Today, in Home & Style, we have gardening expert Sally Cunningham giving us the dirt on April garden cleanup. We have paint people getting us rolling on those types of projects. Even with the recent dismal weather, everyone seems motivated to clean out, fix up, do something in or around the house.

Maybe it’s washing the windows – inside and out. Airing out the winter bed linens. Straightening the garage. Getting the mower tuned up and the garden tools ready. Or all of the above.

Whenever I see people diligently sweeping the curb area in front of their homes, as I often do this time of year, I want to roll down the car window and ask them how they’re surviving this year’s spring fever outbreak. Granted, they may be cleaning up recently broken glass, but those looks of satisfaction on their faces as they sweep away what’s more likely a winter’s worth of dust and dirt tells me otherwise.

It’s spring. Must clean up.

There are many ways to get inspired in early spring, and many will get you out of the house. I’ll go ahead and make some suggestions, but this is only a sampling of what is coming up or already out there.

For starters, local garden centers and nurseries offer workshops, classes and events worth checking out. So do the Buffalo & Erie County Botanical Gardens and area garden clubs. Topics may include pond care, container plantings, vegetable gardens and more. Stop by and inquire, visit websites, get on mailing lists and check out Garden Notes every Friday in Home & Style. Dates to remember: The fourth annual National Garden Festival ( runs June 21 to Aug. 4 – featuring bus tours, weekday Open Gardens, speakers, workshops and, of course, local garden walks and tours including Garden Walk Buffalo (July 27-28) and more than a dozen others.

Before that, however, there’s Decorators’ Show House 2013, which runs April 27 to May 19. This year’s house, the Knox Summer Estate at Knox Farm State Park, is currently being transformed by local interior designers, painters, craftsmen, landscapers and other design pros. Ticket information and all you need to know can be found at

Decorators’ Show House is a longtime major community fundraiser sponsored by the Junior League of Buffalo and The Buffalo News. It’s a must-see for anyone who loves decorating and scooping up new ideas for their own home.

Other events for finding ideas and getting inspired: The Parkside Community Association will present the 15th annual Tour of Homes from 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. May 19. Visit for tickets and details.

And the Lewiston Region Tour of Kitchens & Homes will take place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. June 8 and 9. See for information.