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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…

Last weekend I had only limited time to visit gardens during the Buzz Around Hamburg Garden Walk. Still, the experience in just three gardens reminded me of the value of the whole regional phenomena. (Western New York offers five weeks of walks, tours and Open Gardens that comprise about 1,000 private gardens that you can visit.) No matter where you go, gardens will sur…

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…

Change happens fast in our yards and gardens during June and July. Wonderful plants dazzle us with their growth and some soar through their peaks of performance. Problems also show up quickly: weeds, a few troublesome insects, and several weather-related diseases. Let’s take a walk around our collective gardens, share some observations, and see if I can answer some…

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…

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…