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Like most gardeners last Sunday, I imagine, I was outside for as many sunny hours as I could manage, doing spring yard and garden tasks. Most of us don’t need lists: We just go out there. Even without a plan, what-to-do leads us forward. It was a joy to clean up the deck, patrol the yard for branches, and to make a small start in flower, fruit and vegetable beds. As a…

Paint cans, stepladders and boxed-up accessories were all part of the scene earlier this week as interior designers and everyone else involved in Decorators’ Show House 2017 worked toward the same goal: Preparing the August Feine House for thousands of visitors beginning April 29, when it opens its doors to the public for three weeks. More than 40 area decorators, …

Just like bell bottoms, off-the-shoulder tops and midi skirts, trends in home decor are cyclical. Whether the younger generation is seeing something for the first time while the rest of us are watching yet another resurgence, it can be fun to watch. Here are just a few things that appear to be making a comeback: • Rickrack: Country Living magazine notes in its Apri…

Piles of brush, leaves and sticks are mounting at curbsides all over Western New York (and in many other regions). I understand people’s urge to clean up after winter leaves its debris behind – fallen leaves, dead branches, and trees knocked down after windstorms. But it is disturbing to me, at an elemental level, to see so much organic matter pushed to the curb whe…

Amherst Garden Club will meet at 9:30 a.m. April 26 in St. John Lutheran Church, 6540 Main St., Williamsville. Joe Manuel, master gardener and educator, will present “12 Steps to Beautiful Roses.” Forest Stream Garden Club will host a luncheon and fashion show May 6 at Fox Valley Country Club. Reservations are $25. All are welcome. Call Eileen Markzon, 689-8653. …

The African Violet & Gesneriad Society of Western New York will meet at 7 p.m. April 18 at the Greenfield Health & Rehab facility. Topic: Show preparation. Email: judyoneil1945@gmail.com for detailed directions. Lancaster Garden Club will meet at 7 p.m. April 19 in St. John's Lutheran Hall, 55 Pleasant Ave. John Farfaglia will present "What Bugs You: 10 New and …

When it comes to spring fashion, there are many trends to check out. Splashy floral prints. Cute neckerchief scarves. Oodles of shoulder-baring dresses and tops. But if you’re on a mission to update your warm-weather wardrobe, we have a couple questions: Do you have a reliable (but stylish) raincoat? How about a quality pair of shades to protect your eyes? Every wo…

When I recently asked a friend what she couldn’t live without in her home, she answered “the washer and dryer.” This is true, I agreed, but I was thinking more along the lines of little things that make life easier. Like those colorful bag clips that help keep Veggie Stix, assorted cereals and noodles fresh. Or the masking tape dispenser I store on a shelf in t…

When it comes to kids, I think that very few of us – gardeners or simply grown-ups – are really experts on how to share our love of gardening or nature. We’re lucky we have elementary school teachers who know how to engage children in science topics, and what material is suitable at what age. We’re lucky to have our Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens with…

Western New York Iris Society will meet at 2 p.m. April 8 in the home of Maria Gerbracht, 125 Lafayette Blvd., Williamsville, for a Design Techniques demonstration. This will feature a foreign item not usually found in a design. The demonstration is in preparation for the WNYIS iris show June 17, with the theme "Tiptoe Through the Iris." Call 632-8069 or email:  mrgerbra…

I admire people who land a great outfit long before a special occasion arrives – including shoes and accessories. The funny thing is, I don’t know too many of them. Last-minute shoppers unite! We eleventh-hour shoppers rip through the racks at 8:30 p.m. Friday looking for a dress to wear Saturday afternoon. Or, even worse, 10:01 a.m. Saturday after the doors open…

How interesting it was last weekend to meet hundreds of you at Plantasia, the garden and landscape show of PlantWNY. I began to make notes, collecting questions and looking for trends. Then I asked other landscapers, experts, and “plant people” what questions they were hearing. At risk of sounding overly proud of the Western New York horticultural community, I wi…

It's not just the two spirited French bulldogs that come as a surprise at Artie Vanderpool's apartment. It's also the decor. He furnishes the small space with large furnishings. He displays a sizable collection of artwork and blue-and-white porcelain in interesting ways. And he buys it all from many different sources. A one-stop shopper he is not. He found the Anatolian…

The 2017 Philadelphia Flower Show theme was “Holland: Flowering the World.” It was my favorite and one of the best ever according to many. Imagine walking among 30,000 tulips all in bloom, under a floating floral canopy, and passing a 30-foot windmill – with light show and music performed on the hour. My band of travelers had left a blizzard-riddled world the day bef…