black-eyed Susans in Amherst New York

Share your extra plants in WNY

by Connie Oswald Stofko Doesn’t it break your heart to throw a wonderful plant on the compost pile just because you don’t have room for it in your garden? MAP (Massachusetts Avenue Project) wants your extra plants, and I bet there are other organizations across Western New York that would love healthy plants, too. MAP wants to create a beautiful fence line at their new farmhouse. They’re looking for perennial flowers, herbs and fruit plants. All donated plants must be…

coreopsis

5 reasons why you should plant perennials in autumn; there are fall annuals, too

by Connie Oswald Stofko Yes, you can plant perennials now, and there are advantages to planting in autumn rather than waiting for spring. While some people say you can plant perennials into October, the folks at Mischler’s Florist and Greenhouses recommend getting them in the ground by mid-September to make sure they get established before the first frost. The first frost can vary from year to year, and when you should expect your first frost depends on where in Western…

You planted white phlox, so how did you get pink flowers?

by Connie Oswald Stofko I got my white phlox from a neighbor maybe 20 years ago. They’re beautiful and dependable and slightly fragrant and I love them. But in the past several years I’ve been getting flowers that show up pink or slightly pink. Why? A lot of phlox are hybrids, said John Farfaglia, extension educator with Cornell Cooperative Extension in Niagara County. Two different plants are crossed to get the new plant. Without warning, the hybrid can revert back…

six-pack of deer-resistant perennials

Pick up– or send– a six-pack of can’t-miss perennials

by Connie Oswald Stofko Some gardeners know exactly what plant they want and can ask for it by its Latin name. Then there are others, like me, who just have a vague idea of the plant they want. Something that deer don’t like, or something that hummingbirds or butterflies do like. Or maybe native plants because they’re usually easy to maintain. If you’re not sure where to go from there, Mischler’s Florist and Greenhouses can help. “We take the complexity…

illustration for Meet the Authors in Buffalo

Are coffee grounds good for roses, plus why you should attend Meet the Authors

by Connie Oswald Stofko Does sprinkling coffee grounds around roses really help the plants grow? Yes, it’s true that roses like coffee grounds, but they also like banana peels and egg shells, said C.L. Fornari, author of the book Coffee for Roses: …and 70 Other Misleading Myths About Backyard Gardening. In fact, roses like any kind of organic matter. “People have been throwing their breakfast leavings around roses for years,” she said, but if you don’t want your roses to…

water in garden and closeup of slug

It’s a slug fest out there: dealing with slugs in Western New York

by Connie Oswald Stofko Everybody got some rain this past week, and some folks got a lot! Kathy Shadrack lives with her husband Mike on a hilly property in Hamburg. She edits the newsletters of the Western New Hosta Society and the Buffalo Area Daylily Society and included this in a recent hosta message: “We had a waterfall down our terraces and we have new mini-streams etched under our deck. Furthermore, our road was flooded—wait for it— at the TOP of…

fungus on crab apple

How to deal with fungus on crabapples, lilies

by Carol Sitarski Master Gardener, Cornell Cooperative Extension of Allegany County It’s raining, it’s pouring, and the fungal spores may be growing. This spring’s rain seemed to be nonstop. Don’t get me wrong— we needed rain to replenish our water tables, but with the good comes the bad. The bad is all the fungus that may start growing on our susceptible trees and plants. Already I have seen this happening on crabapple trees and Asiatic lilies in my area and…

hanging baskets in Springville NY

Weather is finally warm & there’s still time to plant

by Connie Oswald Stofko The spring was so wet and cold, everything is running two weeks behind. Gardeners couldn’t get plants in the ground when they wanted to. Perennials that should be in bloom now are lagging. The good news is that the weather now is great for planting. And the even better news is that there is still time to plant. “You can plant perennials throughout the season,” said Ethan Waterman, manager of Waterman’s Greenhouse, 12317 Vaughn St. (Route…

rose and buds in Amherst NY

Tips from Master Gardeners for June, plus wet weather tips

by Connie Oswald Stofko To prevent and treat diseases in roses, now is the time for weekly spraying, according to June’s issue of WNY Gardening Matters, published by the Master Gardeners of Cornell Cooperative Extension in Erie County. The tips on rose care are in the article on what to do in the garden in June. That article also tells you what you spray, including organic suggestions. The other articles in this month’s issue include one on the beautiful and…

hydrangea 'Diamond Rouge'

New plant suggestions: shade, shrub, annual

by Connie Oswald Stofko Whether you’re looking for something new or you need something to fit a particular need, check out these suggestions from Thompson Brothers Greenhouses, 8850 Clarence Center Rd., Clarence Center. Dawn Trippie-Thompson said that after they close their garden center for the summer, she and her husband travel to trade shows and test gardens to see the new introductions for the following year. Here are a few plants that are new to Thompson Brothers this season: a…