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In this season of generosity, sentimentality, and often good times, we might stop to consider the needs of another close relative: Mother Earth. I am happy to see that many retailers are doing that to some extent, offering products related to reducing, reusing or recycling. From garden centers to trendy gift stores (Thin Ice on Elmwood Avenue among them) you’ll see gift…

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At last it’s time to spread the winter mulch, if you have some to spread. In an ideal end-of-season sequence, gardeners often gather mulch materials, stash the bags nearby, wait until the soil freezes, and then spread it over the dormant perennials or the woody plants’ root zones. Unfortunately, neither professionals nor homeowners usually have the luxury of such timing…

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For some people, it’s true: You can go home again. At the Buffalo home of Dr. Joseph Capuana, a dentist, and Jan Capuana, a registered nurse, many years have been spent transforming the house that Jan Capuana grew up in – first as a place to raise their own children and now as one to welcome their grandchildren. She is the decorator with a knack for shopping consignment…

Gardening

Robert Mattison and his wife, Heather Rease Mattison, are the owners of Graestone Manor - described on the website as "Western New York's Most Haunted Bed & Breakfast." The restored Victorian property sits along the Erie Canal in Niagara County and is the site of paranormal investigations, including a sold-out ghost hunt on Oct. 31. It was featured Oct. 8 in a se…

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The Dutch call it “bulb lasagne” – a catchy name for combining and layering bulbs to create stunning displays with long-lasting color. The largest example of layered and massed flower bulb designs is in the Netherlands at Keukenhof, called the largest flower garden in the world. A tour there is breathtaking, showcasing the Netherlands’ centuries-old mastery of bulb cult…

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It's the season for mums. Earlier this month we asked four floral and decorating experts to share some ideas on how to decorate with them. After that, we invited readers to send us photos of how they display mums outside their own homes. Below, you will see mums planted in a window box and in a flower bed. You will see them combined with other plants in containers. A…

Gardening

We finally get the memo: Our protracted summer is passing and we have jobs to do. It’s time to bring some plants inside and store others. It’s time to cut back some perennials and improve the vegetable and flower gardens. You can still improve your lawn. And there is lots of time to prepare the landscape for winter. First things first 1. Tender plants: Take inside now …

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Some people love fall mums. Others ... not so much. Still, those oh-so-familiar mums are easy to find, easy to transport and, quite frankly, look right at home alongside pumpkins, corn husks and all those colorful leaves that will soon be covering your lawn and flower beds. While some people plant hardy garden mums in the ground, others use readily available mums to …

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Johanna C. Dominguez doesn’t just provide a home for her four cats. She also gives them a safe and special place of their own outdoors. It’s called a catio – or cat patio. Sirius, Weasley, Tovenaar and Merlin can enter the screened-in, multilevel structure through a cat door installed in her house. The enclosed structure measures about 13-by-4 feet and stands 9 fe…

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Showy sunflowers? Dramatic daylilies? Ravishing roses? We're looking for photos of beautiful blooms from WNY gardens. Do you have a favorite photo you snapped in your own garden, either recently or earlier this season? Please share it with us. We're putting together an end-of-the-summer gallery, and your photo could be included. Submissions can be emailed to homeands…

Gardening

Samantha Muscato lives in a five-bedroom, three-bath house she bought a couple years ago on her favorite street in the City of Tonawanda. The home, which was built in 1877, was on the Victorian Home Tour in August, presented by COT Neighbors United. She described how it all came to be in an email for the Buffalo News' Home of the Week online feature. "When I was a…

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When Christine Burnett talks about how she and her husband, David J. Hickok, went about fixing up their turn-of-the-century Buffalo home, she refers to a tip from HGTV/DIY Network star Nicole Curtis: Rather than following the latest trends, stick with a classic look that matches the era of your home. That’s exactly what they did – whether it was scooping up a dining roo…

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The Adirondacks are a favorite destination for Dean and Jody Wienke. In between trips, they enjoy a bit of the Adirondacks in the backyard of their City of Tonawanda home. Their 10-by-14 screened-in gazebo, designed and built by Dean, features Adirondacks-themed decor, much of it vintage. Old signs, wooden skis, snowshoes, paddles, fishing gear and Dean’s maternal gr…

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The end is near! The sky is falling! It’s over! This is a typical reaction around Western New York in August. Why do we think this? Is it the Erie County Fair with its agricultural messaging about haying and harvest time? Is it the first cool night when we close the windows? Is it the sight of the corn and red tomatoes at the farm stands? Or maybe it’s just the back-to-…