Susan Martin, The Buffalo News
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Susan Martin

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Susan Martin is Home & Style Editor at The Buffalo News. She is a native of Western New York and graduated from St. Lawrence University and Syracuse University.

I like our yard. I like the shade garden in the back corner with a path leading to a bench. I like the patio with the white wicker furniture and the green awning that we can lower on one side when it rains. I love the magnificent Sargent crabapple and the red maple that we planted years ago in memory of the family dog, the late, great Rascal. The tree has grown so sp…

The 15th annual Ken-Ton Garden Tour will take place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. July 22 and 23. The annual Night Lights evening tour is planned for 8:30 p.m. to 11 p.m. July 21 and 22. Gardens are located in the Village of Kenmore and Town of Tonawanda. Tour day headquarters is at the Aquatic and Fitness Center, 1 Pool Plaza, Town of Tonawanda. The event is free. The West Se…

Summer is in full swing and so are the garden walks and tours. There are self-guided weekend walks, including some in the evening. There’s the Open Gardens event in which residents welcome visitors to their gardens during certain hours on Thursdays and Fridays in July. And there are guided bus tours. The Buffalo Beyond Flowers: Sustainability in Action tour on Aug. 5 …

It’s been a busy summer in our suburban abode, but I’ve recently noticed an increase in a habit that baffles me: People leaving drawers and cabinet doors open. I can’t blame the dog. “What’s with this?” I’ll say with an exasperated sigh, shutting the door to the cabinet next to the sink where we keep the glasses. Someone needed a pen, I’ll mumble t…

The City of Tonawanda Garden Walk of 36 gardens is scheduled for 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. July 15. A Night Lights tour of 15 gardens will take place from 9 to 11 p.m. July 14. The event is sponsored by the City of Tonawanda Board of Visual & Performing Arts in conjunction with the Garden Club of the Tonawandas. Maps are available in city hall, the police department, the publi…

Summer is here and the living is easy if you’re in a hammock. The slight summer breeze, the gentle side-to-side motion, the chance to nap – or pretend to nap so as not to be disturbed. “A hammock lazily suspended between now and forever is a natural attraction. A hammock can teach marvelous lessons like how to ignore the phone, the buzzer on the dryer and that lon…

The Amherst Garden Walk is planned for 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. July 8. For a list of gardens, visit the town website. Maps also are scheduled to be available at: Arbordale, Hi-Way, Lavocat’s, Lincoln Park, Menne, Mischler’s, Donald Spoth Farm and 111 Campus Drive West. Springville Concord Elder Network (SCENe) Garden Club is planning its second free Community Garden Walk …

We all make mistakes, and veteran gardeners invariably admit to big ones. Why not learn from them and try to avoid these classics? Then you’ll be free to make your own. 1. Bringing home a troublemaker. It’s bad enough when a weed seed flies in on the wind and suddenly you have weedy patches to pull and dig forever more. It’s also annoying when a persistent weed ca…

It’s been a couple years since one of the counter-height stools in our kitchen was smashed beyond repair – by our cat. He was a jumper by nature – long, lean and a troublemaker. But we loved him (most of the time) and miss him now that he is prancing around cat heaven. Back in his younger days – and despite our efforts to keep him indoors – he would occasional…

Even before I heard that The Buffalo News was republishing a piece on cargo shorts written last summer by Alyssa Fisher, who was the intern in our Features Department, I had a picture in my mind of a guy I had spotted earlier in the day. He was walking around with a to-go cup of coffee in one of the pockets of his cargo shorts. Was it empty? I wondered. Half empty? A…

Of all the beach towels we have accumulated through the years – stripes, florals, dots and solids – we seem to have totally missed out on a recent trend. Round beach towels. Our beach towels are all rectangular. Imagine that. This week I spotted one in the July issue of Better Homes & Gardens magazine – a striped number priced less than $20 at walmart.com. …

Jamestown Audubon’s 2017 Secret Gardens Tour of six gardens is scheduled for 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. July 1 on the grounds of the Audubon Community Nature Center, 1600 Riverside Road, Jamestown, and throughout the region. In addition to purchasing them at Audubon, presale tickets are available for $12 in Falconer at Robert’s Nursery (3172 Dry Brook Road) and in Jamesto…

Summer fashion has its challenges as anyone who has experienced the transition from air-conditioned office to sweltering street knows. In addition, there are backyard parties, weddings, festivals, concerts and a host of other outdoor events that require some thought on what to wear. Below, some tips and things to consider: 1. Think fabric. Linen. Seersucker. Lightwei…

It’s here. High school graduation. Like many parents, I have mixed emotions – including feeling excited about my daughter embarking on a new life at college. If only I survive senior summer. Come late August, we will no longer have the cello in the living room, the pile of shoes by the back door, the backpack on the kitchen chair. Our inventory of phone and lapto…

The Buffalo-style Garden Art Sale is scheduled for 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. June 24 and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. June 25 on the front lawn of the Buffalo & Erie County Botanical Gardens, 2655 South Park Ave. Vendors will offer nature-themed items or works that can be displayed in gardens including sculpture, metalwork, paintings, woodwork, architectural remnants, found art, jewelry,…