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Cold Winter Means Some Annual Plants Not Available

By Eileen Buckley

Buffalo, NY – Gardeners might have a little trouble finding a few flower varieties this season. The long, cold winter and spring are too blame.

At Elbers Garden Shop on Main Street near Hertel Avenue in North Buffalo, Margaret Postle is a certified garden expert. Postle says this year some of the New York State growers informed her garden center they could not afford fuel bills to heat greenhouses for the growing season. To grow some plants the temperature must be 70 to 75 degrees.

"When someone has to cut their expenses because of the gas bills, they are not going to grow as many flowers or they are only going to heat one house instead of six houses," she explained.

Postle says that means the garden shop is unable to locate a few varieties of plants this season. She says some customers look forward to the unusual annuals the shop provides each year.

"I've been having trouble finding a variety of a blue daisy this year. I'm having trouble getting four inch pots of the million bells. There was a really interesting begonia that people wanted and I could not find that this year," Postle said.

The cold spring weather also delayed planting for many Western New Yorkers.

"Mother Nature is a witch. You don't necessarily spell it with a 'w.' This has been a colder than average spring. The average frost date is May 20, but that means in the past we've even had frost on June 14th."