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Recent warm days have me thinking about spring colors, which is why I really love the turquoise dining chairs I saw on the Better Homes & Gardens website. The turquoise spindle-back chairs – in different but complementary styles – surrounded a farmhouse-style dining table. Somebody better keep me away from the paint department at my neighborhood hardware stor…

Winter is a great time to learn, plan and review, so I am presenting some basic gardening principles and practices this month. Most recently – if you missed a Friday – I covered groundcovers and vegetable gardening, especially the timing for spring planting and what to grow from seeds or seedlings. This week the topic is basic perennials: what everyone should know t…

Recently, when perusing the Apartment Therapy website, I came across an old post entitled “Don’t Fall for It: 5 Things You Really DON’T Need At Home.” Topping the list: Top sheet. “Forgoing a top sheet has made zero difference in my sleeping comfort, but a major difference in my laundry load and morning bed-making time. I’m a convert,” wrote contributor…

Creative juices were flowing and so were the fabrics during New York Fashion Week, which ended Thursday. As designers presented their collections for next fall and winter, styles ranged from crisp white blouses to embellished eveningwear. Menswear plaids and autumnal shades of camel, gray, navy and, of course, black filled the runways but floral prints and colors more o…

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…

In celebration of red - and in time for Valentine's Day - here are some quotes on this vibrant primary gathered from BrainyQuote.com and other sources. These ran along with my Sunday story in the Home & Style section: “I love red. Red pants. Red suit. Red coat. Red anything.” – Brad Goreski, television personality/celebrity fashion stylist “When in doubt…

Blues and greens have been getting a great deal of attention recently, but we’re here to talk about red – and not just because we’re a couple days away from Valentine’s Day. People who love red love it wholeheartedly. To them, red is timeless – never trendy. They drive red cars. Carry red wallets. Wear red dresses. Or, if the dress is black, they wear red shoes. …

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…

The recent New York Times story about how aides in the White House confer in the dark because they don’t know how to operate the light switches in the cabinet room got us talking. No, not about politics. Rather, about how many of us are baffled by some of the light switches in our own homes. Confessed one on Facebook: “I have lived in the same house for 31 years …

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…

Have a touch of cabin fever? Given up on your New Year's resolution to organize all of your closets? You need to get out of the house. As we count down the days until spring, now is a good time to make note of some home and garden events. Let's start with this weekend. The Sneak Peek of the 19th Decorators' Show House is scheduled for 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sun…