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On a hot and muggy Saturday afternoon this week I had just about the most fun a gardener could have. On Friday I’d received a surprise crate of summer flowering bulbs from Brent and Becky’s Bulbs, and it was my time to play. It was Christmas. It was my birthday. Someone watching might think the project looked like a lot of work, but gardeners know: This is the kind of …

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 …

My daughter bought a house. It’s an exciting moment for a parent, but even more so for this parent because the place has no garden or landscape. It’s a blank slate, and she wants my help. Even when it’s not in the family, it is good when a landscape professional can help a new homeowner – before mistakes are made. The right adviser can save you, young buyer or d…

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…

Interesting things happened to Joel Solly after he joined and helped establish an indoor air cleaning company in 1993 and spent a couple of years perfecting how to clean ventilation ducts without using harsh chemicals. He found out the same proprietary tea tree oil blend he developed for Indoor Air Professionals made a great air purifying gel, spray and wipes for use on…

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 …

As a newcomer to gardening in the 1980s I learned to identify and grow all kinds of perennials and vegetables. Yet while driving the roads of Western New York I did not know what I was seeing: “What are those flowering trees and shrubs in people’s yards and on village streets? What are the wildflowers stretching across the fields?” Later as a certified nursery and…

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…

Thousands of people are flowing through checkout lines in garden centers this month. They have chosen their plants. The cashiers scan the plant tags, and often ask, “Do you have the compost (or mulch or potting mix) you’ll need?” Those questions are more than add-on sales techniques. Sales staff or cashiers ask them because the customer probably does need some pro…

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…