A Medicinal Garden Feature, Orchid Show, Mum Show and a Free Day are Planned for the Month of October at the Botanical Gardens

Posted on September 18, 2013 by Erin Grajek

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

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 or call 877.884.2736. For more information on these events, visit 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.

Job Openings at the Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens Announced

Posted on September 17, 2013 by Erin Grajek

Job Openings at the Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens Announced

Education Program Assistant

Posted September 17, 2013
The Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens is seeking qualified applicants for a part- time position of Education Program Assistant.

Working under the direct supervision of the Director of Education, the individual will work with the Education Department staff and docents in facilitating plant related, hands-on classes and tours for adult, school age and special needs groups. The individual must have an interest in teaching botany related subjects and have experience working with children and adults of all ages. A high level of written, verbal skills and knowledge of Microsoft Office Suite are required.

Applicants must have a minimum of two years undergraduate coursework in Education and/or the Natural Sciences or a current NYS Teaching Certificate in Early Childhood Education, Childhood Education or Science Education and at least one year of experience working in an educational setting with children and adults. The individual is expected to work weekday mornings and most Saturdays not to exceed 25 hours per week.
If you would like to be a member of our dedicated staff, please submit a letter of interest and resume via e-mail to David J. Swarts, President/CEO at


Posted September 17, 2013
The Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens is seeking a creative, highly motivated and experienced individual for the full time position of Gardener.

Working under the direct supervision of the Director of Horticulture, the Gardener will be expected to maintain specialized planting areas and/or the collection in the indoor and outdoor gardens and preform general maintenance when necessary. Experience working with tropical plants in a greenhouse, designing creative displays for flower shows and events and knowledge of Microsoft Office Suite is preferred.

This position requires a degree in horticulture from an accredited college or university with at least three years of horticulture related experience. The candidate should possess a NYS Pesticide Applicators License and a valid NYS driver’s license. This position requires a flexible work schedule including some evenings and weekends.

If you would like to be a member of our dedicated staff, please submit a letter of interest and resume via e-mail to David J. Swarts, President/CEO, at

Gardening and More: Succulents are the star of the show that starts at botanical gardens

Posted on September 12, 2013 by Erin Grajek

From the Springville Journal

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, the online gardening magazine for Western New York. Email

Buffalo News Article Today

Posted on September 11, 2013 by Erin Grajek

Buffalo News Article

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.


Gala at the Gardens - September 27

Posted on September 11, 2013 by Erin Grajek

From the South Buffalo Metro Source

SOUTH BUFFALO - With breathtaking scenery surrounding you, you can dine in a beautiful, natural setting on Fri. Sept. 27 as the Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens holds its sixth annual Gala at the Gardens.

Commencing at 6:30 with a cocktail hour in the Palm Dome this one-of-a-kind event promises to mix the beauty of the gardens with fine dining and a live auction with unique auction items to make a truly memorable experience.

“We invite the community to join us for the celebration of this great historic and architectural treasure of Western New York,” said Mary Ann Kresse, co-chairperson of the event, “The community’s support gives emphasis to the value and importance of the unique public/private partnership that preserves the Gardens’ integrity and future and allows the Botanical Gardens to flourish and grow as we continue to provide visual and educational botanical and horticultural enlightenment,”

The co-chairs for the event, Mary Ann Kresse and Dr. Maria Rita Andaya, are joined by Honorary Chairs Ed Dore of Dore Landscaping Associates in the promotion of the evening. An expected 300 people will be in attendance for the Gala and sponsorship opportunities are still available.

The live auction with Cash Cunningham will include items such as a trip to San Diego with hotel, airfare, and a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to sail on the Stars and Stripes America’s Cup sailboat; a private tour of the Hotel at Lafayette with developer Rocco Termini that includes an overnight stay and dinner certificate; and a luxury suite at the Roycroft Inn in East Aurora with dinner. Basket and silent auctions will also be available during the evening.

Proceeds from the evening will help to enhance the exhibits and educational programs and advance the Gardens’ goal to become the horticultural hub of WNY.

A Mission Auction will be held during the night will all proceeds directly benefitting the free educational programs for Buffalo Public School children. Last year this portion of the event raised nearly $10,000 for the benefit of area children. Gifts won at this portion of the event ranged in value from $250 to $1000.

“Just as we have moved forward the operation of the Botanical Gardens, which the Botanical Gardens Society assumed in 2004, we are growing the Gala, our largest fund raising event, to sustain and independently preserve this unique and treasured cultural, historic, educational treasure for and by the community,” stated the Gala’s co-chairperson, Mary Ann Kresse.

Cocktail attire is recommended for the Sept. 27 Gala. Individual tickets for the event are $150. Tickets and sponsorship information can be obtained by calling 827-1584 ext. 203 or visiting the Botanical Gardens at 2655 South Park Ave.

The Gala promises to be an evening of friendship and beauty in a venue long held to be one of the areas most treasured locations.

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