QueenMoonstone rose in Western New York

June’s birthday flower is the rose, called the world’s favorite flower

by Connie Oswald Stofko Feel fortunate if your birthday is in June. Your birthday flower is the rose, which is called the world’s favorite flower, according to an exhibit last summer at the Buffalo and Erie County Public Library. Roses were in such high demand during the 17th century that royalty used roses and rose water as legal tender to purchase other items or to pay debts. Luckily, today even we common folk can buy roses as cut flowers or…

statue with bleeding heart flower in Lancaster NY garden

Statue collection decorates gardens, ponds at home in Lancaster

by Connie Oswald Stofko When Janice Hetrick sees a statue that reminds her of one of her kids, she buys it for her gardens. Janice has six children, but the statues outnumber the kids 36 to 1. Her collection includes more than 220 statues, which are displayed in a number of gardens and around a couple ponds at her home on Schwartz Rd. in a rural part of Lancaster. She and her husband, Jeff, have just finished putting the ornaments…

Amy_Stewart

‘Wicked Bugs’ author to speak at Clearfield Library May 25

by Connie Oswald Stofko You may have heard Amy Stewart speak last year during the National Garden Festival in Buffalo on her book, Wicked Plants: The Weed that Killed Lincoln’s Mother & Other Botanical Atrocities. If you did, you already know what an engaging speaker she is. If you missed her last year, hurry and register for her talk tomorrow on her newest book, Wicked Bugs: The Louse that Conquered Napoleon’s Army and other Diabolical Insects. The talk will take…

David Clark rose class in Hamburg NY

Learn about growing and tending roses in Buffalo area

by Connie Oswald Stofko Growing roses in the Buffalo area isn’t as hard as some people think. In the video below, David Clark, professional horticulturist, gives quick tips on selecting roses, caring for roses and managing pests. Want more in-depth information? Clark will give a class on the topic at 1 p.m. Saturday, May 14, 2011 at Lockwood’s Greenhouses, 4484 Clark St., Hamburg. The cost for the class is $12. For reservations, call 649-4684 or visit the shop….

Queen Anne's Lace in Buffalo NY

Native plant or invasive species in the Buffalo area?

by Connie Oswald Stofko I was going to plant Queen Anne’s lace in my garden.  I used to love picking these pretty wildflowers in the fields when I was growing up in Cheektowaga.  And hey, planting native species is good for the environment, right? One problem: Queen Anne’s lace grows wild, but it’s not a native species. “We’re at the point where the most common stuff is non-native,” said Paul Fuhrmann of Ecology & Environment and the New York State…

bee in Buffalo

‘Organic’ not always best choice for fertilizers & pesticides, chemist says

by Connie Oswald Stofko A fertilizer or pesticide may be called “organic,” but that doesn’t mean it’s the best choice for you, contends Dr. Fran Evans, a master gardener and retired chemist. In a wide-ranging talk about garden conservation this past weekend at the Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens, Dr. Evans touched on “organic” versus “chemical” fertilizers and pesticides. With fertilizers, you could choose seaweed, which is considered an organic fertilizer, or you could choose something that is considered…

glacier winter hardy ivy on display in Buffalo

Take a peek at some of the 400 varieties of ivy on display in Buffalo

by Connie Oswald Stofko Here’s a peek at some of the approximately 400 varieties of ivy that you can see during the Victorian Week and Ivy Show that is running until this Sunday, Oct. 3 at the Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens, 2655 South Park Ave., Buffalo. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The show is brought to you in part by the Western New York Ivy Society. The Botanical Gardens houses the largest public ivy collection in…

water feature in Tonawanda NY

Water features highlight garden on Ken-Ton Garden Tour

A waterfall, pond and giant water wheel beguiled visitors to the backyard of John and Joanne Perrello at 2674 Colvin Blvd., Town of Tonawanda, during the Ken-Ton Garden Tour on Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 7 and 8. While they grew vegetables for about 30 years, the Perrellos started the water features just three years ago, beginning with the waterfall, which you can see in the background of the first photo. They put in the pond, which you can see in…

Rosa Dream Come True organic gardening in Western New York

The (relative) pampering of roses

Rosa Dream Come True Adventures in Organic Gardening By Laura Sileo-Lepkyj I generally practice a survival-of-the-fittest approach to gardening, but I admit to pampering my roses a bit. I figure they deserve it for the joy they bring me. Few other flowers make me literally tear up from their beauty. I planted my roses last spring. I have mostly English roses because I love the heavy fragrance and voluptuously full blossoms. The exceptions are my Grandiflora “Dream Come True” and…

soap is way to repel deer

Deer eating your garden? Tips offered by East Aurora Garden Club

Commercial products, homemade mixtures and soap on a rope were among the methods to repel deer shared by Chris Hartmann, a member of the East Aurora Garden Club, in an educational exhibit called “Deer at the Corner of the House.” The exhibit was part of the Poetry & Posies standard flower show held by the East Aurora Garden Club Saturday and Sunday, July 31 and Aug. 1. Soap on a rope, hair and Mylar Hanging strongly scented soap near your…