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Some of Pittsburgh's great gardens on display

Written by Doug Oster on .

Phipps 1 RichardPRichard Piacentini, executive director of Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens gives a personal guided tour to members of the Garden Writers Association in the Center for Sustainable Landscapes building. Photo by Doug Oster

I played a small part in bringing the national Garden Writers Association's annual symposium to Pittsburgh. Nearly 400 garden professionals toured private gardens, public spaces, participated in educational seminars and explored Pittsburgh over four days in August.

I thought it would be great to take a look at just a few of the places they visited. Some of them will be familiar, others might be new but they are all fascinating places to see.

Kimberly Gill and Jon Burnett joined me on Pittsburgh Today Live to talk about the garden writers symposium and the places they visited.

 

 

 

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Free Pot Luck Picnic with The Organic Gardeners Sunday

Written by Doug Oster on .

 blog Jess and Doug GWA PittsburghJessica Walliser and Doug Oster (The Organic Gardeners) will hold a free Pot Luck Picnic on Sunday in Schenley Plaza for all gardeners. Photo by Rick Ray (see him in the mirror?)

I'll be joined by my radio partner Jessica Walliser this Sunday 8/17/14 for a free Pot Luck Picnic from 2-4 p.m. for all gardeners at Schenley Plaza in Oakland.

It started out as a thank you for all the gardening fans who have come to see us at Giant Eagle Market District and has grown to a celebration of gardening for everyone.

Bring your favorite dish, but if you don't have food, I'll give you some of mine. Bring your own non-alcoholic beverage and we'll supply the plates, napkins and utensils.

We also have lots of wonderful gardening products to give away including books, plants, seeds and some really cool stuff from Dramm.

It will be two hours of gardening fun a chance to exchange ideas, talk about the season and share some wonderful food along with great stories.

Schenley Plaza is located at Forbes Ave and Schenley Drive directly across from the Cathedral of Learning.

Hope to see you there.

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Jewelry galore at Style Week Pittsburgh Day 3 at Macy's

Written by Sara Bauknecht on .

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It was a scaled back, more intimate scene on Day 3 of Style Week Pittsburgh, which moved Downtown to Macy's for a jewelry showcase.

The crowd was smaller compared to the rest of the week thus far (perhaps tuckered out from too much fashion fun?), but the styles were strong. Tables set up on the jewelry floor displayed watches, necklaces, earrings and more. Tablets that accompanied them displayed photos, inspiration pages and short video clips about trends for next season.

Then came lights, cameras, catwalk! A handful of models all dressed in black switched on and off accessories to show how a statement necklace and other jewelry pieces can transform a look. The presentation also included special fine jewelry pieces from Effy, including exotic stoned serpents that snaked around models' wrists and necks.

And what's a party without giveaways, hors d'oeuvres, henna art and palm readings?

Style Week Pittsburgh picks up Thursday at 6 p.m. at the Uptown Ultra Lounge with the Style Awards. Tickets available at styleweekpittsburgh.com.

Below, check out a list of trends and photos from the evening.

Trends to watch ...

-Large-faced watches

-A bit of bling

-Pops of red

-Black, particularly for watches

-Safari-inspired prints and colors

-Metallic finishes

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Favorite flower alert: Rare 'Yellow Torch' Mexican sunflower

Written by Doug Oster on .

blog yellow torch tight2Tithonia 'Yellow Torch' is covered in three inch deep yellow flowers which attract pollinators. Photos by Doug Oster

blog yellow torch overall2I love 'Yellow Torch.'Last summer I had a chance to see the wonderful garden of Emily Willets from Sewickley. In the back of her landscape was a huge tithonia 'Torch' plant which had to be 16 feet tall. 'Torch' was a 1951 All-America Selection and is one of my favorite plants. As is often the case with gardeners, we bonded over the plant, comparing notes on vigor, size and blooms.

She started the plants from seed and sold the seedlings at her garden club's plant sale. This incredible plant has fell out of favor with gardeners, but is on the rebound. I have begun to see some seeds at garden centers and even found some plants last year at Hahn Nursery.

Then I got excited to tell her about something even more rare, 'Yellow Torch.' I had stumbled onto the seeds a few years ago in the Baker Creek Heirloom Seed catalog. It grows as tall as it's cousin, attracts butterflies, hummingbirds and bees in the same way too but has bright yellow flowers which light up the garden.

When I ordered seeds this year, I added an extra packet to send to Emily and she grew them with great success and found lots of interest for them at the plant sale.

My plants are at least 10 feet tall in part shade and covered in three inch blooms. They are half hardy so will survive a few early frosts and usually hang on through October.

They are easy to start from seed under lights or in a greenhouse in March. They can also be direct sowed in May, but they are late bloomers. It's best to grow them the same way tomatoes are planted for earlier blooms.

Check out this link to an article in the St. Petersburg Times from 1951 with a mention and photo of 'Torch.'

Put 'Torch' or 'Yellow Torch' on you're list to grow next year, you won't be sorry.

blog yellow torch looking up2Seems I'm always looking up at 'Yellow Torch,' the plants have reached 10 feet.

blog mexican tithoniab'Torch' was on of the 1951 AAS winners. This is a flowering plant from my garden last season.

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Style Week Pittsburgh: Street style edition

Written by Sara Bauknecht on .

The apparel and accessories featured at Style Week Pittsburgh aren't the only things with a solid sense of style. Those in attendance also have been putting their most fashionable foot forward.

On accessories night on Tuesday, here are some of the footwear and accessories that stood out.

VanessaFellers

Vanessa Fellers' accessories and hairpiece create an air of regality.


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Style Week Pittsburgh founder/CEO Wadria Taylor wears beaded drop earrings from a local boutique.


GUiltySoles

Danielle Getty sporting shoes from Guilty Soles.

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Ruby Brewer-Watkins keeping it classy with Kelsey and Ryane jewelry dressing up a simple black ensemble.


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Stylist/designer Lataja Sims with an ear cuff she created.


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Pretty peep-toed polka dot shoes on Leigh Solomon Pugliano.

Want to see more street style? Style Week Pittsburgh continues this evening with a jewelry showcase at Macy's, Downtown. It's free and open to the public.

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