Friday, June 24, 2016

The Botanical Gardens in July 2016

Coleus are featured at the Botanical Gardens through July 24
The Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens, located at 2655 South Park Ave. in Buffalo, continues to celebrate the colors of summer in July.
  • Arcangel Gallery: Rachel and Matthew Norvilitis, “Sibling Revelry” –now through August 7.
  • Garden Railway Exhibit – now through July 10.
  • Celebration of Coleus and Color – now through July 24 – a brand new show featuring a colorful new addition: gladiolus.
  • Botanics and Brews – July 21 from 6-9 p.m. – this Botanical Gardens fundraiser features craft beers, hors d’oeuvres, Gardens tours, music from Breakaway and more. Tickets are $30 for Gardens members, $35 for non-members and available here.
  • Wedding Open House – July 28 from 5:30-8 p.m. – visit with preferred caterers and the director of weddings and special events – find out more here.
For more information on these events and others at the Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens, visit

Monday, June 13, 2016

Container recipe: Perfectly Purple

With the inspiration of Maroon and Cream, I started playing with some of my plants and came up with another narrow color-way recipe for a container – this one showcasing my favorite color, purple.

Clockwise from top left: Trailing Plum Brocade, Grape Expectations,
Headliner Violet Dark Eye and Grape Cartwheel
I had two coleus from Rosy Dawn Coleus incubating in a container just waiting for a home – Trailing Plum Brocade and Grape Expectations. After looking through the rest of my “I just have to have these” plants (because we all buy plants without knowing what to do with them, right?!), I picked out two perfect companions for the coleus: Grape Cartwheel Calibrachoa from Lavocat’s and Headliner Violet Dark Eye Petunia from Hi-Way Gardens. It looks great next to Maroon and Cream, and equally great in the Scott Brothers container I set it in.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Container recipe: Maroon and Cream

Each year for a number of years, I’ve received the Proven Winners Gardener’s Idea Book. This year, I was really taken by a combination the showcased featuring a narrow color-way of maroons, creams and purples – of course, a number of the plants used were future introductions :(

clockwise from top left: Marooned, Latte, Frostfire, Blackie
I did manage to find two of the plants, however: Colorblaze Marooned Coleus and Supertunia Latte Petunia were available at Hi-Way Gardens in Amherst, which is where I also picked up a Blackie Sweet Potato Vine (not Proven Winners). To this trio, I added another Proven Winners plant, Superbells Frostfire Calibrachoa, which I picked up at Lavocat’s Family Greenhouse in East Amherst. The colors worked together beautifully, and gave me a taste of what the actual Proven Winners recipe will look like once all the showcased plants are available…then again, I might just want to keep making my own recipe!

Scott Brothers Outdoor Living Collection on QVC

Last year, the Scott Brothers – Jonathan and Drew of Property Brothers fame – came out with a line of outdoor and garden products that were awesome and very well received by fans and QVC shoppers. They were back at it again for 2016, with returning favorites, new products and new ideas. What’s really cool about their collection is that many of the products have multiple uses.

The first product of theirs that I purchased this year (and not from QVC – Tuesday Morning had it cheaper on closeout!) was a garden stool with a removable cover that could be used indoors or out, as a stool, planter, ice bucket/cooler, side table – the possibilities were awesome.

After that, I purchased three planters from the Q – the first was a short, round, ribbed planter that I’m currently using as a plant stand (flipped it over and voila!); I had admired it last year, so I took the plunge this year.

The other two I purchased at the same time – I had always wanted some larger containers for my porch, and these fit the bill perfectly. Rather than plant directly in them, I lined the bottom with Vitamin Water bottles (I couldn’t remember where I had seen the planter filler inserts for sale :( ) and set the containers in them – easily moveable if need be.

Check out the Bros’ entire collection on

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

2016 Proven Winners preview box: Update – 6/8/16

We’ll start off with the bad news: I lost a total of five plants of the 20 I was shipped –one Supertunia Vista Fuchsia petunia, one Superbells Tropical Sunrise calibrachoa, two Bright Lights Yellow osteospermum and the only Graceful Grasses Prince Tut cyperus. Yeah, I was bummed, but the unfortunately thing about gardening is that there are disappointments every year – I had many more this year as well.

Now on to the good stuff: everything left except for the three shrubs is planted (and I know where they’re going so that half the battle!). I planted the remaining Supertunias in the ground in front of my perilla – I think the bright pink will play off the dark perilla nicely. The calibrachoas are happy in containers, and the osteospermum is sitting next to a purple counterpart in the garden. Angelface angelonia is in another garden, sitting next to one of last year’s prizes, the Pink Mink clematis, as well as two of this year’s perennials, Prairie Winds Apache Rose (an ornamental grass) and Opening Act Blush phlox. The Pardon My Cerise monarda (bee balm) is in my newest garden with a couple of other bee balm I purchased last year.

A few photos of the goodies follow.

Pardon My Cerise monarda

Front bed featuring Supertunia Vista Fuchsia

Corner of containers including Superbells calibrachoas

Thursday, June 2, 2016

2016: The year of the delphinium

credit: NGB/Ball Horticulture
The National Garden Bureau has named the delphinium its perennial of the year for 2016. The tall plant with showy flowers is a favorite in English or cottage gardens.

credit: NGB/Kieft Seed
Delphinium, also commonly known as larkspur, can be started from seed or purchased as a plant through your local garden retailers. They require little maintenance in northern climates and are hardy in Zone 4; in southern climates, however, delphinium are often treated as annuals, as they cannot tolerate heat and humid for long periods of time. Trimming back a delphinium plant after its first flower offering will yield a second set of flowers on shorter stems.

These easy-to-grow plants have two known issues that may plague growers in the area: powdery mildew, which can be alleviated by keeping the foliage as dry as possible when air circulation and high humidity are problems, and snails and slugs, which can be alleviated with beer traps.

Learn more about the delphinium in this piece at the NGB website.

Information in this piece provided by the National Garden Bureau.