Wednesday, March 30, 2016

The Botanical Gardens in April 2016

credit: paulathompsonfreelance.com
The Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens, located at 2655 South Park Ave. in Buffalo, celebrates spring, fairies and Arbor Day in April.
  • Spring Flower exhibit – now through April 10 – featuring spring flowers, the 4H Farm (10 a.m. to 4 p.m.) and the Easter Bunny (March 25-26 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.).
  • Arcangel Gallery: South Towns Camera Club –now through May 15.
  • Medicinal Garden Feature – World Health Week –April 9 – 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • Black Friday Bulb Sale – April 29 beginning at 9 a.m. – buyers usually line up around 7 a.m. - $10 per bag, three bags per person – sale is in the garage behind the Gardens.
  • ArborDay Tree Tours – April 29 at 4 and 6 p.m. – celebrate Arbor Day with a guided tour of the Gardens' outdoor collections and learn the basics of tree identification – tour is $10 per person.
  • Fairyand Gnome Festival – April 30 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. – celebrate with fairy-themed crafts and activities, scavenger hunt and voting for the fairy house contest.


For more information on these events and others at the Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens, visit buffalogardens.com

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Proven Winners 2016 preview: New “hot-colored” annuals to spice up your garden

Campfire Fireburst Bidens paired with
Superbells Holy Moly! - June 2015
credit: paulathompsonfreelance.com
Proven Winners, which was kind enough to send me a box of beautiful plants last year, has given us a sneak peak at their 2016 introductions, including some brand new “hot-colored” annuals that will spice up your gardens and containers.

Campfire Fireburst Bidens was one of the plants I received last year, and was a great addition to my containers. Its blooms are red and orange, and looks great with other shades of red – I even used it with Superbells Holy Moly! in one container.

Mystic Illusion and the Dahlightful series are the first Dahlias for Proven Winners. Mystic Illusion is lemon yellow with dark foliage (reminds me of the Dark Angel Star Wars dahlia), while the Dahlightful duo of Georgia Peach and Sultry Scarlet feature dark foliage with smaller, compact flowers and plants.

Supertunia Honey is a color-changer of sorts, dependent on environment, fertilizer and moisture. Blooms range from yellow to pink to amber to coral – a real chameleon for your garden.

Find a complete preview of Proven Winners’ “hot-colored” annuals here.

Plantasia Rocks! – March 31-April 3, 2016

Get plenty of ideas for your gardens at Plantasia
credit: paulathompsonfreelance.com
Get ready for gardening season in Western New York at Plantasia Rocks!, taking place Thursday through Sunday, March 31-April 3 at the Hamburg Fairgrounds Event Center and Artisan Hall. The four-day garden event will feature vendors, seminars and plenty of ideas for your 2016 gardens, focusing on this year’s theme – rock gardens, rock walls, stone paths and more.

All four days will feature unique seminars, including visits from radio personality Ken Brown, Connie Oswald Stofko of Buffalo-NiagaraGardening.com, Nellie Gardener of the Darwin Martin House and Buffalo gardening writer and television personality Sally Cunningham. Find the complete schedules here.

Special events on this year’s schedule include the Children’s Garden from the Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens, live music and entertainment and a live radio broadcast featuring Domenic Cortese – find a complete schedule here.

On Wednesday, March 30, STAR 102.5 will host the Preview Night Party from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Get the first look at the 2016 event with shopping, a cash bar and food tastings from area restaurants. Tickets are $15 – get tickets here.

Plantasia hours are Thursday, Friday and Saturday 10 a.m.-9 p.m. and Sunday 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tickets are $9 for adults (coupon for $1 off here), $7 for seniors (60+ - no additional discount) and free for kids 12 and under. Find out more about Plantasia at www.plantasiany.com

Friday, March 25, 2016

Proven Winners 2016 preview: New bi-color annuals to brighten your garden

Proven Winners, which was kind enough to send me a box of beautiful plants last year, has given us a sneak peak at their 2016 introductions, including some brand new bi-color flowers that will brighten up your gardens and containers.

Superbells Evening Star
credit: paulathompsonfreelance.com
Superbells Evening Star is a new introduction, but somehow (not through the box), I ended up with one last year – I’m guessing Lavocat’s, because they have gotten early introductions in the past. It features a lavender base and a yellow center star – it’s quite pretty on its own, but mixes nicely with purples, blues and yellows.

Superbells Holy Moly!
credit: paulathompsonfreelance.com
I know exactly where I got Superbells Holy Moly! – it was in the box! Holy Moly! is a lot of fun – a yellow and cherry-pink bi-color with mounds of flowers. It works well with reds, pinks and dark-leaved foliage.

Supertunia Picasso in Blue is a take-off on one of my favorite plants, Picasso in Pink. This time, a blue-lavender base is surrounded by chartreuse – I can’t wait to see this one in person!

ColorBlaze coleus can be used in sun and shade, and the line features two new introductions in 2016 – Apple Brandy and Velveteen. Apple Brandy is a combination of red and chartreuse, while Velveteen is hot pink and burgundy.

Find a complete preview of Proven Winners’ bi-color annuals here.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Khaleesi’s Garden: Season two preview!

I get itchy fingers waiting for gardening season – it’s a lot like getting overly excited waiting for the next season of Game of Thrones…or worse, for someone like me, the next GoT BOOK! (Come on, George!)

So what’s a girl to do while she waits? Plan, of course – and pre-order plants – and find new garden art…yeah, I’ve been busy.

The Rosy Dawn Gardens order went in in December – yes, December, because they let me! :) I ordered 16 coleus total, but seven of them are going into Khaleesi’s Garden: Apocalypse (X-Men), Black Widow (Avengers), Darth Vader (Star Wars), Fire Dragon and Yellow Dragon (GoT) and Hedwig and Lord Voldemort (Harry Potter).

credit: paulathompsonfreelance.com

I also picked up this sweet little “sun and stars” art piece at Christmas Tree Shop, and I’ve got a few more plants/bulbs ordered as well: Celosia Dragon’s Breath (GoT), Dahlia Catching Fire (Hunger Games), Crocosmia Lucifer (‘cause that’s just a cool show), Sedum Dragon’s Blood (GoT - hopefully the rabbits don’t munch on all of it this time!), and Hibiscus Summer Storm (X-Men) and Midnight Marvel (just because...Marvel).

So, the garage will be full in a couple of months, and I’ll be impatiently waiting for Memorial Day weekend so I can plant everything…until then, I dream, watch movies and plan where everything goes!

Monday, March 7, 2016

What to do in your garden: March and April

get ready for spring!
credit: paulathompsonfreelance.com
The weather here in Buffalo continues to be…weird. Last Wednesday, we had snow – this Wednesday, the high is expected to be in the 60s. My daffodils, which have been really confused this year, don’t look like they have any energy left to grow, much less bloom.

What can we do to prepare for the gardening season now? Here are some things (including a few repeats from the January/February list) that will get you a little farther along once May comes around.
  • Container and garden tool inventory and clean-up – go through your containers and garden tools and see what needs to be tossed, replaced, cleaned up and repurposed.
  • Plants and seeds – catalogs are starting to run out of things (I tried ordering a specific zinnia seed pack from two places and both were sold out!), but many local stores are already carrying seeds for veggies and flowers.
  • 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.
  • Clean up the landscaping – once the ground dries out, go around and pick up the branches and debris that have settled into the landscape over the winter.
  • Call for estimates – looking to have some landscaping work done by the professionals? Call now!
  • Visit Plantasia – Plantasia will be held at the Hamburg Fairgrounds Thursday through Sunday, March 31 through April 3 – it’s a great place to get ideas, shop for patio furniture and garden art and find that landscaping contractor to do the big jobs.