Quirky way to add color to your winter garden: Frozen spheres molded inside balloons

by Connie Oswald Stofko If you want to add color to a winter garden, try this easy craft project that even kids can do. The instructions are pretty simple. Take a balloon, squirt some food coloring inside the balloon, then add water the way you would if you were making water balloons during the summer. As you add water, the food coloring will get mixed. Put the balloon outside and let it freeze. When the water is frozen solid, snip…

Celery update: It’s not going strong, but amazingly, it’s still growing!

by Connie Oswald Stofko Back in March I told you how to start a new celery plant from the celery stump. In September I harvested some of the stalks, but then I left the plant outside to see what it would do. We had a long and mild autumn, and through most of November, the celery plant looked pretty much the same way it did in September– see photo at right. Then we got that cold snap with temperatures in…

grow tunnel in Buffalo NY

Grow tunnel lets you grow veggies during winter in Western New York

by Connie Oswald Stofko The temperature was in the teens this past weekend, but the vegetables in the grow tunnel at City Honors School in Buffalo are still going strong. In this video, Caesandra Seawell, garden manager, shows us how the grow tunnel can extend the gardening season, allowing us to grow vegetables in autumn and winter in Western New York. She describes how the grow tunnel was constructed, and it seems pretty easy. There have been some developments since…

Is it too late to plant perennials in Western New York?

I got this question from a reader: I bought some perennials that I didn’t get a chance to plant: leopard’s bane, hardy aster, cone flowers and Munstead lavender.   It has already frosted once I believe. Is it to late too plant outside? If so, can I store them indoors in the same containers that they came in?   Thanks, Deborah In the two days since I received this question, Western New York has had snow as well as frost….

How to keep basil over winter: Free class discusses growing tomatoes inside, too

by Connie Oswald Stofko The days are getting shorter and colder and soon we’ll be seeing snow in Western New York, but you can continue to grow food plants– inside! In this article, Jak Kochems, horticulture consultant at Arbordale Nurseries and Landscaping in the Getzville area of Amherst, gives us tips on how to bring basil plants inside and care for them over the winter. If you haven’t already brought your basil plant inside, do it now– a freeze can kill…

Halloween pumpkin decoration made from old fence

Halloween fun: Be creative in your WNY garden all year long

I visited the yard of Jim “Wak” Nowicki during Garden Walk Buffalo in July. He had lots of interesting elements in his summer garden, including live fish in bowls suspended from tree branches, which we’ll talk about more toward the end of this article. But he doesn’t relegate his creativity to the summer months. He took a few moments out of the tour of his summer gardens to give me a sneak peek at his Halloween decorations that were stored…

Free class at Lockwood’s covers what you should do in garden in October

Don’t prune in autumn. That’s one of the important bits of advice gardening expert Sally Cunningham will share during a free class on “Yard and Garden Care in October (for a Better Spring!)” at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, October 12, at Lockwood’s Greenhouses, 4484 Clark Street, Hamburg. While the class is free, seating is limited, so please call 649-4684 to make a reservation. Whether you maintain a yard or grow vegetables and flowers, the jobs you do now will make a…

Wild weather– Should we worry about our Buffalo gardens?

Last week the temperatures were in the single digits. This week it may be in the 50s or even 60s. Should we Western New York gardeners be worried? “I’m probably more concerned that folks don’t have much snow cover,” said John Farfaglia, extension educator with Cornell Cooperative Extension in Niagara County. Snow is a good insulator and can protect plants against damage that can come from these wild fluctuations in temperature. This is the second year in a row that…

decorations by Youngstown Garden Club in kitchen at Fort Niagara

Woodland motif used in Old Fort Niagara holiday decorations

An “Upstairs, Downstairs” theme has been used by the Youngstown Garden Club to decorate  Old Fort Niagara for the holidays. The decorations are woodsy and rustic to fit in with the architecture of the building known as the French Castle, built in 1726. The ornaments used in the officers’ areas are are fancier, embellished with satin ribbons and silver cording. You can see the decorations through Monday, Dec. 31. Hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. (The fort is…

closeup hardy holly from Lockwood's in Hamburg NY

Want a Christmasy yard? Plant holly bushes in Buffalo area now!

Here’s an over-the-top decorating idea for the holidays: Make your yard feel more Christmasy by planting holly bushes in the Buffalo area right now! “It’s been such a mild December,” said Teresa Buchanan, general manager of Lockwood’s Greenhouses, 4484 Clark St., Hamburg.  “That’s the only reason you can get away with planting holly now. Normally, it would be too cold by now.” This is the time of year when holly bushes look their most splendid, adorned with their red berries, often…