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Making “Hardy” Mums Last as seen on KDKA’s Pittsburgh Today Live

The hazy world of “hardy mums” causes both confusion an consternation for gardeners. “Why don’t they come back,” I’m often asked. First, lets talk hardy. Some mums sold as hardy mums aren’t, others are. That’s easy, right? I always buy mine from a good nursery where the good folks there will know the variety and

Join Doug at Red, Ripe and Roasted, tomato and garlic festival Sunday 8/30 at Phipps

I’m not sure what year I first paid one of my kids $20 to dress like a tomato for a gardening event. It’s really just a pumpkin costume spray-painted red, but it’s pretty convincing. For the past several years, my daughter, who raised the rate to $25, has happily worn the outfit at Red, Ripe

The splendor and surprises of Versailles

The gardens of Versailles seem to go on forever. Nothing can compare to the gardens of the Palace of Versailles. One has to wonder how many people have stood in awe of the same sight since 1682. Louis XIV moved here that year, making Versailles the center of government for France until the French Revolution

KDKA’s Pittsburgh Today Live Highlights Doug’s Tour of French Gardens

Three Incredible Parisian Gardens as seen on KDKA’s Pittsburgh Today Live

I spent a week in Paris leading a tour of the gardens in and around the city. I was joined by a wonderful group to see what the gardens had to offer. Luxembourg gardens holds a special place in my heart as my family and I stayed near the gardens for a week five years

Rain provides the perfect homecoming

At 5:30 in the morning, I woke to a pounding headache from jet lag and the sound of thunder in the distance. The night before, I had flown in from Paris, where I guided a group through a weeklong tour of the beautiful gardens in and around the city. It was great to be home,

Rain helps late summer blooms, check these flowers out

It was wonderful to wake up to a garden revived by an early morning summer rain. Spring might be be my favorite season for flowers, but the end of summer can be sweet too. These plants can take hot, dry weather and enjoy the rain when they can get it. I inherited lots of phlox

The Gardens of Versailles Astound

There’s no greater crime than running through a garden that was designed to be strolled in. Although I wasn’t literally running, there was never going to be enough time to see everything in this historic garden. Part of being a tour is doing things as a group. When we arrived at Versailles, our wonderful tour

Carnegie Library in France was built in the 1920’s as hope for peace

    Tour guide Andre Lecoz looked surprised when travelers cheered and applauded as he introduced them to the Carnegie Library in Reims, France. “We’re from Pittsburgh,” they shouted proudly. It was the first place he showed us as we drove through the quaint city on a bus. The top of the stone building reads

Medieval Garden is a Hidden Treasure Near Paris

Tiny ancient stone houses with clay tile roofs slip in and out of view as our bus carefully navigates rural roads and narrow streets on the way to Bois Richeux in Pierres, about an hour and a half southwest of Paris. It’s another spectacular side of France we’d never have seen unless we took the

Monet’s Lily Pond at Giverny is Stunning

Rachael Robb waited 25 years to see the lily pond at Giverny, artist Claude Monet’s garden. “It’s been on my bucket list for a long time,” she said with a smile. She came to Paris in 1990 as a 20 year-old, and on a visit to the Louvre, and was thrilled to see the original

Luxembourg Gardens

One first-time visitor to Luxembourg Gardens was overheard saying, “There’s something going on here we don’t see much of anymore — it’s called ‘relaxing.’” Even though it’s midweek, the vibe here is clearly Sunday afternoon. One would guess it’s like this every day.  Parisians lay in the grass underneath huge topiary trees, trimmed to perfection.

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