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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. .

 

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#SEENHotSpot: Grit & Grace

Written by Natalie Bencivenga on .

GRITGRACE1

(My dinner buddy and certified sommelier, Alyssa McGrath with executive chef and owner, Brian Pekarcik.)

 

Walking through the doors of the newly opened hotspot Grit & Grace on Liberty Avenue gave me the feeling that I was in New York and just entered the West Village. Rustic tables, chic patrons, and unique cocktails, like the O’shaku: gin or vodka, plum wine, housemade bread and butter pickles, awaited. The hostess, Jamie Tabb, was very friendly (the only reason I realized I wasn’t actually in New York), as was the rest of the hospitable staff. I am vegan, so it is challenging sometimes to enjoy food at a lot of the newer restaurants in the city, most of which are meat and dairy heavy.


But executive chef and owner Brian Pekarcik said, “I love the challenge. We try to create something for everyone here, and we do it with passion.”


I loved the delectable Asian-inspired food they served for me (an assortment of vegan dim sum including brussel sprouts with pickled peppers and lentils and quinoa with a red curry vinaigrette -- dim sum was $5), but I was even more delighted to see how crowded it was. Remember, this was a Tuesday night on Liberty Ave. Many people assume this city closes up after work hours, but the place was packed. That’s a hot spot, for sure!!


The restaurant has already catered to several of the Steelers, Arcade Fire, and local media celebrities (like WPXI’s David Johnson), but Mr. Pekarcik said they are just warming up. “Food can’t get into your heart and soul unless it is made with heart and soul,” he said.


And with a cozy, modern ambience, trendy clientele, mouth-watering food, and seamless service to match, I believe Grit & Grace has stolen my heart and soul!

Follow @Gritpgh on Twitter.

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One day's difference, this is why they call them a snow crocus

Written by Doug Oster on .

blog snowy crocus side 31214The appropriately named snow crocus waits for the right day to bloom. Photos by Doug Oster

Yesterday the snow crocus emerged and reveled in the rain.

Today is a different story as the cold returned and the buds stayed tight, waiting for sun and warmth again.

Over the next couple weeks bulbs will be sprouting when it's warm and will be fine to take whatever cold is thrown at them.

No sense in trying to cover them, the plants have seen this type of weather for centuries.

It's fun to see things like a snow crocus bloom after sitting in the cold for a day or two.

blog snowy crocus 031214I can't wait to see these buds unfurl.

blog snowy crocus tight 031214If you look close you can see through the translucent purple petal to see the orange anther which will be on display when the flower blooms.

blog snowy crocus two 31214The snow sure sets off the color of the flower, don't you think?

 

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Free Home and Garden Show tickets for Thursday, Friday and Saturday

Written by Doug Oster on .

blog doug and fansIt's fun to meet other gardeners at the Duquesne Light Home and Garden Show.

It's the official start to the gardening season as the Duquesne Light Home and Garden Show continues at the Convention Center. I'll be there today from 4-6 p.m. giving a presentation on gardening. I'll be there the same time on Friday and then on Saturday 10-12noon. The idea is, you get the free tickets and come see me speak, then you can enjoy the rest of the show. I'm on the second floor at the P-G Showcase Stage near the river side between aisles 2500 and 2600.

I'll also be giving away packets of 'Limbaugh Legacy Potato Top' tomato seeds and other seeds. The tomato is  a favorite around our area and the world. I ask people to grow out the seeds and send some back to me at the end of the season. Here's the full story about the wonderful Pittsburgh Heirloom Tomato.

Email me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you would like some tickets.

Hope to see you there.

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Snow crocus emerge bringing first color to the garden

Written by Doug Oster on .

As soft, warm rain fell, the unmistakable tight blue buds of the snow crocus pushed fall leaves aside beckoning spring.

The garden is shrouded in fog as temperatures slowly begin to fall. Gardeners were teased by one warm, sunny day, but the appearance of these tiny flowers confirms what we already know; winter is fading away. It's not going without a fight, but the arrival of snow crocus can do nothing but put a smile on your face and warm your heart.

The flowers bring a little color now, but are guarding their spectacular deep blue blossoms and orange anthers, waiting for the right time to unfurl. When they do, the bees will gorge on their first taste of pollen for the year.

On hands and knees, this gardener observed the little particles of dirt the buds brought with them as they reached towards the sun. The tip of one flower hinted at the color which was yet to come.

blog snow crocus 031214I used to be surprised by the arrival of snow crocus. Now I wait patiently to see the tight buds unfurl. Photos by Doug Oster

blog snow crocus tight 031214The flowers, covered with spring rain bring with them a little garden soil as they emerge.

blog snow crocus whats to comeThe tip of this blossom hints at what is to come for these beautiful flowers.

 

 

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