tomato cages turned into Christmas trees

Reuse tomato cages as a Christmas decoration

by Connie Oswald Stofko My neighbor, Helen Waterhouse, saw some cool Christmas decorations in our neighborhood. They look like small Christmas trees. “I bet you could make them using a tomato cage,” she said. We took her dog Fluffy for a walk down our block, and Helen pointed out the decorations. On closer inspection, we found they were indeed made from tomato cages! Helen decided to try it and found it worked well. I took some photos a couple weeks…

Christmas greens in pot with bow

Outdoor arrangement uses fresh-cut greens

Here’s an outdoor arrangement to welcome visitors to your home. This idea comes from Mischler’s Florist and Greenhouses, 118 South Forest Rd., Williamsville. Greens are placed upright in a plastic pot and decorated with a big red bow and pine cones. The greens are fresh-cut and locally grown. There’s soil in the pot to hold the branches in place. Rain will keep the soil wet, adding more weight and helping keep the pot stable. The arrangement looks charming in the…

Vendors sought for Garden Art Sale; deadline is March 3

Vendors of garden-oriented or nature-themed works that can be displayed in a garden setting are being sought for the Buffalo-style Garden Art Sale to be held from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, June 24 and 25, at the Buffalo & Erie County Botanical Gardens, 2655 South Park Ave., Buffalo. The deadline for applications is Friday, March 3. Vendors can sell sculptures, planters, metalwork, paintings, lighting, vintage signs, woodwork, architectural remnants, fountains, found art, jewelry and ceramics. No…

autumn display with pumpkins

Beyond the jack-o’-lantern: Decorate with pumpkins & make a snack, too

by Connie Oswald Stofko For Halloween and other autumn holidays, it’s fun to decorate with pumpkins, and you can do more than carve a jack-o’-lantern. Here are a couple other ideas for decorating with pumpkins, along with a tip for cooking pumpkin seeds. Make an outdoor display Instead of just setting a single pumpkin on a patio table, make a still life. This idea is from Goodman’s Farm Market, 2227 Cayuga Drive Extension, Niagara Falls. You could start with a…

succulents reflecting Ensor Fireworks

Succulents become works of art at the Botanical Gardens; exhibit starts Saturday

by Connie Oswald Stofko You may have seen succulents displayed vertically on a wall– we showed you a framed arrangement with a mirror  that the Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens used in its succulents show a few years ago. This year the folks at the Botanical Gardens thought it would be cool to create arrangements that look like abstract art, said Kristin Pochopin, director of horticulture at the Botanical Gardens. John Santomieri, horticulturist, suggested they take some of the…

outdoor rooms in Black Rock Riverside Buffalo NY

Riverside gardener packs a lot into small yard

by Connie Oswald Stofko Three-quarters of the space in Sue Tronolone’s small backyard is taken up by the garage, driveway and above-ground pool, but you should see what she does with the space she has left. Tronolone shared her landscape on the Black Rock & Riverside Tour of Gardens during both the daytime tour and the Starry Night Garden Tour. Both events were held on Aug. 6. It was the last garden walk of the season. The focal point of…

fall decorations at Goodman's

Decorate for fall by making a large still life; get fresh produce, too

Your perennials may be waning, but there are many ways you can have color and interest in your yard during autumn. One idea is to make a large still life. Start with some hay bales from Goodman’s Farm Market, 2227 Cayuga Drive Extension, Niagara Falls. Add other colorful items from Goodman’s that evoke the season, such as pumpkins, gourds and Indian corn. Arrange the items loosely on top of the bales or beside the bales, or group the items in…

red tire container garden in Buffalo NY

Vertical garden made from old gutters draws attention on last garden walk of year

by Connie Oswald Stofko “We just really like recycling,” said Carrie Madigan, who gardens with her mother Patty Connors at 180 Crowley Ave., Buffalo. “I don’t want to buy something super expensive if I can make it.” Visitors saw many examples of her creative gardening on a budget during the 11th annual Black Rock & Riverside Tour of Gardens held Aug. 1. The Starry Night Garden Tour was held during the evening. It was the last garden walk of the…

Artwork made from old road signs to be discussed by artist at Jamestown Audubon

How old road signs are being converted into artwork that will be displayed at the entrance to the Audubon Nature Center will be discussed by the artist in a talk from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug, 13, at the center, 1600 Riverside Rd., one-quarter mile east of Route 62 between Jamestown, NY and Warren, PA. Amara Geffen, artist and Allegheny College professor, will present a lecture and workshop on “Community-based Art: From Sign Art to Public Art.” She will describe…

Plein Air Day at Mischler's Florist

Artists: Plein Air Day at Mischler’s set for July 11

Painters and other artists can get inspiration from the outdoor flowers during Plein Air Day 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, July 11 at Mischler’s Florist and Greenhouses, 118 South Forest Rd., Williamsville. The event is free and no registration is necessary. “En plein air”  is a French expression that means “in the open air” and is used to describe the act of painting outdoors. Artists can set up their easels and draw with natural sunlight on their subjects. Many…