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Inspiration could be closer than you think

Sometimes the best materials for creating simple decorative touches for the home come right from the backyard. Flowers cut from their stems and floated in a clear glass bowl. Rose petals sprinkled on a table set with your grandmother’s dishes. Fallen twigs and branches with interesting shapes plunked in a tall vase.

Judy Kurtzworth, a member of the Garden Club of the Tonawandas, recently sent in this idea to share with readers:

“Hosta foliage makes beautiful arrangements. With all the rain we’ve had recently it seems to be a banner year for hosta plants, and cutting some leaves from one or more varieties makes a lovely arrangement,” she wrote in an email.

“In our garden we have many types of hostas so I was able to select ones with about the same size foliage. You need only a few leaves from each to make a beautiful presentation,” she explained.

One observation: “The greens and whites and cream hues become more vivid when put together in an arrangement. You will want to use a clear glass receptacle as the stems look even fresher and more sparkly in water that adds to the ‘magic’ of the arrangement,” she wrote.

“One of my arrangements is in an old canning jar and on a ledge next to my desk at work. It’s already been there one week and shows no signs of fading. If you are lucky enough to have irises blooming, one or two of them in the arrangement look stunning,” Kurtzworth said.

Two other gardening notes:

• The fourth annual National Garden Festival kicks off next Friday with a AAA Motorcoach Tour – “Favorite Buffalo Gardens: the Preview Tour.” Visit for a complete schedule of all local garden walks and tours, bus tours, GObike Buffalo’s Garden Bike Tours, weekday Open Gardens, speakers, workshops and more. The festival runs through Aug. 4.

• Forest Lawn, with thousands of trees, shrubs and native plants throughout its 269 acres, is looking for volunteer gardeners.

According to a press release, volunteers with all levels of experience are needed to assist with special projects such as planting of garden areas; maintenance of existing plants; routine landscape maintenance (such as mulching, weeding, watering, etc.); seasonal tree pruning and more. While gardening experience is helpful, it is not required. Master gardeners are also welcome to apply.

A schedule of dates and times when volunteers will be digging is in posted on the website. For the schedule or more information on the Landscape Renewal Volunteer Program, visit Or contact Matt Quirey, horticulture manager, at 885-1606, Ext. 213.