kristen Suto of Busti Avenue, Buffalo. We visited her lush front yard, which has a view of the Niagara River, during Garden Walk Buffalo in July. Suto has canna lilies in pots and in beds throughout her gardens. The yellow flower in the photo below is another canna lily. If you haven’t already brought in your canna lily bulbs for the winter, do it now. When Suto brings her…

Arbordale pond class in Amherst NY

Pond classes, Q&A & more items too good to miss

Pond winterization & other free classes set at Arbordale Classes on pond winterization, pruning and landscape design will be held at Arbordale Nurseries and Landscaping, 480 Dodge Road, Getzville. The 45-minute classes are free with pre-registration. To register, email info@arbordale.com or call 688-9125. Pond Winterization 6 p.m. today and repeated at 11 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 6 You’ll learn what to do with pond equipment, fish care, cleaning and plant care, and a few old wives’ tales will be bashed.  …