Free plant material available from Plantasia, & more great news

Plantasia in Western New YorkGet free plant material by volunteering at Plantasia; sign up now

The Western New York State Nursery & Landscape Association (WNYSNLA) is seeking not-for-profit organizations to participate in a green exchange program.

Plant material, such as annuals, trees, shrubs and mulch that is left over from Plantasia will be given to not-for-profit organizations in exchange for a donation of volunteer time at Plantasia, its annual landscape and garden show, which takes place March 21-24 at the Fairgrounds Event Center and Expo Hall, 5820 South Park Avenue, Hamburg.

The plant material will be available for pickup on Monday, March 25 at 9 a.m. at the Event Center. No delivery will be provided, so each volunteer organization must be prepared to load and transport any donated material on the morning of March 25.

Volunteers are needed for setup on March 18, 19, and 20; as greeters at the show on March 21, 22, 23, and 24, and for tear-down on March 24 and 25.

Interested organizations are invited to submit a written request for the plants or mulch they need by email to or by fax to (716) 741-0072. The request should include full contact information as well as an explanation of how the plant material will be used.

Photo from Western New York State Nursery & Landscape Association


Exhibit to feature work of watercolor students; you can take classes

Michele Donovan of South Buffalo in art class at Buffalo Botanical GardensMichele Donovan of South Buffalo is one of the students in the Monday morning watercolor class at the Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens whose work will be featured in the Bloomin’ Art Show to be held from Saturday, March 9 through Sunday, April 21 in the Arcangel Gallery at the Botanical Gardens, 2655 South Park Avenue, Buffalo.

Works will feature the interesting architecture of the conservatory, the vast horticulture collection, the surrounding landscape and more. Many of the artworks will be for sale. (I’ll have a couple pieces in the show, too!) The exhibit is included in the price of admission.

Novice or veteran artists are welcome at these watercolor classes. They are taught by Joan Saba, professional artist and teacher. If you’re brand new to watercolors, Saba will start you off with a project designed to help you learn several techniques. After that, you’ll choose your own subjects and work at your own pace under Saba’s guidance.

Find out more about the watercolor classes here or call 827-1584, ext. 291. Saba teaches drawing classes at the Botanical Gardens, too.

Photo by Connie Oswald Stofko


Spring forward, fall back: Daylight Saving Time starts Sunday

sun in winter gardenSome people think that Daylight Saving Time is for winter, a time when we don’t have much daylight, but it’s actually for summer when we have an abundance of daylight. We don’t save daylight as much as we rearrange it.

Daylight Saving Time starts Sunday. At 2 a.m., set your clocks forward an hour.

If we stayed on Standard Time in the summer, sunrise would be around 4:30 a.m. The sun would send its bright rays streaming into bedrooms at a time that many people classify as the middle of the night, causing them to press their pillows against their eyes and whine. What a waste of good sunlight! So we happily set our clocks forward an hour and let the sun rise around 5:30 a.m. instead.

Daylight Saving Time wasn’t constructed to make sure we get our beauty sleep, but to add an extra hour of daylight onto the end of the day in order to save energy– Households don’t have to switch lights on until 9 p.m. It also gives us more time to putter in the garden after work!

Here’s a nice chart of sunrise and sunset times for the Buffalo area. It also includes the times for solar noon. You may remember from your grade school days that when the sun is directly overhead, it’s noon, or close to noon, anyway. Solar noon can occur closer to 12:30 p.m. And when we’re on Daylight Saving Time, solar noon can occur closer to 1:30 p.m.

Photo by Connie Oswald Stofko