For Immediate Release
Buffalo, NY – The Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens Society, Inc. has a full schedule this October. To start, a Medicinal Garden Feature to highlight Breast Cancer Awareness and Flu Prevention Month will be held on October 12, the bi-annual Orchid Show will take place October 12-13, the Chrysanthemum Show will run October 19-November 10 and the Gardens will celebrate Binational Doors Open Niagara weekend on October 20 with a free admission day.
October is Breast Cancer Awareness and Flu Prevention Month and a special Medicinal Garden Feature will take place at the Gardens October 12 from 10am-2pm. Activities include: educational displays about the possible role of botanicals in preventing the seasonal flu, and also the use of plants in treating and researching cancer. Western New York affiliate of Susan G. Komen will be on hand to answer questions and provide informational materials. From 10am-12pm, Independent Nursing Care will provide blood pressure screening and flu shots will be available. The Medicinal Garden is made possible by D’Youville College School of Pharmacy and Mercy Hospital of Buffalo, part of Catholic Health.
In conjunction with the Niagara Frontier Orchid Society, the Botanical Gardens will host the fall Orchid Show October 12 10am-5pm and October 13 10am-3pm. Whether orchids are your passion or simply just a hobby, the Orchid Show gives all guests the opportunity to enjoy the beautiful and award-winning displays from the Buffalo Niagara region. Garden visitors will have all their orchid questions answered while enjoying the gorgeous Botanical Gardens, orchid displays, and various orchid-based programs. Specialty vendors will also offer a plant sale including merchandise and supplies in addition to this educational and unique show.
The Niagara Frontier Orchid Society’s mission is to seek to promote the culture and enjoyment of orchids, and aims to further every member's orchid related knowledge. They are dedicated to encouraging the protection of orchids and their conservation in natural habitats around the world. For more information on the Niagara Frontier Orchid Society go to www.niagarafrontierorchids.org.
Celebrating over 100 years, the Chrysanthemum Show is the longest running tradition at the Botanical Gardens. This year’s show will run October 19 through November 10 from 10am-5pm daily. Mums are a sure sign of shorter, chillier temperatures but their vibrant colors add warmth and beauty to any fall day. These beautiful flowers come in all shapes and sizes, from pale yellow round pompoms to huge bronze footballs. Over 20 varieties of tall standard mums in deep purple, maroon, chartreuse, crimson and pink, just to name a few, give this show drama and dimension.
Binational Doors Open Niagara weekend is October 18-20 and the Botanical Gardens will celebrate this international festival by offering free admission on October 20 only. This festival invites the local community and tourists to visit some of the most beautiful and interesting 19th century heritage, architectural and garden locations in North America during this wonderful weekend.
Tickets for the Medicinal Garden Feature, Orchid Show and Chrysanthemum Show can be purchased at the door and prices are; $9 for adults, $8 for seniors (55+) and students (13+), $5 for kids 3-12, Garden Members and kids under 3 are free!
For more details regarding Binational Doors Open Niagara, go to www.doorsopenniagara.com or call 877.884.2736. For more information on these events, visit www.buffalogardens.com. The Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens Society, Inc. is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to advancing appreciation for and knowledge of plant life and its connection to people and cultures through its documented living plant collection, historic conservatory, education, research and exhibits.
BUFFALO - It’s nice to have a little aloe plant on your kitchen windowsill, but there is so much more you can do with succulents than that.
Get great ideas by looking at the amazing exhibits during the Succulent Show to be held from 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. daily, from Saturday, Sept. 7 - Sunday, Oct. 6 at the Botanical Gardens, 2655 South Park Ave. in Buffalo.
Tickets are $9 for adults, $8 for seniors ages 55 and older and students ages 13 and older with identification, $5 for children ages 3-12 and free for Botanical Gardens members and children younger than 3.
Some of the exhibits, such as an entire woman created out of succulents, might be beyond the skills of the average gardener, but there are plenty of ideas that you can borrow and use at home.
I talked with Julie McDonald, gardener at the Botanical Gardens, about some of the designs she and fellow gardener Teresa Mazikowski created, last year.
Perhaps the simplest idea is to mix a variety of succulents in a container. Start with some tall plants, such as sansevieria, also called snake plant or mother-in-law’s tongue. Add shorter plants, then add your smallest plants, even cuttings of a plant, last.
Look for variety. Succulents can be tall, slender and upright; very wide and floppy, like a puppy’s ear; floral-shaped or cascading. They can be shiny or fuzzy. They can come in shades of green, silvery gray and yellow with splashes of red, purple and white.
Another way to display succulents is on a form.
For a mushroom, McDonald and Mazikowski took a wire flower pot and turned it upside down. They took thick plastic netting (the kind you use around a plant, to keep deer and rabbits from eating it) and wired it to the pot. Then they glued preserved moss to the netting. A section of a large cardboard mailing tube formed the stem. The tube was wired to the inside of the basket and covered with moss. You can add hens and chicks or other succulents, as well.
A simple cone shape covered in succulents would look great in the garden and it could make an attractive Christmas decoration as well.
McDonald and Mazikowski used a tomato cage turned upside down. The legs of the cage were wired together a few inches from the top. The legs were splayed enough at the top to form a pocket where a plant could be inserted.
Plastic netting was wired to the cage. Presoaked sphagnum moss was added to the inside edges to hold in the moisture. Don’t use Spanish moss, McDonald said; it won’t last. Sphagnum moss is expensive and heavy, so you don’t want to fill the entire tomato cage with sphagnum moss, she noted. Wire the succulent cuttings in place.
Check out the Succulent Show at the Botanical Gardens, to see what new ideas you can glean, for your own planting.
Connie Oswald Stofko is publisher of Buffalo-NiagaraGardening.com, the online gardening magazine for Western New York. Email Connie@BuffaloNiagaraGardening.com
September 11, 2013
They are small, they are shapely, and they are hot. Succulents are having a moment in the world of plants and floral arranging, showing up in centerpieces, wedding bouquets and living wreaths. That’s why, now through Oct. 6, an exhibit at the Buffalo & Erie County Botanical Gardens is showing some fun and fanciful new ways to enjoy the hardy green gems.
Planning began months ago, with gardeners taking clippings from the succulents in the facility’s desert house and drawing out plans for the arrangements, said Erin Grajek, the gardens’ marketing director.
Teresa Mazikowski is one of the gardeners on staff who turned rosette-shaped echeverias, spikey zebra plants and little vines of string of pearls into miniature gardens, a green-and-blue growing globe and a pirate ship, among many other intricate arrangements.
Visitors may be inspired to re-create the gardens – in craft-store rocks, old toy trucks, even broken pots – although they may want to skip trying to make the succulent monkey.
“We grow these on frames in sphagnum moss,” Mazikowski said. “We have to take them apart after the show. Once they start growing, they don’t look as nice.
“The monkey’s just going to get hairy and ugly,” she said with a smile.
But the succulent-based wedding table – made by setting the plants in a shallow frame to provide a living space for place settings – could be repurposed as a green wall if stood on end, Grajek said.
And most outdoor planters can move inside and thrive when the weather gets cooler, Mazikowski said.
“You just need to keep them moist, but don’t put them in ‘real’ soil,” she said. “They like a sandy mix. They often do well indoors, because it’s easier to control the moisture.”
One hardy succulent popular in gardens throughout Western New York – hens-and-chicks – doesn’t have to come in. It doesn’t just survive winter well, it is easily clipped and shared, making it a good choice for beginners building their first containers.
Saturday, the gardens also hosted another in its ongoing “medicinal plants” information series, this month focusing on men’s health and controlling cholesterol. Tim Hutcherson, director of the drug information center at D’Youville College, gladly explained how such plants as garlic, psyllium and hibiscus might help reduce cholesterol, and what research says about the way they work.
“Every culture has its go-to plants,” Hutcherson said. “And they use them in different ways – cooking them, grinding them, teas. The components are located in different parts of different plants.”
Traditional or not, users need to watch their “dosage” when using plants as medicine.
“Just because they’re natural doesn’t mean they’re safe in large quantities,” Hutcherson said.
He pointed out that red yeast rice, which contains monacolins – a substance known to reduce cholesterol – has been the cause of legal disputes about whether it can be sold as food or should be considered a drug.
Plants also can interact with pharmaceuticals, he said, so anyone “self-medicating” with Indian snakeroot (Rauwolfia serpentina), stevia or any other herbal/plant remedies should let their physicians and pharmacists know.
The Medicinal Garden feature continues through Oct. 12, focusing on how botanicals could help prevent the flu and the use of plants in cancer treatment.
Also coming up at the gardens, the Fall Plant Sale is Saturday and Sunday in the Administration Building. Less hectic than the spent bulb sale and smaller than the spring plant sale, it offers perennials, shrubs and some tropical plants. Admission to the sale is free.