garden on corner lot in Kenmore New York

Corner lot? Small space? Shade? Get ideas from this Ken-Ton gardener

by Connie Oswald Stofko Julie Wood liked the house on a corner lot, but the tiny front and side yards needed some TLC. There was an area that was supposed to be lawn, but grass couldn’t grow. And there were thorny bushes by the sidewalk. “Why put thorny bushes there?” Wood wonders. “So people wouldn’t cut through the grass?” The landscape has changed a lot since she and her husband Jason moved in about 10 years ago. She gave up…

giant allium in pot courtesy Mischler's in Williamsville New York

Reminder: Plant tulips, allium & other bulbs now for spring flowers

by Connie Oswald Stofko In spring, people see giant alliums in their neighbors’ gardens, then run into garden centers expecting to buy that plant, said Mark Yadon, vice president at Mischler’s Florist and Greenhouses in Williamsville. “You can’t buy them in spring,” Yadon said. The same goes for crocuses, hyacinths, daffodils, tulips, fritillaria and other spring bulbs. If you want those flowers in spring, plant the bulbs in autumn. You can plant them now through mid-November, if you can still…

New England asters

Asters, slimey goo & more in WNY Gardening Matters

Check out the articles in the latest edition of WNY Gardening Matters, produced by the Master Gardeners of Cornell Cooperative Extension in Erie County. “The Beauty of Fall Asters: Native asters come in blues, purples, rose, pinks and white. Besides being beautiful, they are a very important late-season food source for pollinators, butterflies and insects. Ambush Bugs and Assassin Bugs: These two bugs got their names because of the way they kill their prey. Nostoc: What’s slimey, disgusting and gooey?…

flower on common milkweed in Amherst NY

For butterflies & fragrance, choose common milkweed!

by Connie Oswald Stofko If you like butterflies, you probably have a kind of milkweed called butterfly flower (Asclepias tuberosa). You may even have swamp milkweed (Asclepias incarnata). Consider adding common milkweed (Asclepias syriaca) to that mix. Not only is it a plant that monarchs love, it gets a pretty flower– and it’s fragrant! Dan Murak pointed out the fragrance this summer when I visited his landscape, which was shared on the Snyder-CleveHill Garden View. Another thing I like about common milkweed is that…

plumbago in Williamsville NY

Add color now to your late-season garden in Western New York

by Connie Oswald Stofko “There’s a lot of color here,” said Mark Yadon, vice president at Mischler’s Florist and Greenhouses, as he surveyed the tables full of flowering perennials and annuals at Mischler’s. As you look around your garden in late summer, do you still see exciting color? If not, try these tips. Plant perennials that flower now Go to garden centers such as Mischler’s now and you’ll see many perennials in bloom. Some of these weren’t blooming in late May…

Seed Share at Hamburg Library

Get free seeds at downtown library, Hamburg branch

by Connie Oswald Stofko You can get free seeds at libraries in Erie County: Central Library, 1 Lafayette Square, Buffalo, and the Hamburg Public Library, 102 Buffalo St., Hamburg. These are in addition to the WNY Seed Library at the Audubon Branch Library, which we talked about previously. The organizers at all these seed libraries hope that after you have borrowed seeds, you will save some seeds from the plants you grew and take them back to the seed library…

Spigelia marilandica or Indian pink

A cool perennial & more from WNY Gardening Matters

Master Gardener Lyn Chimera introduces us to a perennial with a pretty red and yellow flower called Spigelia marilandica or Indian pink in the newest edition of WNY Gardening Matters. While not native to Western New York, Indian pink is native to the southern United States. “This is a wonderful, unusual and pest-free plant,” Chimera wrote. “Hummingbirds love it, deer don‘t and it’s beautiful too!” It also attracts hummingbirds. “What’s not to like?” she wrote. See the whole article here….

formal gardens in Western New York in summer

See four-season garden in summer in WNY

by Connie Oswald Stofko You’ve seen it in winter, you’ve seen it in spring and now you get a peek at Tom Homme’s four-season landscape in summer. If you’d like to visit this Pendleton garden in person, you have one more chance this week. This is the last week of Open Gardens for 2021. Open Gardens take place Thursday and Friday. Like any other perennial garden, Homme’s garden changes throughout summer as one plant ends flowering and another comes into…

coral roses with pink dianthus and purple delphinium

Revamp your perennial gardens: height, color & more

by Connie Oswald Stofko A new trend–but not a good one– is gardeners asking for very small plants for perennial beds, said Jen Weber, vice president and manager of Mike Weber Greenhouses, 42 French Rd., West Seneca. “They come in and want plants that are four inches high or smaller,” she said. “From a distance, a four-inch plant disappears. Every single day I have to explain. It makes me shake my head all the time.” Could it be that the plants…

railroad in garden in Lewiston NY

See gardens, vendors & more in Lewiston GardenFest

by Connie Oswald Stofko “You pull into Lewiston and see all the flowers,” said Doreen Albee, second vice president of the Lewiston Garden Club. “It happens because of a dedicated group of 45 people.” The club’s big projects, such as the plantings at town buildings, are supported by the vendor portion of the Lewiston GardenFest. The Lewiston GardenFest will take place from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, June 19 and 20 on Center Street from 4th to…