archer's gold thyme in Buffalo NY area

Herbs: versatile, tasty and easy to grow in Buffalo area

by Connie Oswald Stofko “People are so afraid of growing herbs, but herbs are easy to grow,” said Sue Duecker, past president of the Western New York Herb Study Group at the Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens. Duecker will present a free class called “All About Herbs” at 2 p.m. Saturday, May 14 at Zittel’s Country Market, Route 20 between South Park Ave. (Route 62) and McKinley Parkway in Hamburg. Although the event is free, please register at the…

lily of valley

Lily of valley is flower for May

by Connie Oswald Stofko Tiny yet powerfully fragrant, the lily of the valley (also called May bells)  is a favorite for spring gardens. It is the flower for birthdays in May and symbolizes sweetness, purity and return of happiness. The scientific name for the plant is Convallaria Majalis. Lily of the valley is easy to grow. It is a perennial, so it comes back every year. It spreads and keeps its green leaves all summer long, so it can be…

Spicy scented sweet peas are the flower for April

by Ruth Syron The sweet pea is a charming cool weather flower that is the April birth flower. It has a wonderful spicy, sweet scent that is delicate, yet substantial enough not to be missed. The sweet pea symbolizes “thank you for a lovely time.”  I think this meaning fits the scent of the sweet pea because experiencing the aroma is a fleeting pleasure, hard to describe, but you feel thankful that you have enjoyed it.  The sweet pea also…

miniature butterfly bush in Burt NY

New small shrubs are great for tight spaces– even containers!

by Connie Oswald Stofko A new trend in gardening is the development  of small bushes that fit nicely into tight spaces– some are even suitable for containers! These new varieties preserve the characteristics we enjoyed in the larger versions. One example of a smaller bush is ‘Bloomerang,’ a very fragrant reblooming lilac introduced two years ago that grows only  four or five feet tall. That’s not like your grandmother’s lilac, which might have gotten 10 feet tall, said Mark Van…

rose in bloom in Lancaster NY

Can this damaged rose be saved?

by Connie Oswald Stofko Debbie Hageman of Lancaster e-mailed us this question: “I’m looking for information on winter damage for a rose (I think it’s an old fashioned rose) that split where the two main canes come together. Can they be glued or taped? Thanks for any information.” Yes, they can be taped, answered John Farfaglia, Extension educator at Cornell Cooperative Extension in Niagara County. “Basically you want to get those two pieces to hold together long enough for the…

prune shrubs in Buffalo

Now is time to do most pruning in Buffalo area

by Connie Oswald Stofko When it comes to pruning, the most common mistake people make is that they do it at the wrong time, said Sally Cunningham, CNLP, who is a horticulturist, author and garden consultant. Cunningham will join Rex Weber, CNLP, arborist at Bradley Tree, in teaching a pruning seminar on Saturday, March 19 at Lockwood’s Greenhouses, 4484 Clark St., Hamburg. “Where most people go wrong is that they go around like little squirrels and try to tidy things…

daffodil in Buffalo

Daffodils are the birthday flower for the month of March

by Ruth Syron Daffodils (also known as jonquils or narcissus) are the March birthday flower. In the Victorian era, daffodils meant, “You are an angel.” In the modern language of flowers, daffodils are a symbol of domestic happiness and friendship. Both meanings hold very nice sentiments. The daffodil is considered the national flower of Wales. On St. David’s Day, March 1, many folks wear the national flower on hats or lapels. The daffodil competes with the leek as the Welsh…

front view 48 North Parade St Buffalo

Designer in Buffalo chooses garden colors to coordinate with house

by Connie Oswald Stofko Everything in this landscape– including the stone– is done in greens, whites and purples. “The homeowner left the design up to us,” said Sean Haentges, owner of S & R Greenleaf Landscaping. “We incorporated the design with the house.” The design at 48 North Parade St., Buffalo, was part of the Front Yard Competition, an event in the National Garden Festival in Buffalo in 2010. As we promised, throughout the winter we’re showing you designs from…

tulip in Buffalo garden

Plan a garden to enjoy year-round in the Buffalo area

Last week we gave you tips on creating a garden you can enjoy during our Buffalo winters. In this article, we’ll give you ideas for creating a garden that looks great in the Buffalo area during the other three seasons as well. For examples of what you might plant, we’ll look to the garden of Wayne Gostomski and Tom Flanigan, who live in Buffalo. Their photos are used throughout this story. For spring color, think bulbs, such as crocuses, tulips,…

moth orchid or phalaenopsis close up

If you’re itching to garden, try easy-to-grow orchids

by Connie Oswald Stofko Your garden looks beautiful under its blanket of snow, but you may be missing the beautiful blooms it offered during the warmer months. If you’re looking for a way to grow flowers indoors over the winter, try orchids. People think they’re difficult to grow, but modern orchid hybridizing has created a wide variety of orchids that you can grow easily inside your home, said Joseph A. DiDomenico Jr., president of the Niagara Frontier Orchid Society. What…