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Gov. Andrew Cuomo proclaimed May 6 to 12 to be Compost Awareness Week. The proclamation (an edited version here) reads: “Whereas, the Empire State supports environmentally-friendly initiatives … such as composting … through more than 190 regulated facilities in New York State that process more than 700,000 tons of organic material; and “Whereas, organic materials mak…

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It sometimes feels as if it happens overnight: Forsythia, flowering pears, tulips, daffodils and more burst into bloom after a long winter and a cold, rainy spring. Yes, crocuses could be seen sprinkled with snow in April, but it really wasn’t until early May that the big blossom party began. Spring. Finally spring. Buffalo News photographers recently captured so…

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Ready for some plant shopping? Check out these sales organized by area garden clubs this weekend or next. Depending on the sale, you may find annuals, perennials grown by club members, succulents, garden art and more. Sales benefit various civic organizations, programs, scholarships, etc. Plant sales on May 19: • Hamburg Garden Club: 7:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., Hamburg F…

Gardening

The McNattys have lived in their home in Lancaster for 11 years. With 7 acres to maintain, Mary and Dan, a retired house painter, spend a lot of time in the garden. The large wraparound porch is just one highlight of the home. Mary’s meditation room, with infrared sauna, is another place to relax. Here is how Mary described the home ‑ both past and present ‑ for our Hom…

Gardening

It’s April and usually that means lots of rain. “April showers bring May flowers,” indeed. In an ideal world plant roots absorb water with nutrients that travel through the plant’s vascular system and trigger production of shoots, leaves and buds. Plant roots absorb much of the rain, and the soil – replete with organic matter and microorganisms – holds the rest of the mois…

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The garden at Jim and Leslie Charlier’s home has been a must-see for years during the annual Garden Walk Buffalo. It has been featured in numerous national publications, including This Old House, Backyard Solutions and Fine Gardening. This week, we take a look at the inside of their home, with its local artwork, colorful walls and handcrafted items. Jim Charlier runs…

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Bulbs have been on my mind all week. Last Friday I was in Keukenhof Gardens in the Netherlands, where about 5 million tulips and other bulbs provide breathtaking plantings over a 70-acre park. This year’s theme: The Romance of Flowers. Five indoor pavilions provide education on tulip history and science as well as exciting plant introductions. If you love flowers, this …

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Western New York Hosta Society will hold its spring meeting at 2 p.m. April 22 at the East Aurora Senior Center, 101 King St., East Aurora. Photographer Jim Charlier will present “Garden Photos: Grow Your Know-How.” Pick up some tips and techniques for improving your garden photo skills. All welcome; free admission. Refreshments. Hamburg House and Garden Club will hold …

Gardening

I have been just two days in the Netherlands, but how suitable that the first excursion from the river boat took us to a tulip farm. This trip on Ama Waterways will take my band of 15 travelers to visit historic villages and the city of Gouda, to learn about building a country half below sea level, and to see windmills and a spring flower show called Floralia. The trip’…

Gardening

Lewiston GardenFest is accepting applications from vendors as well as local residents interested in showcasing their gardens during this year’s event, 10 a. to 5 p.m. June 16-17. Go online for details and to download applications. Application deadline for vendors is May 1. The application deadline for residents to participate in open gardens is May 5. GardenFest is present…

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As I patrolled my yard this week I had the feeling that St. Patrick’s Day must be soon. Yet the calendar says it’s April. In the yard and garden everything is happening slowly, which is not a bad thing. Gradual seasonal changes are ideal. We often lose some flowers and fruit when a premature warm spell causes plants to plump up their buds and then ‑ boom ‑ a deep freeze…

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East Aurora Garden Club will meet at noon April 9 at St. Matthias Episcopal Church, Main and Maple streets, East Aurora. Kristy Schmitt, director of education at the Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens, will offer a hands-on presentation, “Indulge-Delectable Botanical Luxuries,” which will include a chocolate tasting and making essential oils and bath salts. Guests a…

Gardening

Have you made plans to celebrate spring by heading out to Plantasia, the garden and landscape show? It’s happening March 22-25 at the Fairgrounds Event Center and Artisan Hall in Hamburg. This year’s theme is “Cityscapes into the Night.” Among the highlights: • Landscaped theme gardens that I read cover 15,000 square feet ‑ that’s more than the area of three basketba…

Gardening

Last weekend the Western New York Land Conservancy and Erie County Master Gardeners hosted the leading American spokesperson for ecological health, Douglas Tallamy. His messages are crucial for everyone, but he was speaking largely to audiences who already care about ecology and environmental issues. It’s my job to tell you about it – and your job to help me and professor …