September2016 Archive:

Join Doug on a trip to London and the Chelsea Flower Show
Doug Oster

    I’m taking gardeners to London this spring to see the historic Chelsea Flower Show and more on an eight day trip. I’ve been traveling the globe over the last several years to show people the world’s greatest gardens. The tour also includes sites specifically chosen by the Royal Horticultural Society such as Kew

Goldenrod should be treasured not reviled (it’s not making you sneeze)
Doug Oster

  The bright yellow airy blooms of goldenrod sway in the fall breeze at just about every turn. To some it’s considered a weed, but more and more people are understanding value of this pretty native. There’s a common misconception that it caused hay fever. Actually goldenrod has heavy pollen that doesn’t cause allergies, the

Seven son flower (heptacodioum) is a great fall blooming shrub
Doug Oster

It’s always wonderful to have something in the garden that blooms at the end of the season. When I’m searching for plants, especially shrubs and trees, I’m looking for plants with more than one season of interest. There are one trick ponies like forsythia and lilacs that are part of the landscape, but there’s fun

Dreaded Dandelion
Doug Oster

If there is one weed sprouting that causes gardeners to let out a collective sigh, it’s dandelions. People hate them. Ironically, they are simultaneously reviled, while being one of the most nutritious plants in the garden. It’s amazing that a plant so good for us and also so easy to grow has been completely vilified. The bad reputation stems

Landscape With Ornamental Grass
Doug Oster

Looking to add some variety to your garden? Don’t overlook ornamental grasses. “I think they are nice in the garden for structure, and they are really easy to grow,” says Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy horticulturalist Angela Yuele. They have plenty to add to any garden because of their variety — sizes, shapes, colors, texture, verticality and more, she says. At the recently reopened Frick

Gardening At Work
Doug Oster

Robbie Kiefer is the head groundskeeper at UPMC Shadyside and knows a little something about creating a successful garden at her workplace. When her team inherited the beds, they were a mix of shrubs and other trees. Nothing special, and nothing edible. Now five years after taking over, they have a full fledged vegetable garden, and

Build A Garden With Unique Plants
Doug Oster

Professionals share their favorite underused plants with our readers. Meet Russ Bedner, 38-year owner of Bedner’s Farm  and Greenhouse in McDonald, PA. Bedner first suggests a shrub called Thuja plicata ‘Whipcord.’ “It looks like ropes growing out of it,” he says. It will grow 4 to 5 feet tall and wide and has a mounding habit. “You

The beauty and flavor of ‘Green Tiger’ tomato is amazing
Doug Oster

Every season brings with it challenges and fantastic surprises too. It’s fun to experiment with new things and when I saw ‘Green Tiger’ tomato at Plant-It Earth Greenhouse near Blairsville, I had to give it a try. There’s something thrilling about growing a “weird” new variety. You just never know if they will be a

Moonflower is the star of the twilight garden
Doug Oster

It was about six weeks ago when Hahn Nursery started putting deep discounts on annuals. I was thrilled to see a moonflower vine in a pot for $8. It’s genus is Ipomoea, the same as morning glories. There’s a nice container out in the vegetable garden which was perfect for it and I deftly coaxed

Change in light is the prelude to fall
Doug Oster

One afternoon the light just looks different. The sun streams through the trees illuminating the garden in a new way. Sitting in the garden reveals a change every few minutes as the day comes to an end. It’s bittersweet as the beauty is tempered by the realization summer is fading fast. There’s nothing like barefoot

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