Annuals

Invest in plant tags, plus three more tips for shopping & planting

May 19, 2015
hanging baskets at Lockwoods in Hamburg by Stofko

by Connie Oswald Stofko Spring is so unpredictable in Western New York. In early May, we had temperatures in the 80s, and it was tempting to get our tender annuals and vegetables in our garden beds. But last week we had frost warnings. That’s why it’s a good idea to follow the rule of...
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Shade gardeners: new ‘Bounce’ may be good alternative to impatiens

May 12, 2015
Impatiens Bounce courtesy Ball Horticultural

by Connie Oswald Stofko Gardeners who are looking for colorful flowers for the shade have a promising alternative to impatiens called ‘Bounce’. A few years ago, downy mildew began killing impatiens walleriana, the regular old impatiens that shade gardeners depended on for decades. Ever since then, gardeners have been looking for alternatives. See some...
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Get unusual plants from collection at Botanical Gardens; sale opens Saturday to public

May 12, 2015
false eranthemum from Buffalo Erie County Botanical Gardens

by Connie Oswald Stofko Some unusual plants from the collection of the Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens will be included in the Great Plant Sale, which will be held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, May 16 and 17 in the Administration Building, 2655 South Park Ave., Buffalo. Admission is...
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20 ideas for Mother’s Day in Western New York

May 5, 2015
Monet flower arrangement from Mischler's

by Connie Oswald Stofko Mother’s Day is coming up this Sunday, May 10, and you want something that will make your mother smile. Since no two mothers are the same, we’ve come up with a long list of ideas– I counted 20– for things that might please Mom on her special day. There are...
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17 reminders for your early spring garden in Western New York

April 14, 2015
cut dead perennials in spring in Buffalo NY

by Connie Oswald Stofko As I sat outside yesterday in shorts and bare feet, it felt as if summer was here to stay. But that’s how it feels every spring in Western New York, and every year our spring weather takes us on a roller coaster ride. The high was in the 70s yesterday, yet you know we’re...
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Start seeds inside now for cool-weather crops; start seeds for tomatoes in a few weeks in WNY

March 10, 2015
Start seeds inside now for cool-weather crops; start seeds for tomatoes in a few weeks in WNY

by Connie Oswald Stofko It’s finally time for us to start thinking about starting seeds inside! Cool-weather vegetables Let’s keep our fingers crossed that all this snow melts at a nice, steady pace so that our garden beds will be dry enough to for us to plant cool-weather vegetables in April. As the folks...
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A natural slope adds interest to colorful shade garden in Hamburg; garden walks are coming!

February 17, 2015
steps in Whittemore garden in Hamburg NY

by Connie Oswald Stofko A natural slope combined with raised beds add interest to the Hamburg yard of Barb and Dave Whittemore. “There are seven steps to the top deck,” Dave pointed out. “We really have vistas with this. The elevations make a world of difference. That’s one thing I really enjoy.” A screened-in...
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Lush flower garden grows from cracks in concrete driveway in West Seneca

February 3, 2015
Wave petunias from Powarski in West Seneca NY

Some of us have trouble growing flowers in our garden beds, but Jerry Powarski of West Seneca can get them to grow in his concrete driveway! Powarski didn’t plant the flowers; they were “volunteers.” The seeds dropped off from flowers that had been growing the previous year in nearby pots and found their way...
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Start seeds outside now using milk jug, other containers in ‘winter sowing’

January 27, 2015
Start seeds outside now using milk jug, other containers in ‘winter sowing’

by Connie Oswald Stofko This is actually an update of a tip from David Clark, the nationally known horticulture speaker who teaches at the Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens. Winter sowing is great because it gives us gardeners in Western New York something to do when it’s cold and snowy out. You plant...
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Enjoy your poinsettias for weeks or months with proper care; see new varieties at Mischler’s

December 9, 2014
sparkling punch & ice punch poinsettias at Mischler's in Williamsville NY

by Connie Oswald Stofko You can enjoy your poinsettia plant for weeks or even months if you care for it properly. “The main thing is don’t overwater them,” said Mark Yadon, vice president of  Mischler’s Florist and Greenhouses, 118 South Forest Rd., Williamsville. “They don’t need to be watered nearly as much as people...
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