Two questions from readers: million bells get brown, bleach on roses

Question #1: What should you do about million bells that get brown? Here’s a question from reader Jim Barbati: “Every year in mid-August my million bells begin to brown out on the underside of the plant. I think the cause may be white flies. Any ideas about how to control this? Thank you.”Question #2: Can you save a rose that was damaged by bleach? Here’s a question from Charlotte Luksic: “I sprayed my roses with water and bleach. Is there…

lesser celandine in Buffalo NY by Mike Fabrizio

It’s pretty, but invasive– Get rid of lesser celandine

Mike Fabrizio, a reader, recently sent along this photo and asked this question: “Just wondering what this weed is called and how to treat it on my lawn. Thanks!” This particular plant has special interest for me because it is growing in my neighborhood. When I first noticed it growing on my neighbor’s lawn a few years ago, I thought about  digging some up and planting it my garden because the flowers are so pretty. But I hesitated– If that…

Impatiens are dying; choose alternative shade plants instead

by Connie Oswald Stofko For decades, impatiens has been the go-to flower for the shade. But now that a blight is wiping out these wonderful flowers, you’ll have to rethink your plant choices for shady gardens. Some garden centers won’t sell impatiens at all this year, while others will grow a limited supply but will sell them without guarantees. Don’t expect to find impatiens at all next year. What should you plant instead? A couple of local events can help…

Broccoli from Burpee

It’s almost time to plant cool-weather veggies in Buffalo area

You’ll be able to plant cool-weather vegetables soon, said Julie Emerling, who is in charge of herbs and vegetables at Lockwood’s Greenhouses, 4484 Clark St., Hamburg. People know the rule of thumb is that you wait until Memorial Day to do most of your planting. That’s because for many of our plants, we need to wait until the danger of frost has passed and we have warm weather. The vegetables that we’re talking about today should be planted earlier because…

Cash prizes offered in photo contest, & more items too good to miss

Cash prizes offered in Jamestown Audubon Society’s photo contest The Jamestown Audubon Society’s Nature Photography Contest offers prizes in three categories and two divisions. The youth division is for ages 8-18 or still in high school and the adult division  is for ages 18 and over or post-high school. Youth and adult winners in the categories of landscapes, plants, and wildlife will all receive a $100 cash prize as well as free photo finishing. “Every winner receives a cash prize,”…

deer in Western New York from Donna Brok

Keep deer, rabbits & mice away, plus more items too good to miss

Keep deer, rabbits, squirrels and mice away with Bounce dryer sheets Use Bounce dryer sheets to keep deer away, says Bob Bracikowski of Opportunities Unlimited in Niagara, who showed us recently how to create a succulent garden. In the vegetable garden at Opportunities Unlimited, everything was being eaten, week after week. “During my lunch hour I could watch the deer eat the cabbage right in front of me,” he said. Then he tried a tip he got from a farmer:…

yellow evergreens from Kristen Reumann

Q&A: What’s turning these evergreens yellow?

Occasionally we post questions from our readers. This reader has asked around and hasn’t been able to find anyone who knows what’s wrong with her trees. If you can help, please leave a comment below. “These are my pine trees that have turned yellow. This is the third year they’ve been yellow. I’d hate to have to cut them down but they have become rather unsightly. No one seems to know what is wrong with them. The needles are holding…

rose in garden of Helen Waterhouse in Amherst NY

Q&A: roses, black-eyed Susans & sunchokes

Every so often, I get questions from readers that I can’t answer. That’s no surprise; when it comes to gardening, I am just a hobbyist. I’m able to bring you great information each week because I can interview people who know more than I do. So when I get questions I can’t answer, I turn to my readers for help. If you can offer advice on any of the questions below, please leave a comment below. And if you’re interested…

impatiens early signs downy mildew disease Margery Daughtrey

Disease that’s killing impatiens may return for years; no treatment exists

by Connie Oswald Stofko If you had problems with your impatiens this year, the good news is that you probably didn’t do anything wrong. The bad news is that your impatiens were probably killed by a fungus-like disease called downy mildew. The disease remains in the soil, so you should plan on planting something different in that spot next year. There is no treatment. “That’s the most challenging thing about it,” said Margery Daughtrey, senior extension associate with Cornell University…

formal beds in front yard in West Seneca NY

Couple expresses differing gardening styles in West Seneca

Carl and Doris Swan bought a house with three acres of land on Center Road in West Seneca as an investment property. After 43 years, they’re still there. “I figured we weren’t going to stay long,” Carl said, “but we did.” Over the last 10 or 15 years, areas that formerly were used by the children and grandchildren for playing ball are becoming gardens, and the Swans have developed different gardening styles. The Swans showed their gardens during the first…