native perennial hibiscus

Showy flowers & more: Four native plants that look great in your garden

by Connie Oswald Stofko Native plants are not only good for beneficial insects, they can be just what you need to make your garden look great. Here are four native plants being offered by Urban Roots Cooperative Garden Market, 428 Rhode Island St., Buffalo. These plants are true natives, not hybrids or cultivars, said Patti Jablonski-Dopkin, general manager. All four plants like sun. See a list of Urban Roots’ native plants here. They offer about 100 different native plants throughout…

play area in small Buffalo yard

Landscape makes a comeback after fire

by Connie Oswald Stofko “You rebuild, and rebuild better,” said Krista Palgutt, whose landscape was damaged when their neighbor’s garage burned down. The back of the Palgutts’ house was charred. The patio, which they had just installed the previous year, had to be redone because the plastic furniture melted onto the patio. “But all the perennials came back,” Palgutt said, “except for the old growth hydrangeas.” No one was hurt in the fire, and I saw how their landscape made…

bies koreana 'Silver-Show'

Dwarf shrubs are highlights of Great Plant Sale at Botanical Gardens

by Connie Oswald Stofko Three interesting dwarf shrubs are among the new offerings at the Great Plant Sale to be held this week in the Administration Building at the Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens, 2655 South Park Ave., Buffalo. Also new this year is a checkout process that should speed things up. “No more tallying plants in line,” said Kristin Pochopin, director of Horticulture. “Everything will be bar coded and scanned!” And will be a sponsor of the…

lettuce plants in box on chair in Hamburg NY

Bad knees, no yard, little money? You can still garden!

by Connie Oswald Stofko “I have so many friends who say, ‘I can’t garden anymore,’ said Margaret O’Brian of Huntington Ct., Hamburg. As they get older, they have bad knees or other ailments that they didn’t have to contend with when they were younger. She tells them: “You may not be able to garden like you used to, so just switch it up.” One way to do that is through container gardening. Container gardening is planting things in pots and other containers…

flowers and vegetables in front yard

4 tips on using containers to create a gorgeous garden

by Connie Oswald Stofko Previously I showed you my experiment with a container garden on my front lawn. That container garden wasn’t as successful as I had hoped, but I learned a lot and tried it again. This time it was successful and my neighbors told me they loved it, too! It didn’t look like much in May or June, but in July the plants filled out and it was gorgeous. We had a mild autumn, and the container garden…

container gardening on wheelchair ramp

You can do container gardening anywhere– even on a wheelchair ramp!

by Connie Oswald Stofko Don’t have a big yard? You can do container gardening anywhere–even on a wheelchair ramp! Growing flowers or vegetables in pots is called container gardening. Container gardening counts as real gardening! I’ve seen it done in small spaces on balconies, decks and porches. I saw a clever example of container gardening done on a wheelchair ramp at the home of Dorothy Gambino during the Samuel Capen Garden Walk in July. Gambino chose the vegetables she wanted– tomatoes and…

bulbs of garlic in Buffalo

Six reasons why you should plant garlic– & you can do it now!

by Connie Oswald Stofko I grow garlic– lots of it. And I recommend that you try growing garlic, too. Here are six reasons why you should grow garlic: Garlic is so easy to grow! You plant it, then you sit around for several months, then you harvest it. I haven’t been able to grow zucchini, but I can grow garlic. You have a wide window for planting. You can plant anywhere from August through November– even into December if the…

container garden in front yard

Not sure where to create garden bed? Try it out with containers

by Connie Oswald Stofko Our front lawn is big and open, so it used to be the place to play catch or soccer. Now that the kids are grown, I thought I’d use some of that space for growing plants other than grass. Since the front yard is a bit sunnier than the back, I especially wanted to try vegetables, which need some sun. The problem was that I wasn’t sure exactly where I wanted the new garden to be….

front yard on Garden Walk Buffalo

Tip on planting in tiny yard; get more tips at Garden Walk Buffalo this weekend

by Connie Oswald Stofko Rosemary Lyons has an ingenious way to squeeze plants into the flagstone patio that takes up all of her tiny yard. One place where there aren’t any pavers is where the wrought iron fence is set into the ground. Lyons set some bricks on each side of the fence, then filled the area around the fence with fresh soil and lots of compost. There was enough room to plant purple pole beans, and the fence was…

diagram showing how to layer bulbs

Enjoy waves of spring color– in a single spot

by Connie Oswald Stofko Here’s a way to enjoy waves of spring color in a single spot in a garden bed– or even in a container. This information came to me from Joanie Long, chair of the horticulture committee with the East Aurora Garden Club, who gave a presentation to her club on the topic last year. She calls this method of planting bulbs layering or lasagna gardening. Instead of planting crocuses here and tulips over there, all of the…