stinging nettle

Stinging nettle: weed or crop?

by Paul Hetzler, Cornell Cooperative Extension of St. Lawrence County If you have a nettle patch, put away the weed killer and consider yourself lucky to have this tasty plant. Many gardeners don’t like stinging nettles (Urtica dioica) because they are painful to touch. The plants sprout little hypodermic needles on their stems, leaves and even flowers. These glass-like silica-based needles, called trichomes, inject a mixture of irritating chemicals upon contact. So why would you risk putting it in your…

perennials in pot and beds

Mischler’s 49-cent perennial sale starts Friday; use perennials in containers & more tips

by Connie Oswald Stofko Mischler’s 49-cent perennial sale starts this week, and today we’re going to talk about using perennials in containers. We’ll also show you a couple of easy-to-maintain flowers that attract pollinators for your garden beds. The sale will be held from Friday, April 28 to Saturday, May 6 at Mischler’s Florist and Greenhouses, 118 South Forest Rd., Williamsville. Hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m….


Plantasia preview: Plants that look good & taste good, too

by Connie Oswald Stofko We buy plants with our eyes, said Ken Parker, CNLP, native plant expert and consultant. But when we choose plants that are edible as well as beautiful, we make our garden functional. “Plants are not just for aesthetics,” Parker said. And the edible plants that he recommends also attract pollinators, “so it’s win, win, win.” In this article, he shares some recommendations for trees and plants that that not only look attractive in our landscape, they…

'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?…