Print

Phipps Children's Summer Camp opens enrollment

Written by Doug Oster on .


Here's a great opportunity to get your kids involved in gardening. Looks like a lot of fun.
 
 
Enrollment Now Open for 2014 Children’s Summer Camps at Phipps
New program line-up at Pittsburgh’s premier public garden immerses kids in the natural world.

Pittsburgh, Pa.  Enrollment is now open fornature-based summer camps at Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens— a premier Pittsburgh educational resource center. Perfect for children ages 2 – 7, these dynamic programs touch on healthy living, art, science and sustainability in fun, participatory ways, and are held, in part, in the classroom inside of the Center for Sustainable Landscapes— a toxin-free, health-promoting green facility on the public garden’s Oakland campus.
   The 2014 line-up of camps featuring immersive activities and nutritious snacks includes:
  •    Little Sprouts: Ages 2 & 3
I Eat Plants: A program all about plants: how they grow, where they are found and more
My Five Senses: A hands-on exploration of garden sights, textures, smells and tastes
We Like Dirt: A thrilling investigative look at soil, mud and life under ground      
  •    Seedling Scientists: Ages 4 & 5
A Bug’s World: An expedition to find crawling, buzzing and flying garden friends
Groovin’ in the Garden: A movement-based experience highlighting yoga and dance
Storybook Forest: An imaginative interpretation of favorite stories through garden activities
  •    Budding Botanists: Ages 6 & 7
Art Outside: A chance for kids to discover their inner artists among beautiful blooms
Bugs in the ‘Burgh: A time of insect-themed Conservatory exploration
Plant Your Plate: An awesome opportunity to grow and create delicious veggie snacks
   Phipps summer camps are held in June, July and August. Prices range from $56 – $130. For dates, times, complete descriptions and registration, parents and caregivers can call 412/441-4442, ext. 3925 or visitphipps.conservatory.org. More details can also be found atphippsscienceducation.org.

Join the conversation:

To report inappropriate comments, abuse and/or repeat offenders, please send an email to socialmedia@post-gazette.com and include a link to the article and a copy of the comment. Your report will be reviewed in a timely manner. Thank you.
Print

Beautiful snow crocus bring color to the garden...finally!

Written by Doug Oster on .

blog sc real tight blThe beauty of a snow crocus is unparallelled in the spring garden. Photos by Doug Oster

For a week, tightly budded blue flowers waited for the right moment to unfurl. The arrival of the snow crocus is a welcome one, especially after the winter we just had.

I need more flowers though, and the blooms teach an important lesson each spring. They reveal where to plant more bulbs.

A garden journal is a great way to keep records and remind you where to plant more of what you need in the fall.

I've kept records since the mid-1980's and have recorded my thoughts in everything from a date planner, published garden journal to an old notebook. That's why I put together A Gardener's Notebook. It's a place to write down what's going on in the garden. There are fun gardening stories inside along with plenty of garden tips from myself and co-author Jessica Walliser (who is also my radio partner).

The best way to use a garden journal is to have it where you'll be at the end of the day with a pen close by. I've been looking through a lot of my old journals as I prepare for the gardening season. Even though all the garden information is wonderful, all the entries about my kids growing up are priceless. The journal is filled with happening that you wouldn't take a picture of or make a video. Little slices of life which are fun to look back on.

Here's how to get mine.

I'll be writing in my journal about how these snow crocus flowers nourish the soul.

I can't wait to plant more in anticipation of next spring.

blog sc backlitAs the sun sinks low into the west, the flowers become luminescent.

blog sc vertI must plant more of these. I need a sea of snow crocus next spring.

blog tight sc bloom 31514The flower will only be around for a couple weeks, but it's welcome sight after a long winter.

 

Join the conversation:

To report inappropriate comments, abuse and/or repeat offenders, please send an email to socialmedia@post-gazette.com and include a link to the article and a copy of the comment. Your report will be reviewed in a timely manner. Thank you.
Print

Double snowdrops, forced crocus inspire fall planning (believe it or not)

Written by Doug Oster on .

blog double snodrop 031414Galanthus nivalis 'Flore Pleno' is one of my favorite snowdrops. I need to remember to plant about 1000 more. They are awesome. Photos by Doug Oster

The garden is slowly waking up.

Snowdrops, snow crocus and hellebores are emerging and already have me thinking about fall.

It might seem strange to be looking so far forward, but this is the perfect time to write down what's blooming where and more importantly where things need spring flowers.

For the last couple days I've posted of snow crocus flowers preparing to bloom. I need to fill that bed with hundreds more. If I don't record that information, it will be forgotten as the season progresses. This is when we can best understand the feelings we get as winter stubbornly fades. Next season I want to be welcomed by many more pretty blue flowers.

Being a sucker for any double flower, you can imagine how this snowdrop makes my heart flutter. The blossom looks down and needs to be picked to enjoy the delicate beauty of the blooms.

I'll need to add about a thousand more to keep my heart racing during the early spring.

Over the winter I found some 'Yellow Mammoth' crocus bulbs which were overlooked during fall planting. They were left out in an unheated greenhouse. The bulbs were potted up and are now sprouting. I hope to see the flowers soon. I need to remember to force some more next year.

I'm toying with the idea of ordering some of these bulbs now, to be delivered in the fall.

It will guarantee that I'll actually move forward with my plan.

Even though the season has barely begun, I can't help but fantasize about plans to the make the garden even better as winter recedes in 2015.

I love Brent and Becky's Bulbs, they sell good stuff as does Old House Gardens.

blog forced crocusThese 'Yellow Mammoth' crocus bulbs have been forced in a greenhouse to bloom. Can't wait to see the pretty orange flowers.

blog snowdrops 2 031414Snowdrops nurture the soul after a long winter. Put them on your fall planting list.

Join the conversation:

To report inappropriate comments, abuse and/or repeat offenders, please send an email to socialmedia@post-gazette.com and include a link to the article and a copy of the comment. Your report will be reviewed in a timely manner. Thank you.
Print

Orchid show this weekend at Phipps Garden Center

Written by Doug Oster on .

orchid cat 6 horza2

If you long for spring, there's no better place to get a flower fix than the annual Orchid Society of Western Pennsylvania's Spring Show. Saturday 3/15 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m and Sunday 3/16 from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. at Phipps Garden Center. The garden center is located at Fifth and Shady, it's not the conservatory.

Being greeted by the fragrance of these beautiful plants when walking in the garden center is wonderful. There will be lots of lectures, plants for sale and amazing exhibits too.

Take a day and visit the orchid show, the members are friendly and willing to share all they know about growing orchids and getting them to re-bloom.

Here are all the details.

Join the conversation:

To report inappropriate comments, abuse and/or repeat offenders, please send an email to socialmedia@post-gazette.com and include a link to the article and a copy of the comment. Your report will be reviewed in a timely manner. Thank you.
Print

Doug's favorite exhibits at the Home and Garden Show, last chance for free tickets

Written by Doug Oster on .

blog doug and fansThe best thing about the Home and Garden Show is getting to meet other gardeners.

Here's a segment from Pittsburgh Today Live highlighting some of my favorite exhibits at the Duquesne Light Home and Garden Show.

I couldn't include everyone, but these are a few of the fun places to visit at the show.

I'm appearing Friday between 4-6 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. until 12 noon. I've got free tickets if you'd like to come see me. Just send me an e-mail at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

 

Join the conversation:

To report inappropriate comments, abuse and/or repeat offenders, please send an email to socialmedia@post-gazette.com and include a link to the article and a copy of the comment. Your report will be reviewed in a timely manner. Thank you.