Saturday, January 30, 2016

The Botanical Gardens in February 2016

See the Gardens lit up at night in February
credit: paulathompsonfreelance.com
The Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens, located at 2655 South Park Ave. in Buffalo, shines bright at night during one of its signature events in February:
  • Arcangel Gallery: Darleen and Darren Stry – now through March 13.
  • Amaryllis – now through February 28.
  • Orchids – now through February 28.
  • Lumagination – February 3-6, 10-13 and 17-20 – $12 for adults, $10 Garden members, seniors and students, $5 kids 3 to 12, free for kids 2 and under (no guest passes can be used) – Wednesdays and Thursdays 6 to 9 p.m., Fridays and Saturdays 6 to 10 p.m.
  • Lumagination Photo Night – February 2 – tripods will be allowed on this night ONLY – 6 to 9 p.m.
  • Kids Day – February 16 – 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Orchid Show – February 27-28 – Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sunday 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
  • Medicinal Garden Feature – National Heart Month – February 27 – 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
For more information on these events and others at the Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens, visit buffalogardens.com

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

2016 Garden Walk Buffalo-Niagara preview

Find new ideas at Garden Walk Buffalo-Niagara
credit: paulathompsonfreelance.com
My favorite time of the year is gardening season, and living in the Buffalo area gives me plenty of opportunity to gather ideas and information from other gardens and gardeners when Garden Walk Buffalo-Niagara comes around.

Formerly known as the National Garden Festival, Garden Walk Buffalo-Niagara features more than a dozen garden walks and tours, a huge garden art sale, bus tours, events, education and open gardens. Complete details for the 2016 festival have yet to be announced, but I’ve found a few things on the web that are already on my calendar for the summer.

Buffalo-Style Garden Art Sale – according to the Garden Walk Buffalo website, the annual sale will be two days this year – Saturday and Sunday, June 25-26 – and be held at a new location – the Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens, located at 2655 South Park Ave. in Buffalo. Any vendors interested in being part of the sale can find more information here.

Scheduled garden walks
  • Lewiston GardenFest is scheduled for Saturday and Sunday, June 18-19.
  • Amherst Garden Walk is scheduled for Saturday, July 9.
  • Capen Garden Walk is scheduled for Saturday, July 16.
  • Garden Walk Buffalo, billed as America’s Largest Garden Tour, is scheduled for Saturday and Sunday, July 30-31.
Check back periodically for updates!

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Preview: QVC’s first 2016 Spring Fever Garden Day – January 19, 2016

It’s cold, it’s snowy, but home shopping channel QVC knows how to warm us up – with its first Spring Fever Garden Day of the year! There’s a sneak preview on Sunday afternoon, January 17 from 4-6 p.m. ET, and a full day of garden-based fun on Tuesday, January 19. Here’s a look at a few of the preview pieces available now.
  • Plow & Hearth Handmade Letter Garden Art – available in “LOVE” or “BLOOM” at a clearance price of $41.64 (+ shipping and tax) – these are made of metal, and the “O”s in “BLOOM” are flower spinners. I have “BLOOM” as part of my “metal garden” by my shed (see photo).
  • Spear Head Gardening Shovel and Spade – available in pink, lime or yellow for $44.92 (+ shipping and tax) – specially-designed blade is great for dense, clay or rocky soils as well as subdividing highly-rooted plants, according to the description. It’s got 30 five-star ratings from last season.
  • Roberta’s 10-pc. All Fragrant Re-blooming Scentsational Daylilies – available for a sale price of $34.28 (shipping included) – two bulbs each of Charles Johnston, Blueberry Candy, Serena Sunburnt, Destined-to-See and South Seas.
Roberta’s Unique Gardens will be prominently featured throughout the day Tuesday with the Today’s Special Value – the Desert Rose houseplant in five different colors. Other shows featured throughout the day include:
  • Plow & Hearth in the Garden – 2-3 a.m. and 4-5 p.m. ET
  • The Great Outdoors with Dan – 6-8 a.m. ET
  • Garden Party with Carolyn – 9 a.m.-noon ET
  • Curb Appeal for Yards and Gardens – Lighting – 1-2 p.m. ET
  • You’re Home with Jill – Garden Edition – 8-9 p.m. ET
  • Scott Living Outdoor Style with the Scott Brothers (Property Brothers) – 9-10 p.m. ET
  • Gardening Made East by Cottage Farms – 10 p.m.-midnight ET


Saturday, January 16, 2016

Boost health and well-being with houseplants

Peace Lily
credit: Garden Media Group
It’s too cold to garden outside right now, but you can bring some life indoors and boost your health and well-being with houseplants.

While plants help produce the oxygen we breathe, houseplants can also work as natural air filters, removing harmful volatile organic compounds (VOCs), including formaldehyde, benzene and xylene, from the air.

“Including a few plants in your home can improve air quality, especially in newer, more energy-efficient buildings,” says Justin Hancock, horticulturist at Costa Farms. “It’s surprising how many household items release VOCs into the air. These products include household cleaners; off-gasses from carpeting, drapes, and furniture; and personal-care products such as nail polish, nail polish remover, hair spray, and hair gels.”

Some easy-care houseplants for cleaning the air include peace lily, Chinese evergreen, philodendron, ZZ plant and dieffenbachia.

Because houseplants release moisture as a part of their natural breathing process, they act as natural humidifiers in situations where forced-air heating can make conditions desert dry, causing dry skin, chapped lips, and other uncomfortable symptoms. Houseplants can also, especially in indoor environments, improve creativity, problem-solving skills, memory, and cognitive skills.

Find more information on houseplants at www.costafarms.com.

Quotes and information in this piece provided by Garden Media Group.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

2016 Rosy Dawn Gardens debuts

Apocalypse, from last year's garden
credit: paulathompsonfreelance.com
Rosy Dawn Gardens is my go-to spot for coleus of all kinds, especially ones for my Sci-Fi/Fantasy garden, a.k.a. Khaleesi’s Garden. Rosy Dawn Gardens is taking orders now for delivery beginning in April, and is showcasing 19 new varieties for 2016, including:
  • Terra Nova Blaze – red foliage with green edges – best in part shade.
  • Terra Nova Gaga – yellow and green leaves with hot pink centers – part shade, protect from direct sunlight.
  • Terra Nova Peridot – bright lime green leaves – part shade, protect from direct sunlight.
  • Shiny Shoes – unusual dark purple coleus with shine – part sun or shade.
  • Under the Sea Copper Coral – copper-red lobed leaves with a chartreuse edge – bright partial shade.
These and many other unique coleus varieties are available now at www.rosedawngardens.com

Sunday, January 3, 2016

What to do in your garden: January and February

It’s pretty weird to look out my window in early January and see…green grass…my gardens…my patio…


I’m not complaining, and I do enjoy sleeping at night (I know, I picked my job, but…), but I have to wonder how my mums and daffodils are taking this weirdness…



But anyway – the mild temperatures have me itching to do something – anything! – garden-worthy. Here are a few ideas of things to do to get ready for gardening season – it will be here sooner than you think!
  • Container inventory and clean-up – go through your containers and see what needs to be tossed, replaced, cleaned up and repurposed.
  • Tool inventory and clean-up – go through your gardening tools and do the same.
  • Assess last year’s garden(s) – if you made notes or took photos throughout the season, go through those and decide what was good, what wasn’t, and what you want to change for the new year.
  • Order plants and seeds – catalog sites like Burpee and Park Seed are already showing off this year’s new products, and (one of my favorite sites) Rosy Dawn Gardens is already taking coleus orders (yes, Khaleesi’s Garden is taking shape for the new year!).
  • Check on bulbs, tubers and corms – if you store flowers like cannas, dahlias, gladiolus, tuberous begonias and others, check through your bags or boxes and remove anything that looks dead or damaged.
  • Planning new gardens – if you’re thinking about adding a new garden this year, now is a great time to decide where it will go and what you will plant in it.
  • Garden art ideas – Buffalo is big on garden art, and whether you’re looking to purchase art or do a DIY project, the cold days inside are a great time to start – Pinterest is a great place to find ideas (when you have a few hours…).
If you’re really itching to check out new garden stuff, QVC (my official channel for background noise!) will have their first Spring Fever Garden Day on January 19 – the Today’s Special Value is a Roberta’s Desert Rose houseplant in five different colors!