FREE Articles for Download: Garden

Plants I Love – Begonia

Garden

Overlooking the Pittsburgh skyline in a restaurant on Mount Washington, I was showing off pictures of my beloved ‘Bonfire’ begonias. A few years ago, the Garden Writers Association (GWA) had its national convention here, and we took breeders up there to show off the city. When I showed Anthony Tesselaar my photos, he said in […]

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Ask Doug Oster: Tithonia, Planting Bulbs, Compost Sourcing and more

Garden

Gardening editor Doug Oster gets asked a lot of questions. A lot. And he doesn’t mind offering gardening advice. But rather than just limiting those answers to the person who asked, we thought it might be a good idea to share that wealth of knowledge with everybody. There are three ways to send in your […]

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Ask Doug Oster: Leaf mold as mulch, Yew shrubs, Thistle and more

Garden

Gardening editor Doug Oster gets asked a lot of questions. A lot. And he doesn’t mind offering gardening advice. But rather than just limiting those answers to the person who asked, we thought it might be a good idea to share that wealth of knowledge with everybody. (The questions may be lightly edited for grammar/clarity/etc.) […]

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A Legacy of Planting

Garden

On a warm spring afternoon, the sun highlighted a row of daffodils in such a way that the orange fringe of the cups exploded with color. I’ve seen them bloom every season for the past 20 but never really noticed the dark apricot center of the flower. I began to daydream a bit, pondering who […]

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Brownsville Perennial Project

Garden

Landscape architect Laura Patterson walks through a parking lot in Brownsville occupied by some overgrown shrubs and an old white dump truck abandoned there years ago. She has lived in the greater Uniontown area her whole life, owns Exquisite Garden Design and has roots here, too. Her grandmother lived in West Brownsville, working in the […]

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Seed Starting

Garden

One of the most thrilling days for gardeners is when the seeds get started indoors. It’s a great way to grow things that the neighbors can’t. As good as local nurseries are, they can’t carry everything. There are some things that can only be grown from seed. It’s also a money saver, as a packet […]

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Ask Doug Oster: Soil Testing, Protecting Bulbs, Fig Tree Care and more

Garden

Gardening editor Doug Oster gets asked a lot of questions. A lot. And he doesn’t mind offering gardening advice. But rather than just limiting those answers to the person who asked, we thought it might be a good idea to share that wealth of knowledge with everybody. There are three ways to send in your […]

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Ask Doug Oster: Peach Tree, Invisible Bugs, Lawn Bulbs and more

Garden

Gardening editor Doug Oster gets asked a lot of questions. A lot. And he doesn’t mind offering gardening advice. But rather than just limiting those answers to the person who asked, we thought it might be a good idea to share that wealth of knowledge with everybody. There are three ways to send in your […]

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Plants I Love – Red Emperor Tulip

Garden

As I interviewed young Shelby Stockline, greenhouse manager at Chapon’s Greenhouse, I was overjoyed to see ‘Red Emperor’ tulips for sale. We were talking about planting bulbs, as she had just grown some for the first time and excitedly told me of the joy she received from the spring bulbs. I could relate as ‘Red […]

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In the Dirt – May

Garden

In May, the deer finally have something to eat in the forest, hopefully keeping them busy and out of the garden. Any gardener that lives in deer country, though, knows that the allure of hostas and tulips draws the four-legged marauders to the garden. Here are some plants that I grow in my garden that […]

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Gardening with kids – Fairy Garden

Garden

July is the perfect month to work with your kids or grandkids to create a fairy garden. It’s something I’ve written about before, but it’s such a fun and easy project, I wanted to revisit the topic. A fairy garden can take many forms on a miniature scale. Some are planted in pots. Others are […]

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Electric Lawn Mowers

Garden

Andy Amrhein has literally spent a lifetime selling and maintaining gas-powered lawn equipment. The owner of Evey True Value Hardware in Bethel Park has now become a champion of electric and battery-powered mowers, blowers, trimmers and more. “The world is changing. More and more people every year are going to the electric and cordless lawnmower,” […]

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Gardening with kids – Summer

Garden

With school out, this is a great time to play in the garden with the kids. The key word is play. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard stories from great gardeners about how they hated weeding and planting in the hot sun under the watchful eye of a parent. It’s fun to […]

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Gardening with kids – Venus Fly Trap

Garden

I can remember seeing a Venus fly trap for the first time as a child. How about you? It’s a fascinating carnivorous plant that will eat flies and other small insects. They make a great indoor plant with this caveat, they need high humidity and plenty of water. They are the antithesis of most houseplants. […]

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In the Dirt – Indoor Plants

Garden

There’s lots of research showing that indoor plants help clean the air. A NASA study showed that many common houseplants not only convert carbon dioxide into oxygen but also help filter indoor pollutants. Snake plant (mother-in-law’s tongue), pothos, spider plant, philodendrons and many others not only purify the air, they give us something to take […]

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Planning Now for Fall Bulb Planting

Garden

The stunning color of the first crocus flowers fills our hearts with joy. The cheery blooms mark the start of the garden season. But the only way to get them is by planting the bulbs in the fall. Why talk about that job now? Because this is the time to begin studying the landscape as […]

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In the Dirt – June

Garden

As we start the summer season, those first beds, baskets and containers all look great, but this month is when we begin to help them stay healthy by feeding the plants. This is especially true with containers. It’s the gardener who supplies the water and fertilizer to keep the plants happy. There are lots of […]

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Gardening with kids – Cedar Bee House

Garden

We’ve all heard that honeybees are in trouble. Gardeners are planting lots of pollinator plants in hopes of helping them, which is great. Native bees are also struggling and many are much better pollinators than the non-native European honeybee. Here’s an easy project you can do with kids that will teach them about the importance […]

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Gardening with kids – Floating Flowers

Garden

The arrival of spring flowers is the perfect time to share the garden with children and what kid doesn’t like to pick flowers? They will last the longest if cut early in the morning before things warm up. Early-blooming perennials like hellebores, spring bulbs like crocus, daffodils and glory of snow all make wonderful cut […]

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Gardening with kids – Pine Cone Feeder

Garden

There’s something so special about watching kids discover nature and one way is attracting birds. There’s a fun and easy project you can do together: making a bird feeder out of pine cones. The first step is to take children on an outdoor adventure to find the pine cones. If you don’t have any in […]

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In the Dirt – August

Garden

At one point the light in the garden changes as the day gets shorter and the angle of the sun is different. It’s a prelude to the end of the season. There is no more important time for gardeners than late summer and early fall. There are all sorts of things that enjoy being planted […]

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In the Dirt – November

Garden

Looking back on the season helps prepare for the next. Pansies planted in mid-March caught the cool spring rain and thrived until July. I’m so anxious when the weather breaks, I fill every container with those pansies, not leaving any room for tender annuals when the time is right. I’m always looking ahead to the […]

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Early spring seed sowing

Garden

With two days of rain in the forecast, and warmer weather on the horizon, the perfect combination was in place to begin planting the spring garden. It’s exhilarating to be back in the cool soil after another long winter. Although traditionally St. Patrick’s Day has been the benchmark for an initial planting of peas, there’s […]

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Firefly Hydrangea

Garden

Dan Benarcik was handing out little cuttings of a fascinating variegated climbing hydrangea he introduced called ‘Firefly.’ It was at a convention of garden writers more than 15 years ago and looking down at the little plant wrapped in plastic that I became obsessed with the variety, falling in love with the stunning spring foliage […]

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Planting for Pollinators

Garden

Last summer I had the pleasure of watching a fat bumblebee joyfully buried deep in the center of an orange tithonia blossom, covering itself with pollen. The insect was oblivious to me as I moved in closer and closer to photograph the spectacle while standing in the garden barefoot on soft green grass. I’ve been […]

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Magnolia Plantation Tells Two Histories

Garden

Herb Frazier has spent a lifetime telling important stories, first as a newspaper journalist and now as public relations director for Magnolia Plantation and Gardens in Charleston, South Carolina. It’s America’s oldest public garden, founded in 1676 by the Drayton family. It opened its doors to everyone in 1870, becoming Charleston’s earliest tourist attraction. “Working […]

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