Archive for April, 2014

Ideas for Mom! As Seen on KDKA’s Pittsburgh Today Live

Wednesday, April 30th, 2014

The Steel City Garden is the perfect gift for any "Yinzer" mom.

The Steel City Garden is the perfect gift for any “Yinzer” mom.


If your mom likes to garden, I’ve got lots of ideas for Mother’s Day.
Here’s a great little basket you can make yourself. Use a nice planting container and fill it with gloves, some hand tools, hummingbird feeder, some herbs or anything else you know your mom could use.
You can never go wrong with a nice, big hanging basket. They are easy to take care of and should bloom all summer.
I love to give things which come back year after year. Azaleas are a traditional hardy shrub which would bloom each spring, reminding mom, who gave her the special gift. Lilacs, perennials like hellebores and others will bloom year after year.
But the most important thing to give mom is some help in the garden. When she gets any gift to be planted, offer to do the work under her supervision. It will be fun to spend some quality time with her.
Add a bag of good organic fertilizer like Gardentone to her gifts, she can use that all summer.
Find a plant, statue or seeds of something she loves.
I often use the art of “listening without listening.” Stare blankly at the television as she pours her soul out explaining everything she could ever want in the garden. Even though you pretend to ignore, each idea is carefully saved in your steel trap mind. Thoughtful gifts, regardless of what they are, are always the best.
How about a signed copy of The Steel City Garden on sale for only $15 with free shipping. Let me know what you’d like me to say to her.

Free Rose Plants with Doug on Sunday at South Hills Home Show

Wednesday, April 23rd, 2014

The Flower Carpet My Choice 'Pink Splash' rose is beautiful and easy to grow.

The Flower Carpet My Choice ‘Pink Splash’ rose is beautiful and easy to grow.


I’ll be giving away Flower Carpet My Choice ‘Pink Splash’ rose plants on Sunday 4/27/14 at the South Hills Home Show. I’ll be appearing at the show which is at the Icoplex at Southpoint. At noon I’ll be presenting “Secrets of Successful Organic Gardening.
I’ll raffle off the rose plants, they are courtesy of the grower Anthony Tesselaar USA, Inc.
Here are all the details for the show

Gardening with Kids as seen on KDKA’s Pittsburgh Today Live

Wednesday, April 23rd, 2014

A strawberry pot is a great project for kids.

A strawberry pot is a great project for kids.


There’s something special about passing your love of gardening to the next generation.
If you make gardening fun, kids will join right in.
On the show we found a pot with a face on it and planted the top with different types of lettuce. It looked like the lettuce was the pot’s hair.
Another fun project for kids was planting a strawberry pot with strawberries. The plants had nice sized berries on them already, children will love to watch them mature. Just like you’ll love watching your kids mature.
The last thing we looked at were easy to grow seeds like radishes, lettuce, colorful Swiss chard and others. They can be planted now and will come up in just a few days.
Take some time to come up with some of your own projects and have fun with the kids.

Plant Pansies and Violas Now as Seen on KDKA’s Pittsburgh Today Live

Wednesday, April 2nd, 2014

'Hip Hop' violas have an interesting flower shape.

‘Hip Hop’ violas have an interesting flower shape.


Pansies and violas offer an unending myriad of colors. They love cool weather, can be planted in containers or right in the garden. They bring happiness with every blossom.

Both plants are easy to grow. Be sure they get plenty of water and some liquid organic fertilizer every other week to keep them growing strong.

In my garden I fill as many containers as I can, mixing the pansies and violas at will. The front of the house is a rainbow of colors to great visitors. Many have a subtle, but wonderful fragrance too.

Since the flowers can take anything Mother Nature has left in her, they are the perfect choice to plant now.

I’m a cheap gardener (as you know) and I prefer to buy the plants in flats, it’s the best bang for the buck. I did have to buy some of the ‘Hip Hop’ violas at Chapon’s Greenhouse. They are sold in plastic pots and are pricey in comparison to buying a flat, but I love them, so I purchased four of them.

Get some pansies in the garden and soak in the beauty, it’s guaranteed to make you smile.