butterfly weed

Why you should plant butterfly weed, plus more tips from Master Gardeners

Butterfly weed (Asclepias tuberosa) is a butterfly magnet. It’s a native plant and doesn’t get serious diseases. Not only that, deer usually avoid it. The only negative thing about the plant is that it has “weed” in its name, according to an article in this month’s issue of WNY Gardening Matters, produced by the Master Gardeners of Cornell Cooperative Extension in Erie County. See that article about butterfly weed here. You can also read about: A disease affecting spinach plants….

'Tiny Wine' ninebark

Order native plants by Feb. 11 through Friends of Reinstein Woods

Friends of Reinstein Woods is accepting orders for their native perennial plant sale through Saturday, Feb. 11. The sale will raise funds to support environmental education programs offered by Reinstein Woods Nature Preserve. “Native plants are an excellent choice for homeowners and gardeners,” said Brittany Rowan, Friends of Reinstein educator. “They are lower maintenance and use less resources like water and fertilizer than exotic varieties. Native plants can be used in all kinds of landscape features, from hummingbird and butterfly gardens…

planting by water

Riverkeeper wins international recognition; gardeners can help keep our water clean

Buffalo Niagara Riverkeeper, which works to keep our local waterways clean and healthy, recently won a prestigious international prize for its work. The Thiess International Riverprize is awarded each year to organizations demonstrating outstanding results in sustainable river basin management, restoration and protection worldwide. The award was presented Sept. 13 at the annual International RiverFoundation (IRF) Riversymposium in New Delhi, India. It includes a $150,000 cash prize. Buffalo Niagara Riverkeeper was recognized for its decades-long efforts to restore and protect…

monarch on milkweed

Author Doug Tallamy to discuss how gardeners can help rebuild nature

Historically, we have landscaped to add beauty to our yards, without much thought to the role that plants provide in maintaining healthy ecosystems. The way we think about our yards needs to shift, according to award-winning author Doug Tallamy. In an event organized by the Western New York Land Conservancy, Tallamy will present “Rebuilding Nature’s Relationships at Home” on Tuesday, May 10 at the University at Buffalo Center for the Arts on the North Campus, Maple Rd. and Flint, Amherst….

nepeta from Proven Winners

‘Solution gardening’ encompasses several gardening trends

by Connie Oswald Stofko Gardeners aren’t looking for plants, they’re looking for solutions, Dr. Allan Armitage told the audience of professionals and Master Gardeners at PLANT WNY’s Education Day on Feb. 5 in Depew. Armitage, a perennial guru, wrote the books Herbaceous Perennial Plants, Armitage’s Garden Perennials and Armitage’s Native Plants for North American Gardens. He also has a new app for Android and Apple devices called Armitage’s Greatest Perennials & Annuals. The advantages of the app over a book…

Learn about braiding, drying white corn at husking bee

by Connie Oswald Stofko A reader once asked me if only Native Americans were allowed to grow white corn. “It’s our traditional food, but anybody can grow it,” said Layfayette Williams, project assistant with the Food is Medicine Project of the Seneca Nation, which aims to improve people’s health through native plants and cultural initiatives. You can learn more about growing white corn and braiding it for drying during a corn husking bee to be held from 1 to 7…

flowers on sunchoke in Amherst NY 2013

Get free sunchokes & plant them now; tell us how they grew for you

by Connie Oswald Stofko It’s the time of year to harvest sunchokes, also known as Jerusalem artichokes, and for me to share them with local gardeners. I’ll give you some for free, but there’s one catch. You have to pick them up or get someone you know to pick them up. I don’t want to have to mail them. I’m in the Eggertsville area of Amherst. If you don’t get out this way, you probably have a neighbor or cousin…

butter and eggs or linaria vulgaris

Help a reader: What’s a good source for identifying native plants, weeds?

by Connie Oswald Stofko Here’s a question from a reader: Hi, I am looking for a book about native plants and weeds in Buffalo or Western New York. My friend likes to walk along the railroad tracks in Buffalo to look at the wildlife but he can’t identify some of the wild flowers and weeds growing along the tracks. Can you suggest a book I could purchase that would show different kinds of native wildflowers and weeds in this region?…

Learn how to have a pretty garden while being kind to the environment at Lockwood’s Fall Fair

by Connie Oswald Stofko We gardeners want to be kind to the environment, but it can seem so complicated. We may know that we should have a sustainable landscape, though many of us probably can’t define exactly what that means. We should be organic, which encompasses so many different gardening practices. Can we do it all and have a pretty garden at the same time? Yes, and gardening expert Sally Cunningham will tell you how during a talk at 10…

overall view of Bonnie Brooks' yard in Buffalo NY

Native plants and large greenhouse are attractions in this Parkside garden

by Connie Oswald Stofko The yard of Carrie Brooks, 773 Crescent Ave., Buffalo, is filled with plants, and many of them have a story. The forsythia came from a bouquet her daughter gave her. The branches stayed in the vase of water too long and rooted, so she planted them. After the bush has finished flowering, she allows a sweet pea vine to climb up and cover it with its own flowers. Japanese lanterns were used as the table decorations…