Black Rock & Riverside Tour of Gardens offers $200 prize for artwork to use on cover

The Black Rock & Riverside Tour of Gardens Committee is seeking original artwork to use on the cover of their beautiful 12-page color map guide, as well as on posters  and other promotional materials, including T-shirts. The winning artist will receive a $200 cash prize. The deadline for submission is Wednesday, April 30. The artwork can be a painting, drawing, illustration or mixed media work and should be related to a garden landscape with statuary, an arbor or water feature…

Cool table decoration: colorful frozen spheres

by Connie Oswald Stofko I have been fascinated with making decorations out of frozen spheres. I made a large arrangement of frozen spheres for my porch, then I added candle holders made out of ice. I kept thinking that you should be able to use this idea inside, too, but I quickly recognized some drawbacks. The spheres in the large arrangement don’t just balance; they’re sort of glued in place. I poured water in between the spheres. When it froze,…

Rain barrel-painting contest set for high schools in Erie & Niagara Counties; register by Feb. 24

Students in grades 9-12 in Erie and Niagara Counties can enter a rain barrel-painting contest with cash prizes held in conjunction with Earth Day 2014. Schools are encouraged to enter a team, either through a class or an after-school program. The team will design and paint a rain barrel provided by the Coca-Cola Bottling Company of Buffalo, Inc. All participating schools will receive their final painted rain barrels to use, donate or raffle as desired. The deadline to register is…

More tips on making frozen spheres for your winter garden: add candles

by Connie Oswald Stofko You know what they say about Western New York: If you don’t like the weather, wait 10 minutes. You may think we’ve had nothing but snow and cold this winter, but I can assure you we’ve had thaws. I know because the arrangement of frozen spheres that I told you about in mid-December melted before Christmas. Luckily, just before New Year’s Day we got more cold weather (hey, I’m looking for the silver lining), so I…

Quirky way to add color to your winter garden: Frozen spheres molded inside balloons

by Connie Oswald Stofko If you want to add color to a winter garden, try this easy craft project that even kids can do. The instructions are pretty simple. Take a balloon, squirt some food coloring inside the balloon, then add water the way you would if you were making water balloons during the summer. As you add water, the food coloring will get mixed. Put the balloon outside and let it freeze. When the water is frozen solid, snip…

grow tunnel in Buffalo NY

Grow tunnel lets you grow veggies during winter in Western New York

by Connie Oswald Stofko The temperature was in the teens this past weekend, but the vegetables in the grow tunnel at City Honors School in Buffalo are still going strong. In this video, Caesandra Seawell, garden manager, shows us how the grow tunnel can extend the gardening season, allowing us to grow vegetables in autumn and winter in Western New York. She describes how the grow tunnel was constructed, and it seems pretty easy. There have been some developments since…

Get a jump on the holidays with Christmas open house at Lockwood’s

Lockwood’s Greenhouses will hold a Christmas open house from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, November 16, at the garden center, 4484 Clark St., Hamburg. Whether you’re looking for Christmas gifts or decorations for your own home, you’ll find a spectacular array at Lockwood’s. Make your purchases early– A free gift will be given to the first 100 guests with purchase. Enjoy a festive atmosphere with free refreshments including homemade cookies, savory treats and hot spiced cider. There will also…

Halloween pumpkin decoration made from old fence

Halloween fun: Be creative in your WNY garden all year long

I visited the yard of Jim “Wak” Nowicki during Garden Walk Buffalo in July. He had lots of interesting elements in his summer garden, including live fish in bowls suspended from tree branches, which we’ll talk about more toward the end of this article. But he doesn’t relegate his creativity to the summer months. He took a few moments out of the tour of his summer gardens to give me a sneak peek at his Halloween decorations that were stored…

Four spectacular ways to use succulents in your garden or home

by Connie Oswald Stofko The wonderful shows at the Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens can give you lots of great ideas that you can use in your own garden or home. Here are four spectacular looks from last year’s succulent show that you could adapt for your own home. Get more ideas at this year’s succulent show to be held from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily from Saturday, Sept. 7 to Sunday, Oct. 6 at the Botanical Gardens,…

completed memory garden in Williamsville NY

Make arrangement of potted perennials, plus more news

Fresh flower arrangement lasts for years– it’s made of potted perennials! This arrangement makes a great gift for a gardener. Not only is it gorgeous, the recipient can actually have all of these flowers in his or her garden next year! That’s because these aren’t cut flowers; this is actually an arrangement of potted perennial plants. This idea comes to us from Mark Yadon, vice president of Mischler’s Florist and Greenhouses, 118 South Forest Rd., Williamsville. Last year he gave…