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…

anthurium available at Mischler's

7 great plants to create a tropical feeling in your backyard oasis

Want to add a tropical feeling to your yard? Here are seven plant suggestions from the folks at Mischler’s Florist and Greenhouses, 118 South Forest Road, Williamsville. You can see some of these plants when you visit Mischler’s next week at Plantasia, which has a theme of “Backyard Oasis.” (See the related article for details on Plantasia.) Check out these plants to add a tropical feeling to your backyard. #1, 2 and 3: Anthurium, peace lilies and other indoor plants…

Northeast native flowers from National Garden Bureau

Perennial for 2013 is ‘wildflower,’ says National Garden Bureau

2013 has been named the Year of the Wildflower by the National Garden Bureau, the non-profit organization promoting gardening on behalf of the horticulture industry. Each year, the National Garden Bureau showcases a plant in each of three categories: vegetable/edible, annual and perennial. The showcased plants are supposed to be popular, easy-to-grow, widely adaptable, genetically diverse and versatile. The wildflower (though it’s more of a category than a plant) certainly meets those criteria. We talked to representatives of Lockwood’s Greenhouses, 4484…

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…

backyard garden on Argyle in Buffalo NY

Small backyard in Buffalo goes vertical to add gardening space

Kathy and Ed Burke moved to their home on Argyle Park in Buffalo about eight years ago. “We moved from a home with a huge garden, but it had become more of a chore than a joy,” Kathy said. Their current backyard is small, but flowering perennials in the sunny beds and colorful foliage in the shady beds make it feel joyful. The Burkes shared their gardens during Garden Walk Buffalo, the largest garden walk in the nation, on July…

sunny garden bed with bed frame in Hamburg NY

Too shady for grass, Hamburg yard is filled with gardens, paths & curios

by Connie Oswald Stofko An iron headboard and foot board give another meaning to the term “garden bed” in this yard at 224 East Prospect Ave., Hamburg, where Kathleen Winter shared her gardens during Buzz Around Hambug on Saturday and Sunday, July 14 and 15. This part of Winter’s front yard is one of the few sunny spots on her property. Her side and back yards are under a canopy of tree branches, which is delightful during the hot weather…

log home in Grand Island NY

Gardens surround hand-built log home in Grand Island

In German, “garten” means “garden.” “It’s fate, I guess,” said Evelyn Garten. “I married a garden.” Her gardens surround a log home she and her husband built themselves, log by log, 54 years ago. She shared her gardens with the public  during the Grand Island Garden Tour on July 14. The event benefitted the preservation of Historic Trinity Church. She and her husband were renting a place in Buffalo 54 years ago when he was downtown and saw a small…

garden around patio in Williamsville NY

Williamsville yard that has sun & shade makes good use of containers

Container plantings add color to the garden surrounding the backyard patio of Mary Murrett, who shared her gardens at 178 Hirschfield, Williamsville, during the Village of Williamsville Garden Walk on June 30. She has fun designing her containers as she goes along. “I go nuts at the nursery,” Murrett said. “I take one of these, and one of these and one of these.” When she gets all her plants home, she sets a piece of plywood across a carpenter’s trestle…

garden by pool in Parkside area of Buffalo NY

100-year-old house features large perennial border in long side yard

The weather was seasonably warm on Sunday, and that made the cool, blue pool below look even more appealing. Michael and Claudette Rivera of 268 Crescent, Buffalo, shared their lovely landscape during the 15th annual Parkside Garden Tour on June 24. Their home was built in 1913 by the Kelly family that established Hens and Kelly, a local upscale chain of department stores that operated from 1892 to 1982. Mike likes to use plants that go with the time period…

spring flowers in garden in Hamburg NY

Waves of spring flowers bring beauty to Hamburg garden

Spring is an overlooked time for gardens in the Buffalo area. It seems we spend our time waiting and preparing for the end of May, the traditional time to plant tender annuals, and we forget to pause and enjoy the beauty of spring gardens. With perennials, you can have successive waves of blooms in your garden starting in early spring, said Fran Evans of Hamburg, who is a Master Gardener with Cornell Cooperative Extension Erie County. I visited his garden…