January2017 Archive:

Saturday is National Seed Swap Day!
Doug Oster

For years I’ve been trading seeds with readers, it’s so much fun. I love discovering varieties that have been grown by their families for generations. There’s lots of different ways to do it. You can find friends to swap with, go online and look for seed trading sites. Here’s a list of events across the

A celebration of square foot gardening
Doug Oster

Mel Bartholomew started the square foot gardening phenomenon in 1981 when he released his original book “Square Foot Gardening.” It’s one of the best-selling garden books ever, selling more than 2.5 million copies. Bartholomew, who passed away last year at the age of 84, also had a wonderful PBS television show about his passion for

Capitalize on Cannabis is one of the themes at garden trade show
Doug Oster

Walking the long aisles lined with exhibitors at the Mid Atlantic Nursery Trade Show in Baltimore can take days. It’s a place for nursery and garden professionals to explore and search for something new and different to carry this year. It’s a great way to get a pulse on what’s trending with gardeners, too. In

These simple exercises will get you ready to garden and keep you healthy
Doug Oster

It seems the older we get, the more benches and other places to sit we need in the garden. Exercise physiologists Patrick Martin and Ryan Taucher from Excela Health actually think it’s a great idea to have some places to rest in the garden. “It’s good for your mind and it’s good for your body,

How to prepare garden tools for the season (including your hands)
Doug Oster

Laura Schoch is holding a shovel named “Thor” in the tool room near the production greenhouses at Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Garden where she works as a display horticulturist. The point of the shovel has been worn away after decades of dutiful digging throughout the conservatory. There are lots of tools here that have been

Falling in love at MANTS, this double hellebore is a winner
Doug Oster

With nearly 1000 exhibitors at the Mid Atlantic Nursery Trade Show (MANTS) in Baltimore showcasing everything you could imaging for gardeners, it can become overwhelming. I walk down long aisles looking for things that I think home gardeners would be interested in. When I saw the double hellebore ‘Maid of Honor’ from the Walters Gardens’

Ever heard of Sporticulture? Check out these Steelers plants!
Doug Oster

As I walked down the first row of exhibitors at the Mid Atlantic Nursery Trade Show in Baltimore I couldn’t help bet notice a bunch of pots with adorned with NFL logos. I had to ask Pete Gilmore, director or business development for Sporticulture, if there were any Steelers swag around and he begrudgingly pulled

Photographer’s creativity blooms with plants
Doug Oster

Like every gardener on the planet, my time with a stack of seed catalogs is a much needed therapeutic respite from dreary winter. A yellow highlighter is gently guided to select varieties earmarked for spring planting. While looking through the beautifully illustrated Whole Seed Catalog from Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds — a massive 354-page tome

Seed catalogs offer winter therapy for gardeners
Doug Oster

“I can sit down and read a seed catalog like a book,” says Deborah Stiffler-Zugates of Blairsville. It’s an annual ritual that gets gardeners through the winter with dreams of growing something new and wonderful for the next season. “Visions of sugar plums dance in your head,” she says. “I want one of this and