Archive for January, 2010

TomatoesGarlic Basil released! Free Seeds With Purchase

Saturday, January 30th, 2010

I couldn’t be happier with my latest book. It’s filled with organic growing information and tips for my three favorite plants. The book also includes 31 recipes, many have a deep connection to my family, including the red sauce that made my wife cry in Italy. Tomatoes Garlic Basil is also filled with my favorite stories from my life in the garden.

Tomatoes Garlic Basil is only $18.95 plus $5 shipping and handling, signed and personalized.

FREE SEEDS OF ISIS CANDY TOMATO WITH EACH BOOK WHILE THEY LAST!

Send $18.95 plus $5 shipping and handling to Doug Oster
P.O Box 11013
Pittsburgh, Pa 15237

Tomatoes Garlic Basil has just been released.

Tomatoes Garlic Basil has just been released.

A Gift Only a Gardener Can Love

Friday, January 29th, 2010
Theres nothing better than homegrown garlic, except someone kind enough to give some away.

There's nothing better than homegrown garlic, except someone kind enough to give some away.

Greenville Tom called my radio show on Sunday asking a garden question and we got on the topic of one of many favorite subjects, garlic. I then met Tom at a speaking gig in Mercer County and we got a chance to chat, and again the talk turned to garlic.
When I went to the post office to check my mail there was a note to pick up an item that wouldn’t fit in the box.
I was excited upon seeing Tom’s return address on the the parcel wrapped in brown paper. Back home, I tore open the box and there were six big heads of home grown garlic inside. These didn’t look like the pristine white heads in the store, they were crusted with dry soil from six months of storage and tinged in purple.
I couldn’t wait to taste a clove. I chose a small one from the center of a head and I thought it was wonderful. It tasted sweet, then followed with a little bite and a wonderful aftertaste the lingered for many hours.
In his letter, Tom said the garlic was given to him by an elderly gentleman who brought it from Italy.
I couldn’t help but think of all the families that enjoyed the variety as a utilitarian ingredient offering a taste of home. But now, this garlic was a treasured gift, the kind that only gardeners can understand.

Spring in January

Monday, January 25th, 2010

Snowdrops give hope that spring isnt too far away.

Snowdrops give hope that spring isn't too far away.


A January thaw forced snowdrops up, the white buds are ready to bloom. It’s going to get cold, so they will probably stay in a state of suspended animation. IF we get a few more 50 degree days, these are going to bloom!
It’s nice to see something green popping up, spring can’t be too far away.

Can’t Resist

Sunday, January 24th, 2010

I just love these amaryllis when they bloom. It’s such an attention getter in mid-winter.

Amaryllis flowers make the winter pass more quickly.

Amaryllis flowers make the winter pass more quickly.

Found in Kittanning

Saturday, January 23rd, 2010

I love exploring the little towns of Pennsylvania. My wife and I went to Kittanning last week for a day trip together and we stumbled onto this stuff at The Painted Daisy. I thought $80 was a good deal for the pedestal, planter and two little concrete bunnies.
I can’t resist this stuff.

Memories of Amaryllis

Friday, January 22nd, 2010

I grew up in Aurora, Ohio in the 1970′s, a little town 30 minutes from Cleveland. In fifth grade Ed moved into town and we started a friendship that would last 40 years and still persists.
Today a pink amaryllis began to bloom and as I saw the pretty blooms unfold in front of the dining room window I was taken back to that little town.
Ed’s mother grew amaryllis, they bloomed in many colors by the soft light of a sliding glass door.
As a young photographer I would spend time shooting pictures of these amazing flowers. I’d never seen the before, didn’t know what they were, all I knew was I liked them.
Now I grow lots of the bulbs and get them to re-bloom year after year.
When they flower I think about those days so long ago as a careless youth in what was then, rural Ohio.amaryllis

January Thaw is Awesome

Saturday, January 16th, 2010

God, it’s great to get a thaw. In the 40′s today and seeing some color from late blooming pansies and hellebores.
This is what gets me through the winter.

Great Winter Reading on Hostas

Saturday, January 2nd, 2010

9780881929607l
This book is just awesome. I’ve spent hours with it and was re-educated on many of my favorite varieties. Of course I found lots of others that I MUST find a place for in the garden.
I live in an oak forest, so I grow lots of hostas, but this book has opened my eyes to many new cultivars, but also has taught me better ways to use them.
My next search is going to be for ‘Fire Island,’ and I’ve learned from the book it needs to be planted at eye level to enjoy those red stems.
fire island