November2017 Archive:

Indoor bulbs offer beauty, fragrance and get gardeners through the winter
Doug Oster

There are many roads taken to become a horticulture professional, Cheryl Whalen found was literally struck by her calling in her sophomore-year dorm at the University of Connecticut. “We had lofts in our room and I sat up one morning, hit my head on the ceiling and said, ‘I’m going to be a horticulture major,’

Top 10 berries for birds from Birds and Bloom magazine
Friends of EG

I love planting for the birds. Last fall I added viburnum ‘Chicago Lustre’ to the landscape as it produces pretty blue berries for the birds. Unfortunately the deer love them too and ate all of the plump fruit. Since then, I’m spraying the plant with Bobbex to keep the deer at bay.      

Hibiscus mistaken for marijuana, couple arrested
Friends of EG

It was my friend Denise Barron Hathazy-Davis who first told me about the story in the Tribune-Review about an older couple who were growing hibiscus and were arrested because police thought they were cultivating marijuana. Here’s the full story. That’s a gardener’s nightmare, I’ve never seen a hibiscus leaf that in any way resembles marijuana

Putting the garden to bed
Doug Oster

Even though they are only about 6 years old, Jessica Horenstein’s work boots are already starting to reveal the silvery steel toes wearing through the leather, caused by the long hours she spends on her knees working in the garden. Horenstein has readied the beds at Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, where she’s outdoor display

Love Your Weeds says Kathy Jentz
Friends of EG

My friend Kathy Jentz is a prolific and wonderful garden writer. She’s the editor/publisher of Washington Gardener magazine. When I saw a tweet saying “No-Stress Gardening: Why I Stopped Worrying and Learned To Love the Weeds,” I knew I had to pass it along as I’m a fellow weed lover too. Here’s how her post begins-

A lifetime of gardening together
Doug Oster

Glenn and Phyllis Ribblett have spent a lifetime together gardening, both inside and outside. When the couple moved into their Baldwin home 52 years ago, there was no question the two would garden, but there was always a division of labor. He was in charge of the vegetables and she surrounded the house with a

Caterpillar Mimics Bird Alarm Calls to Scare Away Predators
Friends of EG

We’ve all had to deal with caterpillars in the garden, but the North American walnut sphinx caterpillar has an interesting defense according to a story posted on the National Audubon Society’s web site. When attacked it lets out a scream that sounds like a bird in distress. Here’s part of the story- The two-inch-long larva contracts

Join Doug for a trip of a lifetime to Ireland
Doug Oster

I’ve been taking gardeners around the world for years and am now offering my first trip to Ireland. We’ll be traveling together from June 15 through June 25, 2018, exploring much of the country. That might seem like a long time from now, but I’m only taking 32 people and already have nearly a dozen

Fall planting brings spring happiness
Doug Oster

My fingertips begin stinging and then go numb while pushing the last cloves of garlic into the cold soil as deep red maple leaves float down around me, forming a magenta mat over the vegetable garden. There’s lots to do before winter takes hold, fall planting will make spring so much better. I’ve written about

Three figs are better than none!
Doug Oster

I’ve been trying for years to grow figs with mixed results. I’ve had them in containers which were brought in and out of the greenhouse annually, had plants in the garden that have been killed and now have a  ‘Chicago Hardy’ fig outside. My wife Cindy and I visited Italy for our 25th anniversary in