Quit smoking now– it’s bad for your plants

“All plants are sensitive to smoke,” David Clark said in answer to a question during a recent horticulture class at the Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens. Thursday, Nov. 17 is the 36th Great American Smokeout. Protecting your houseplants is one more reason for you to use the date to make a plan to quit, or to plan in advance and quit smoking that day. If you smoke, you probably notice that you have to wash your windows and mirrors…

designer medicinal garden in Buffalo NY

Medicinal gardens are kicked off at Botanical Gardens in Buffalo

The  healing properties of plants will be showcased in two medicinal gardens– an outdoor garden and an indoor garden– at the Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens, 2655 South Park Ave., Buffalo. The medicinal gardens will provide visitors with a better understanding of the importance of medicinal plants and how the plants are used in traditional, herbal and modern medicines. The Botanical Gardens is collaborating on the project with D’Youville College School of Pharmacy and Mercy Hospital of Buffalo, part…

house on nighttime garden walk in Buffalo NY

Black Rock and Riverside shine during nighttime garden walk

“I love the lights,” said Rosie Dubravac of 74 Simon St., Buffalo. That’s why she opened her yards for the Starry Night Garden Tour, the evening portion of the Black Rock & Riverside Tour of Gardens on Saturday, Aug. 6. It was the last garden walk of the season in Western New York. Dubravac welcomed many visitors, who enjoyed the well-lit front and back yards. The tall lighted ornament you see in the front yard above left  is a sunflower….

blue spruce on Summer Street in Buffalo NY

Lush Buffalo garden with full-grown trees was planted on top of asphalt

A 20-foot blue spruce, along with a birch, crab apple, dogwood and Japanese maple, are part of what is essentially a giant container garden built on top of a narrow asphalt driveway in Buffalo. Ellie Dorritie of 415 Summer St. shared her gardens during Garden Walk Buffalo on July 30 and 31. More than 350 gardens were on display during the event, which is the largest garden tour in the nation. Dorritie’s back garden includes brick pathways, which you can…

night garden walk in Buffalo NY area

Ken-Ton gardeners share tips for nighttime lighting

“We sit out here every night with a glass of wine,” said Kathi Schwab, as she surveyed her backyard. Soft lighting showcased tall flowers and reflected off the calm water of their inground pool. “Oh, it’s heaven,” Kathi said. The Schwabs shared their yard during Ken-Ton’s first “Saturday Night Lights” garden walk held July 23.  Eighteen gardens participated in the evening walk. The nighttime event was part of the Ken-Ton Garden Tour, which held a daytime walk on both Saturday…

lush condo garden in Amherst NY

Condo resident in Amherst develops large, colorful garden

In the first year, Judy Horan planted eight pink geraniums. Now, just four years later, her garden encompasses the area from the front door of her Amherst condominium, around the corner to her deck. It continues beyond a huge evergreen where she has a small vegetable garden. Oh, and she has a garden on the other side of the driveway, too. “I was bored,” said Judy, who is retired. “But this is it. It’s not going to get any bigger.”…

front yard in Niagara Falls NY 2011

Niagara Falls gardener shares tips on starting tomatoes from seed

First you notice the color, then you notice the fragrance when you visit the gardens surrounding the home of Barbara and Howard Sperry on Ashland Ave. in Niagara Falls. Sometimes Barbara likes to shake the lavender and other plants to better enjoy the aroma. The Sperrys shared their garden, along with many gardening tips, during the Historic Niagara Falls Garden Walk on Saturday, July 16. The event was presented by the Main Street Business and Professionals Association. Arts in the…

painted lawn in Lancaster NY

Painted lawn is eye-catching on Lancaster Garden Walk

The flowers in the garden beds are beautiful, but it’s the flowers painted on the lawn that get noticed first at the home of Karen and Bernie Farrell of 78 Brunswick, Lancaster. The flowers were painted by Karen, who has started her own business called Lawntastic, where she does custom painting on lawns. Their front yard was on display during the eighth annual Lancaster Garden Walk on Saturday and Sunday, July 16 and 17. Karen got the idea for her…

looking into Rybczynski yard in South Buffalo NY

South Buffalo neighbors share backyard flower garden

Whoever happens to be out does the weeding in the garden shared by Kevin and Phyllis Baer of 132  Whitfield Ave. and their next-door neighbors, Paul and Maureen Rybczynski of 128 Whitfield Ave. in South Buffalo. The garden was on view during the 11th annual South Buffalo Alive Garden Walk on Sunday, July 17. The view above is looking into the Rybczynski yard, and below right is looking into the Baer yard. The garden continues down the length of the…

Vintage patio furniture is a highlight of Eggertsville garden

When Jim Tarantino moved 22 years ago into his home at 1069 Eggert Rd., Amherst, there wasn’t much of a garden. His major concern was erosion in the part of the backyard that slopes down to what is now Kadimah School of Buffalo. He built the retaining wall and planted whatever he could to hold down the soil, happily accepting cuttings from other gardeners. In the photo at left, these lovely plantings are actually outside his fence; his yard is to…