News

Tree Tours, Science Cafés and a Medicinal Garden Feature at the Botanical Gardens

Posted on March 04, 2014 by Erin Grajek

For Immediate Release

March 3, 2014

Tree Tours, Science Cafés and a Medicinal Garden Feature at the Botanical Gardens

Buffalo, NY – New and exciting educational programs are announced at the Botanical Gardens. Saturday Morning Tree Tours will take place for the first time to explore the variety of tree species surrounding the Gardens. 2014 Science Cafés: Innuendo and Indulge will take an interesting look into the reproduction and uses of plants, and the Medicinal Garden Feature will offer a variety of presentations to highlight Nutrition and Poison Prevention Month.

Get to know some of the many tree species in the South Park Arboretum at our Saturday Morning Tree Tours. Tours will be led by Kristy Blakely, Director of Education and will take place from 9-10:30am on the following dates; March 22, April 12, April 26, May 10, May 31 and June 7. Start locations will be indicated by a Tree Tour sign at various locations on Ring Road in South Park. Each tour will focus on the trees surrounding that particular start location. Attendants are advised to wear comfortable shoes/boots and to prepare to get muddy. The cost is $5 per person, per tour. To purchase tickets, call 827-1584 ext. 291 or go to www.buffalogardens.com.

David Clark kicks off the 2014 Science Cafés with Innuendo: The Strange Sex Lives of Plants on March 25 from 6:30-8pm. Clark highlights the myriad of strange ways plants create more of themselves. You’ll never look at an orchid or a moss the same way again! Grab a few friends and join Blakely at Indulge: Delectable Botanical Luxuries on May 8 from 6:30-8pm on an exciting exploration into plants that pamper! Chocolate, wine, coffee, tea and perfume are just some of the treats we create from the botanical world. Ticket prices for each Science Café are $22 for Garden members and $25 for non-members. The Science Café series will become a regular part of the Garden’s schedule, with a second series titled Illuminate and Investigate, expected Fall of 2014. To purchase tickets, call 827-1584 ext. 291 or go to www.buffalogardens.com.

March is Nutrition and Poison Prevention Month and a special Medicinal Garden Feature will take place at the Gardens on March 22 from 10am-2pm. Activities will include: presentations about the benefits of foods from plants containing health-promoting compounds; botanical displays of edible plants which are good for health; common local plants which may be toxic to humans and pets; education regarding the prevention of accidental ingestion of toxic substances by infants and children in the home. From 10am-12pm, Independent Nursing Care will provide blood pressure screening. The Medicinal Garden is made possible by D’Youville College School of Pharmacy and Mercy Hospital of Buffalo, part of Catholic Health. All activities in the Medicinal Garden are included with Garden admission.

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.

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Kids’ Activities Announced at the Botanical Gardens!

Posted on March 04, 2014 by Erin Grajek

For Immediate Release

February 27, 2014

Kids’ Activities Announced at the Botanical Gardens!
Buffalo, NY - The Botanical Gardens offers a variety of creative and educational programs for kids. Young visitors are invited to join our Saturday and Sunday Kids Programs in the Wegmans Family Garden. At these interactive programs kids are able to plant, dig, build, observe, dream, explore, touch, smell and listen as they engage in both free play and structured learning. Our Saturday Art Classes for Kids offer another way to unlock a child’s creative potential, and our 2014 Digital Photo Contest is open to kids, teens and adult participants.

Kids of all ages are welcome to attend our Saturday Kids Programs. These fun and educational programs invite kids to explore the wonders of the plant world and the importance of eating healthy. Activities will be held in the Wegmans Family Garden from 11am-1pm and will include Dr. Seuss Day on March 1, Play with your Food on March 8, St. Patrick’s Day Pasta Rainbow on March 15, Poison Prevention on March 22, Bird Feeder and Binoculars on March 29, Cookie Seeds on April 5, Healthy Smoothies on April 12, National Garlic Day on April 19, National Pretzel Day on April 26, Bee Banana on May 3, Mother’s Day Herb Pots on May 10, Spilt Milk on May 17, World Oral Health Day on May 24 and Very Hungry Caterpillar on May 31. All activities are included with paid admission.

Kids have another chance to join the plant-related fun at our Sunday Kids Programs. These hands-on activities will be held in the Wegmans Family Garden from 11am-1pm and will be offered on the following dates; March 23, April 27 and May 25. While activities are best aligned for children ages 4-10, caregivers of our youngest learners are encouraged to assist with creations! All activities are included with paid admission.

Our popular Saturday Art Classes for Kids return for 2014! Allow your kids to express themselves through creativity in art! Taught by Joan Saba, professional artist and teacher, these multi-medium classes are for kids ages 5-15 and will be offered on the following dates; Series KA2 will be held March 1, 8, and 15 and Series KA3 will be held May 10, 24 and 31. Classes will take place from 9-10:30am and costs are as follows; $35 per series or $13 per class for children/grandchildren of Garden members and non-members. A piece of art will be completed at each class. All supplies will be provided.
Youth, teens and adults are encouraged to participate in our 2014 Digital Photo Contest. All photos will be considered for President’s Pick Award and the Cover of the Garden’s Next Newsletter Award. Photos submitted in each age range will be also considered for the following awards: Best Use of Shadows and Light, Most Unusual Vantage Point, Best Use of Color, Most Artistic and Best Use of Macro Photography/Extreme Close-Up. This is a contest for amateur photographers only and photos must be taken at the Gardens (inside or outside) from January 1 – December 31, 2014. All entries must be received by December 31, 2014. First entry is free with each additional entry is $6 for Garden members, and each entry is $8 for non-members.

For more information on these programs and contests visit us at 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.

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Orchid growers put on a dazzling display at Botanical Gardens

Posted on February 22, 2014 by Erin Grajek

The Buffalo News
Cover of City & Region
February 22, 2014
by Jane Kwiatowski
email: jkwiatkowski@buffnews.com

People forget what flowers look like during these dog days of winter.

That’s why each February, members of the Niagara Frontier Orchid Society roll out hundreds of their dazzling aromatic blooms.

Not every flower commands its own show at the Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens, but orchids are not your everyday flower.

“They say you can’t be considered an orchid grower unless you’ve killed 100 plants,” said Glen Decker, an orchid vendor who on Friday drove from Saratoga Springs to sell his greenhouse wares. “I figure I’m an expert.

”Decker, 52, began growing orchids at age 11 on Long Island. His learned the hobby from his mother, who serenaded her plants with music. His 5,000 plants filled an 1,100-square-foot greenhouse. By the time he reached his 20s, Decker admitted, he was out of control.

“Orchids are different,” he explained. “They are relaxing. As semiterrestrials, they thrive in loosely packed debris of decaying leaves and wood. Some require no dirt. What they do need is air at their roots to survive.

”At the moment, Decker’s orchids – about $7,000 worth – were resting comfortably in a mixture of bark chips and charcoal. He was one of the first vendors to arrive at the tri-domed glass, wood and steel conservatory that distinguishes the South Buffalo gardens.Decker’s most expensive orchid, a non-blooming collectible, will sell for $89, he said. In the past, one of his specialty slipper orchids – known for a delicate pouch that some say resembles a slipper – sold for $2,000.

Decker, who recently had an article published in Australian Orchid Review, is a respected lecturer on the international orchid circuit.

Members of the Niagara Frontier Orchid Society agreed they have learned much about growing orchids from each other.

Joseph DiDomenico, society president for eight years, watched as his wife, Diane, and their granddaughter set up a small orchid display. The DiDomenicos, who returned to their Elma home on Tuesday after spending six weeks in Marathon, Fla., were disappointed to find few blooming orchids in their greenhouse.

“Every year is different,” DiDomenico said. “I had flowers blooming last week. I’ll have orchids open Monday or Tuesday. That does me no good this weekend.”

The DiDomenicos are frequent visitors to the Botanical Gardens. DiDomenico, an amateur beekeeper, manages a beehive on permanent display.

There are 25,000 to 35,000 species of orchids and hundreds of thousands of hybrids, said DiDomenico, as society members made their way into the Florida-like air that fills the garden dome. Members are encouraged to set up displays even if they have just a few plants, DiDomenico said.

Growers put the average price of an orchid plant at $25 to $30, although you can buy them for $10 to $15.

Some species, DiDomenico said, have flowers that last for five to six months. Others fall after half a day.

“Like the vanilla orchid,” he said. “You’ll have to wait from six months to a year for it to bloom again. The seed pod is where the vanilla actually comes from. By weight, it’s the second most expensive plant product in the world.”

The Niagara Frontier Orchid Society’s Winter Orchid Show will be held today and Sunday at the Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens, 2655 South Park Ave. Show hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. today and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday. For more information, call 835-2132.

The Orchid Show, a Medicinal Garden Feature and a New Arcangel Gallery Exhibit are Planned for the Weekend of February 22

Posted on February 06, 2014 by Erin Grajek

For Immediate Release February 4, 2014

The Orchid Show, a Medicinal Garden Feature and a New Arcangel Gallery Exhibit are Planned for the Weekend of February 22

Buffalo, NY - The Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens Society, Inc. has an exciting weekend planned for February 22-23. The highly anticipated Orchid Show will run February 22 through 23 and an informative Medicinal Garden Feature will highlight National Heart Month from 10am-2pm on February 22. A new Arcangel Gallery exhibit will open featuring brothers, David and Julius McCann on February 22 and will run through March 30.

The Niagara Frontier Orchid Society in conjunction with the Botanical Gardens will be hosting the Orchid Show February 22 from 10am-5pm and on the 23 from 10am-3pm. Amazing and unique orchids will be displayed throughout the Gardens for visitors to enjoy. During the show, visitors can also learn more about growing orchids and other aspects of indoor orchid gardening with special informal educational programs held both days. Various vendors including Bloomfield Orchids, Marlow Orchids, Piping Rock Orchids and Hydroponics of Buffalo will be on-site to sell orchids and supplies. Orchid Show admission is $9 for adults, $8 for seniors (55+) and students (13+ with ID), $5 for kids 3-12 and members and kids under 3 are free.

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.

On February 22 from 10am-2pm learn about medications that are derived from plants and are used to treat medical conditions during the special Medicinal Garden Feature. Since February is National Heart Month, Catholic Health’s Mission on the Move team will provide glucose, cholesterol and blood pressure screening and there will be educational displays on the topic hearth health. The Medicinal Garden is made possible by D’Youville College School of Pharmacy and Mercy Hospital of Buffalo, part of Catholic Health. The Medicinal Garden feature is included with Garden admission. Admission prices are $9 for adults, $8 for seniors (55+) and students (13+ with ID), $5 for kids ages 3-12, and free for members and kids under 3.

The new Arcangel Gallery Exhibit will feature brothers David and Julius McCann February 22 through March 30. The brothers, who grew up frequently visiting the Botanical Gardens, were inspired by the beautiful flora and captured it in their own way. Experience their different perspectives on similar subject matter which includes orchids, cacti, greenhouses and an exciting mix of nature. The intent of the Arcangel Gallery is to display photography and artwork that reflects first, the Botanical Gardens, its horticulture residents, nature in general, Western New York life, Buffalo architecture and more. The Botanical Gardens is now accepting applications for future exhibits in the Archangel Gallery. Applications are available online at www.buffalogardens.com. This exhibit is included with Garden admission. Admission prices are $9 for adults, $8 for seniors (55+) and students (13+ with ID), $5 for kids ages 3-12, and free for members and kids under 3.

For more information about 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. 

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Buffalo News - January 28, 2014

Posted on January 28, 2014 by Erin Grajek

Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens bring back interactive Night Lights event


Buffalo News - January 28, 2014
by: Mark Sommer

The Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens bring back Night Lights event for its fourth year, offering ‘kid-interactive fun family’ programs and a chance to escape ‘crazy-cold weather’

It’s an especially good time to be at Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens – and for the not-for-profit that operates the century-old, tri-domed Victorian glass house located on the edge of South Park.

Beginning Wednesday, Night Lights at the Gardens – with its trademark multicolored theatrical and interactive lighting, including lasers, enhanced sound and added animation – will soothingly transform the Botanical Gardens for a fourth successive year.“I’m really looking forward to seeing all the kids again. Last year, we really had an outrageous amount of kids, and they love it,” said Erin Grajek, Botanical Gardens’ marketing director. “We’ve amped up the kid-interactive fun family stuff, because it really is a great place to bring families in this crazy-cold weather.”Dazzling and ever-changing shards of colorful lights in the main Palm Room were seen during the event’s setup projecting onto yarey, royal and Sliver Bismarckia palms, or dancing along the 67-foot-high dome.

A nearby female form – constructed from chicken wire, packing tape and a table cloth – was also manipulated with colorful lasers.Interactive, colorful lights lent a new way to experience the Fern House and Tropical Rainforest’s 30-foot waterfall, rainbow-lit bridge and dinosaur topiary, adding another contemporary presentation to the Lord & Burnham-designed conservatory. In House 11, the number of red-and-green butterflies that fill up the small space is being doubled to 8,000.The work is the result of a collaboration between Doug Sittler of Sittler HQ and Steve French of Volt Vision.The most prominent addition this year – that’s sure to be a hit with kids – is what Francis called “a primitive version of motion capture,” allowing a person’s movements in front of a projection screen to be mimicked by an animated fern and Venus fly trap.

The annual Night Lights at the Gardens is one of the site’s most popular events. Total attendance the past two years has gone above 90,000.“Last year was spectacular in so many different ways. Just about every event we had exceeded expectations,” said David J. Swarts, the Botanical Gardens’ president and chief executive officer.The Panama House and outdoor Children’s Garden were redone. A Native Garden was installed, and a gazebo constructed.

The children’s education programs also blossomed, with 12,500 participants last year, the most ever, Swarts said.A horticulture certificate program begun in late 2012 and carried through 2013 helped return the Botanical Gardens to its mission as the region’s “horticulture hub,” he said, with 20 classes averaging more than 30 participants.Other events in February include “Kids Day at the Gardens” on Feb. 19, and the Orchid Show Feb. 22 and 23.

Despite the intense cold that’s draped the region, Swarts is hopeful the light show in the warm confines of the Botanical Gardens will make it a go-to destination the next three weeks.“I keep saying that as long as it doesn’t snow heavily, people are going to want to be here because it’s like being in Florida without buying an airline ticket,” Swarts said.

Night Lights at the Gardens will run Wednesday to Saturday evenings until Feb. 15. Hours are 6 to 9 p.m. weekdays, and 6 to 10 p.m. on weekends.There will also be musical entertainment and fire exhibitions on some nights. For more information, go to www.buffalogardens.com.

email: msommer@buffnews.com