October2017 Archive:

Planting bulbs now creates beauty in the spring
Doug Oster

Shelby Stockline and Jo-Anne van den Berg-Ohms share their passion for planting bulbs in the fall in anticipation of spring blooms, even though one has spent a lifetime immersed in bulb culture and the other is just starting her journey of discovery. Stockline planted bulbs for the first time last fall, while van den Berg-Ohms

Growing garlic is fun and easy
Doug Oster

A small hawk swoops down and perches on a tree limb outside of Lyn Lang’s sun porch in Richland, Allegheny County. Wearing beautiful floral print garden clogs bought on a trip to London at the Chelsea Flower Show, the 67 year-old Penn State master gardener talks about her long love affair with garlic. She had

Love of plants bonds gardeners; the gift of a rare shrub
Doug Oster

Several years ago Kathleen Hansen walked up to me at Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens where I sat at a table during May Market answering garden questions. She had just delivered a rare Spirea billiardi shrub (sometimes identified as Spirea tomentosa) to Jayme Visnesky, who owns Penn Hills Lawn and Garden. The two had talked

Elephant ears and brugmansia bring joy to gardener
Doug Oster

There’s certainly no question where Sharon Schwartz lives when driving down her street in Penn Township, Butler County. Huge trumpet-shaped, colorful brugmansia flowers dangle from branches surrounded by pots filled with humungous, deep green leaves of elephant ears. The plants act like a beacon for neighbors and strangers alike who are drawn to the unusual

The last pawpaw
Doug Oster

The pawpaw might be the last seasonal fruit left. We’re used to finding strawberries and tomatoes in December shipped from warmer climates, but the pawpaw is only around for a short time. It’s a relatively unknown native fruit that’s been enjoyed for centuries by indigenous Americans, settlers, early leaders and now a new crop of