Hot date with a palm dome



Here’s my solution to those low-down, no-good, mid-winter, gardening-deprived blues. One of them, anyway. I go to a place where I’m hit with a warm wave of humidity and fragrance as soon as I walk through the doors. In the middle of a long-term renovation in which a coherent globe-circumnavigation display will one day be completed, the Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens is the best local winter destination I can think of.


Here I am (just visited this afternoon) with some fronds of something or other. See how happy I am? And they even have parties here, sometimes with tropical drinks. On a decent day (not too windy) I wouldn’t demur at walking around the park. There’s something to be said for winter scenery, in moderation.


Otherwise, I would suggest regular visits to the local one of these for winter-challenged Northern gardeners. Actually, even a visit to a local nursery that carries a wide selection of indoor plants—i.e., has a big greenhouse—can provide relief. If I lived in Northeastern CT, you couldn’t keep me away from Logee’s, but we have some decent places around here. So that’s how I manage.

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Elizabeth Licata

Elizabeth Licata has been a regular writer for  Garden Rant since 2007, after contributing a guest rant about the overuse of American flags in front gardens. She lives and gardens in Buffalo, N.Y., which, far from the frozen wasteland many assume it to be, is a lush paradise of gardens, historic architecture, galleries, museums, theaters, and fun. As editor of Buffalo Spree magazine,  Licata helps keep Western New Yorkers apprised about what is happening in their region. She is also a freelance writer and art curator, who’s been published in Fine Gardening, Horticulture, ArtNews, Art in America, the Village Voice, and many other publications. She does regular radio segments for the local NPR affiliate, WBFO.

Licata is involved with Garden Walk Buffalo, the largest free garden tour in the US and possibly the world, and has written the text for a book about Garden Walk. She has also written and edited several art-related books. Contact Elizabeth: ealicata at


  1. Elizabeth: I think we were working on the same kind of post at the same time! LOL Love your picture and you do look happy. It is such a relief to breath in that moist air isn’t it?

  2. Looks great. I recently enjoyed similar winter-break bliss on a sunny day in the conservatory at Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square, PA. For those in reasonable range to southeastern Pennsylvania, you’d love a visit.

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