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For our latest Reader Challenge, we asked for photos of fabulous outdoor pillows on porches, patios and other outside settings. We received some beauties but not as many submissions as in previous challenges. We can only imagine the excuses. “I was too full to do anything after the Taste of Buffalo.” “My iPhone told me its storage is full.” “The dog ate my throw pill…

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A porch doesn’t have to be a sprawling veranda to be a relaxing place to sit and enjoy a quiet evening. But a small porch that is a bit of an eyesore benefits greatly from a makeover. Such was the case at the Village of Williamsville home of Stephen M. and Rebecca Parisi, who have lived in the house since 2007. Gone is the rusted wrought-iron railing and old, green f…

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We recently experienced extremely hot and humid weather, and summer had only just begun. We can expect more days like that – often called “dog days” – so let’s get ready for them. The hottest weather is rough on people and dogs, but it also kills or damages plants. Our flower baskets, vegetable beds, or home landscapes are investments, and precious to us. And we can tak…

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Last month we asked readers to send us photos of their prettiest place settings. (You can see the place setting voted No. 1 below.) Our latest Reader Challenge? Photos of your splendid outdoor pillows. These accessories for outdoor living spaces come in every color under the sun – with patterns and themes to accent any setting. Whether you email us a photo of a single s…

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The newest addition to Paul and Peggy Koppmann’s covered deck behind their Grand Island home is a pair of cushioned swivel chairs. “We can just swivel around and look at the garden,” said Peggy Koppmann who, like her husband, is a master gardener. The deck is a lovely place to be on summer days and evenings, too, thanks to string lights on a dimmer and solar lights. …

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Peter BonSey and Jan Hamilton have been in their Snyder ranch for about 20 years. You won’t see clutter here, but you will find some smart, space-saving ideas. Ideas also can be found in their garden, which is on the Snyder-CleveHill Garden View, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. July 8 (details below). Here are a few things they have done inside their home: “Our home is quite diffe…

Buffalo

Fester the corpse flower bloomed in all his glory at 3 p.m Saturday in the Buffalo & Erie County Botanical Gardens. Unfortunately, it came at a time when most of the public didn't have a chance to see the rare occurrence, which happens every 7 to 10 years. But on Sunday, a steady stream of viewers came to look at the flower that rapidly grew to 5 feet 8 inches ta…

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Buffalo is one exuberant gardening city, widely known for Garden Walk Buffalo, America’s largest garden tour, and increasingly for all the other community garden walks and open gardens. But even gardeners who decorate their porches and yards just for themselves and summer gatherings have advantages in Western New York. Our garden centers and nurseries offer fabulous flo…

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When Bev and Tony Tylenda decided they wanted to add a backyard structure for storage, they knew they didn’t want a standard shed. So they decided to build an English-style cottage behind their Clarence home. That was four years ago. Today the 396-square-foot cottage, officially known as an accessory building, has a front porch and is surrounded by perennial beds and a …

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Karen White-Walker has a very special place to do her writing – in a quaint structure behind her 722-square-foot home on Lake Ontario. White-Walker, a columnist and playwright who has been writing for 45 years, described the place this way for our online Home of the Week feature for the Home & Style section of The Buffalo News: “My home is a humble cottage that i…

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Phyllis and Ken Wells have the perfect place to relax, entertain and enjoy their Parkside neighborhood: the wraparound porch on their 1910 American four-square house. “It’s a gathering space,” said Phyllis Wells who, as the oldest of nine siblings, has a special connection to the house. Her family, including her parents Russell L. and Rosalia Russo, lived in the home fr…

Buffalo

Move over, Morty. Fester, another corpse flower at the Buffalo & Erie County Botanical Gardens, shows signs it could soon bloom after years of being dormant. Fester's awakening comes on the heels of Morty's bloom last week. Fester should flower in two to three weeks, said Kristin Pochopin, the director of horticulture. "He's growing like gangbusters, and wa…

Gardening

Dean and Jody Wienke have worked hard to transform their City of Tonawanda home into the place it is today. Both are do-it-yourselfers who learned along the way and came up with creative ideas for fixing up and decorating the house, inside and out. They raised two children in this house – Brittany and Taylor – both of whom are getting married in the coming months. Jo…

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Name: Nellie Gardner, 60. Who she is: Horticulturist at Frank Lloyd Wright’s Darwin Martin House Complex, where she manages the landscape, assists in programming, and educates and coordinates “an amazing group of volunteers.” She is spearheading the landscape restoration at Graycliff, the Wright-designed Martins’ former lakeshore summer home. A gardening consultant, lec…