petunias, ranunculus and other cool-weather plants

Plant some things now; others have to wait until after last frost—or longer

by Connie Oswald Stofko Here is a question that I received from a reader: Hello, I saw that the last frost for my area (in Hamburg) is possible as late as May 22; should I really wait so long to plant anything?  Mariely Ann Ortiz Actually, there are lots of things you can plant outside right now! But some things have to wait until after the last frost — or even longer. And that date you have of May 22…

pruning oak tree in winter

Guidelines on pruning damaged trees; prune any oaks now

We’ve had high winds this winter that have damaged some trees and shrubs across Western New York. Those trees and shrubs may need pruning. Here is information to get you started. Make safety a priority The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has good information about pruning damaged trees. The first thing they talk about is safety. Any work that requires a chain saw or can’t be performed from the ground should be done by a professional tree-care…

buttonbush

Natives to plant in wet areas, plus more tips from Master Gardeners

If you have a wet area in your landscape, you may look at it as a problem area — but that’s because you’re trying to plant the wrong plants there. Learn about native plant choices that are so interesting they will make your neighbors wish they had wet areas in their landscapes, too. “Natives for Those Wet Places” by Lyn Chimera is one of the three articles in this month’s edition of WNY Gardening Matters. The publication is produced by…

penstemon 'Midnight Masquerade'

Unusual plants: Don’t miss these Hot Picks in Great Plant Sale

by Connie Oswald Stofko In the Great Plant Sale, “We want to offer things you’re not going to see everywhere,” said Sharon Reader, volunteer at the Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens and a member of the committee that chose the plants for the sale. The deadline to pre-order is Friday, April 5, but if you want one of the really spectacular Hot Picks, you better order now — They often sell out quick. UPDATE: The deadline to order plants…

blood twig dogwood Midnight Fire

Look for ‘two-fers’ for your garden; hear more at PLANT WNY event

by Connie Oswald Stofko Home gardeners aren’t planting acres and acres of gardens anymore, so we have to get more out of the few plants we choose to include in our landscapes, Kerry Ann Mendez told me in a phone interview. The award-winning garden designer, author and lecturer noted that the two largest age groups in our country now are millennials and baby boomers, and both groups are choosing smaller spaces. Millennials are gravitating toward urban settings rather than sprawling suburbs, 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…

elderberry sambucus black lace

Want flowers? Think of smaller, compact shrubs

by Connie Oswald Stofko When you’re shopping for plants for your garden, don’t overlook shrubs. Many shrubs will give you lovely flowers, and there are smaller, more compact varieties of shrubs available that won’t overpower your yard, said Ray Crawley, store manager at Goodman’s Farm Market, 2227 Cayuga Drive Extension, Niagara Falls. First, let me assure you that there’s still plenty of time to plant things in your garden. There’s no rule that says you have to get all of…