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August 12, 2020 - 9:23am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Gardening, flowers, Richmond Memorial Library, news, batavia.


If you drive down Ross Street past the Richmond Memorial Library, you are likely to spot a full and beautiful bed of flowers along the driveway leading to the library entrance.

The flowers -- lisianthus -- are a gift of Nancy Mortellaro, who started buying and donating the plants to the library's garden four years ago. Billy Truitt has volunteered each year to plant the flowers and help tend to them.

"I think they’re gorgeous," Mortellaro said. "They look like roses. They’re gorgeous and they last a long, long, long time in a vase."

Mortellaro buys the seedlings from Aaron Harrington Byron. She also grows them at her own house and at the community garden. The plants at the community garden can be used to replace any at the library that fail to flourish. 

Truitt said he doesn't remember the flowers producing as many blooms as this season.

Lisianthus grows as an annual in the Northeast but is a perennial on the Southern Plains and Northern Mexico, where it's known as Prairie gentian or Texas bluebell.


May 9, 2016 - 11:08am
posted by Howard B. Owens in forget-me-nots, flowers, batavia, outdoors, news.


It's been six years since we visited the garden of Dennis Wood on West Main Street, Batavia, but the forget-me-nots seem especially impressive this year.


July 26, 2015 - 3:14pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in flowers, nature, Alabama.


There's a nice patch of yellow daisies that have popped up in a field near the intersection of Judge Road and Alleghany Road, Alabama.

March 25, 2015 - 7:33pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, flowers.

A reader sent in this photo as a "first sign of spring."

She said, "My grandmother called these snowdrops and they were planted when this house was built in 1895, by her mother. They still push up every year and chase away the snow."

June 12, 2011 - 9:44pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, photos, flowers.

After visiting with Kyle on the public banks of the Tonawanda, I pointed my bike down Walnut Street and then headed down Law Street. When I got to the point where I'd again cross the Tonawanda, I spotted the daisies above and stopped for a picture.

The Tonawanda made a nice background for this single stem of grass.

A small yellow flower growing on the bank of the Tonawanda (can anybody identify it?)

Back on Jackson Street: Every year, I stop at least once to admire this rose bush. I can't identify the variety, but I'm pretty sure it is some sort of old world/heirloom rose.  

June 5, 2011 - 5:10pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in photos, alexander, flowers, Old Creek Road.

At least, I think this is a yellow flag iris -- that's the best identification I can do through Google. There's thousands of them off Old Creek Road, as well as other parts of the county. It's a non-native species and considered an invasive weed (it's certainly invaded Old Creek and Hunn roads), from what I found online. I got a little obsessed with getting a picture of this one particular plant around noon today -- trying different lenses, exposures, shutter speeds. This was the best I could do. 

May 30, 2011 - 9:21pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in photos, flowers.

When I decided to take a little time this morning to drive outside the city and see what kind of pictures I could take, I didn't set out to take pictures of roadside flowers, but when I started going through my photos tonight I discovered that's the main thing I did.

One of the great things about Genesee County in the spring is the explosion of color we see along our roadways.

Many of these species, I have no idea what they're called, so the more botanically aware readers are welcome to weigh in (the orange poppy and dandelions, I got, and above is some sort of daisy, I suppose). The bush with the white flowers at the bottom of this post is of particular interest -- I see them all over town, but have no idea what kind of bush it is.


May 14, 2011 - 3:45pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in photos, flowers, Gardening.

Not too many people in California grow tulips. In Western New York, they're everywhere, and one of my favorite parts of spring. These are tulips in my own garden. Happy gardening!

April 28, 2010 - 2:59pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, gardens, flowers.


Drive west on Route 5 and just after you pass Wortendyke Road, glance right -- a carpet of blue will capture your eye.

Dennis Wood, a watercolor artist and retired GCC instructor, lets his large piece of property bloom every year in forget-me-nots, the delicate little flower that grows in fields no taller than six inches.

The Wood residence has become well known for its yards full of little blue flowers.

Dennis said the previous owner, Jerry Wallace, who used the property as a base for his landscaping business, let the forget-me-nots start to cover the ground, and then Dennis's late wife Jane continued the spring tradition.

"I wait until they go to seed and then I mow, which spreads them even more," said Wood, who has lived on the property for 19 years.

He still teaches drawing classes at the INS station, which makes this his 45th year of teaching.

Photographers from all over the area head to the Wood place each spring, he said -- most ask permission to come on the property and take pictures, which he prefers, but he said he welcomes anybody who wants to enjoy the splendor in the grass.

A pair of Pembroke musicians, he said, had their picture taken last year in his yard for the cover of their CD.

The landscape has also proven popular with the Batavia Art Society, of which he's a member. He said he's been meaning to invite the local photography club to his garden, as well.

He told me I was actually a little early -- the full glory of the bloom, he said, probably won't be until about mid-May.



June 25, 2009 - 9:39am
posted by Peter O'Brien in flowers, Lily, Marigold.

The lilies below are from the side of our porch and the marigolds surround our vegetable garden


May 18, 2009 - 6:59am
posted by Bea McManis in flowers, weather, pollen, car games.

It feels more like October than May.  Looking out at the cars in the parking lot, I see frost on the windows. 

The pollen count was high all weekend.  It was common to run into people with running eyes and noses.  As uncomfortable as the pollen makes us, I have to admit that spring is always glorious. The colors of the buds, the flowers blooming, the grass is green and there is hope for a nice summer.

I even noticed one farm where they have completed their first cutting of hay. The windrows raked into long straight lines appeared to be the epitome of spring...renewal of the land.  I also noticed a farm stand selling asparagus for $2 a bunch.  The stand was empty, had we passed it earlier in the day, I would have bought some.

Remember when your kids were young and you had to think of things to amuse them on a long ride?  The kids are long grown, but I still find myself mentally playing the games that occupied their time.  Bury the cow was a favorite.  It started quite simply...you get points for each herd of cows you found on your side of the car.  If we passed a cemetery and it was on your side, you lost your cows.  As the kids got older the game became more complex.  How many cows constitutes a 'herd'?  If a fence divides cows on the same farm, does each pasture count as one point or does the farm just count as one point?  I smile as I pass Lamb's and imagine the discussion that would go on in the back of the car.

June 2, 2008 - 3:44pm
posted by Philip Anselmo in BID, Summer, flowers.

They say it's going to be ninety degrees by the end of the week. You'll probably be able to see the Niagara power station glow and hear it hum from a mile away as the pulse of a million or so air conditioners suck its electric stream. At least, that's the apocalyptic look on our upcoming summer heat surge — and anyone who remembers the great Northeast Blackout of '03 will know what I mean.

On a brighter note, sunshine and hot humid days also bring blooming bouquets. Batavia's Downtown Business Improvement District understands that, which is why they've financed the hanging of some 90 baskets of flowers on light poles along Main Street from the post office to Liberty Street. As you can see, they haven't quite bloomed yet, but the pretty purple petals are a pleasant sign of things to come.

BID Director Don Burkel says the flowers will "give color to Main Street" and just make it a better place to be for pedestrians and motorists. City crews mounted the baskets, and they will monitor the irrigation systems attached to the poles to keep the soil wet and the flowers growing.

As long as the weather holds, the baskets should stay out through September, says Burkel.

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