Sometimes I teach vegetable gardening, as it was my original gardening passion and the topic of my first book writing for Rodale. I have learned to clarify some basic premises to make vegetable gardening easier for new gardeners or the experienced-but-confused. One of the most helpful things to understand is which plants are worth starting from seed, and which ones do best…

Smallwood Garden Club will meet at 7 p.m. Monday in Williamsville United Methodist Church, 5681 Main Street (at Oakgrove), Williamsville. Donna Lipowicz will present "Floral Serenity: Orchids! Orchids! Orchids!" She has 20 years of experience growing and showing orchids and is a fourth-year student orchid judge. If you have a submission for Garden Notes, please send i…

The topic of “Groundcovers” sounds mighty dull. Experienced gardeners and landscapers might even skip it, when it appears in a lecture or article. With the help of FLCC (Finger Lakes Community College) instructor Rochelle Smith I hope to provide some surprises and create some enthusiasm for these hardworking little plants – including many that aren’t so little at a…

Western New York Hosta Society will meet Sunday in the East Aurora Senior Center, King Street at Oakwood Avenue, East Aurora. Doors open at 1:30 p.m.; program begins at 2 p.m. Kathy Guest Shadrack will present “Shady Characters: Common and Not So Common Plants for the Sun-Challenged Garden.” Free admission, door prizes and refreshments. Beginners and visitors welcome. …

Countryside Garden Club of Elma will hold a business meeting at 10 a.m. Wednesday in the home of club member Priscilla Cashmore. Lunch to follow. Robert Poczik will present “All About Frederick Law Olmsted." Amana Garden Club will meet at 11 a.m. Wednesday in Ebenezer United Church of Christ, 616 Main St., West Seneca. Members are asked to bring a lunch, beverage and …

I expected to be unimpressed when the keynote talk at the huge Tropical Plants Industry Expo (TPIE) was "Where Plants and Lifestyle Trends Connect." OK, I thought, we know this already: The younger set - the millennials — need to be brought into gardening. They are our future. They want everything to be instant, easy and healthy. Then the keynote speaker, Jane Lockhar…

Western New York Iris Society invites all gardeners to meet at 2 p.m. Sunday at 103 Towers Boulevard, Cheektowaga, to hear Iris Society Judge Marilee Farry present “Mapping Your Garden.” A business meeting will finalize plans for the June Iris Show and other event dates and programs for 2017. Call 668-1789. Williamsville Garden Club will meet at 11:30 a.m. Thursday …

The more I travel the more I’m struck by the commonality within the gardening industry and its people. Our hardiness zones, plant species, soils, seasonal challenges, and the timing of our tasks vary widely but horticultural principles are consistent – as are the passions of gardeners and the commitment of horticulture professionals. I am writing from Florida, where…

My mother would have laughed hearing that houseplants are among the interior design trends for 2017. She always had big ferns hanging everywhere, ivy trailing down shelves and a jubilant jade that just kept growing and growing. If there was a spot she wanted some greenery but growing conditions were not ideal, she would unapologetically plop an artificial one there. A cert…

Current wisdom is that everything has changed in the world of books: how frequently people read online rather than in print, how people get their information, and what books sell. Some of these changes affect gardeners and naturalists too, but I see differences in this particular community’s relationship to books. Some books will remain on our shelves and have roles in o…

Federated Holland Garden Club will meet at 11 a.m. Wednesday in the Brink Memorial Community Center, Legion Drive, Holland. Following the business meeting and luncheon, members will discuss and plan for their 2017-2018 yearbook as well as the club’s May flower show. New members welcome. Call 537-9710. Cinderella Isle Garden Club will meet at 6:30 p.m. Thursday in Trin…

Kenmore Garden Club will meet at 10 a.m. Tuesday in Kenmore United Methodist Church, 32 Landers Road. Lyn Chimera will present "Container Gardening." Guests welcome. Evans Garden Club will meet at 7 p.m. Tuesday in the Angola Public Library. New officers will be elected; members are asked to bring ideas for the plant sale and auction to be held in May. Hamburg Garden…

Jan. 1, 2017: I did some gardening today, unexpectedly. The sun had come out, the ice dam on the roof was melting, the deck needed shoveling, and I wanted to get away from the computer. I intended to shovel a little bit, fill the bird feeders, and hang up a large suet-seed cake. How surprising then to find out all the other jobs my garden and landscape called me to do. It …

A national news show carried yet another story about Christmas tree prices rising sharply. That is not the case in Western New York (and certainly many other regions). But the widespread story is out, declaring that drought in many regions and wild fires in others have killed so many trees that there may even be a shortfall. Hearing all this, a family might give up its tra…