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Susan Martin

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.


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,…

The recent story in the New York Times about how some guys have taken to wearing high socks with shorts got us thinking. The matter of men and socks isn’t as black and white as it used to be. These days, men can wear colorful, patterned socks as a fashion statement. They can opt for no-show or low-cut socks or pull on a pair of white tube socks with stripes. Or they c…

June may signal the end of the school year but for me, it also always meant strawberry season. I have sweet memories of piling in my mother’s Buick station wagon and barreling down some country road to a U-pick farm. Upon arrival, my mother – with canvas Grasshoppers on her feet and a sun hat on her head – would give us our marching orders. We would pick and pick …

The Western New York Rose Society will present its annual rose show from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. June 17 at Walden Galleria. Free admission. Western New York Iris Society will present an iris show, “Tiptoe through the Iris,” from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. June 17 at Eastern Hills Mall, 4545 Transit Road, Clarence. Anyone interested in flower design is invited to enter the Design Di…

You don’t need a reason to throw a party, but there are many reasons to host one this time of the year. Father’s Day. Summer solstice. Graduation. Shower. Wedding. Family reunion. Fourth of July. And all those summer birthdays, of course. In most cases, big decisions need to be made. How many guests? Tent or no tent? Catered, partially catered or DIY? Once all…

It will be a sad day when I finally have to ditch my favorite flip-flops. They’re cute – navy with white polka dots. I first bought them for a beach vacation. After that they became my go-to slip-ons for retrieving the mail, watering the porch ferns, heading for a pedicure. I never wear them to the office or to dig in the garden. They’re a summer staple I keep by …

East Aurora Garden Club will meet at noon June 12 in St. Matthias Episcopal Church, Main and Maple streets, East Aurora. Park in rear. Dorothy Julius, co-owner of Along Garden’s Path, will present “Think Spring, Think Green,” which will include a demonstration on how to incorporate natural materials in home decor and timely tips on recycling and gardening. Guests wel…

Keys have been baffling me lately, ever since I started sorting through an odd collection of them. Some may have traveled with me for years – no doubt from places I have lived and vehicles I have driven. One key looks like it belongs to a bike lock – but what bike lock? Another could possibly lock a filing cabinet – but not one I own now. I also have mysterious…

Youngstown Garden Club will hold its annual plant and garden decor sale from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. June 3 in the Youngstown Civic Center (Red Brick School), 240 Lockport St., Youngstown. Profits are used to support three community gardens and fund local scholarships. Call Karen Noonan, 745-1283. Garden Club of the Tonawandas will hold its sale of member-grown perennials from…

Cornell Cooperative Extension Erie County master gardener volunteers will hold their annual plant sale from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. May 26 and 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. May 27 at First Presbyterian Church, One Symphony Circle. Featured will be sun and shade perennials, natives, herbs, annuals, shrubs and vegetables from the gardens of master gardeners, who will be on hand to offe…

Looking for plants with personality? Plant and seed companies such as Proven Winners and Burpee have some fun ways of describing the flowers, vegetables and other products featured on their websites. I read how one plant really “swaggers” in containers. And how a certain dahlia gives other plants “an inferiority complex.” How, one wonders, will Superbells …

Weekends are packed with parties, garage sales, barbecues and festivals, but gardeners and nongardeners alike know there are other events that scream summer around here: Garden tours and walks. Beginning in early June and continuing into August, it will be possible to check out one – or several – almost every weekend. Daytime too busy for you? You’ll find evening …

Leave a message on Karen Biel Costantino’s voicemail and, when she calls back, expect to hear something like this: “I couldn’t get to my phone. I was up on a ladder.” That’s what happened one morning several weeks ago. Yes, she was up on a ladder. She had been painting since 6 a.m., she said. This was just a normal day for Costantino, whose recently restore…

Most people have family members, housemates or roommates who do little things that bug them. They return a bottle to the refrigerator with only a drop or two of orange juice in it. They walk by items placed on steps that need to be carried upstairs and put away. They don’t replace the empty toilet paper roll – or if they do they hang it in a different way than…