Doug Oster has said he wants gardeners to have fun; it is a theme repeated throughout his published works.
He likes to show readers what fun in a garden looks like by recounting vivid stories about gardeners, their plants, and the places where they come together.
Oster in The Steel City Garden: Creating a One-of-a-Kind Garden in Black and Gold brings fun to the garden as he shares stories about his beloved city, Pittsburgh, and fills up the book with black and gold flowers and foliage plant ideas.
Oster’s newest book offers a tribute to gardening fans across the city and the state of Pennsylvania; and, in the process, provides inspiration to all fans no matter where their gardens reside.
Whether you are a die-hard Green Bay Packer fan transplanted to Arizona or like Oster, a fan unable to give up your native-roots favorite, Cleveland Browns; gardeners will find practical advice and fun, in The Steel City Garden.
Flowers Food and Big Plants of Black and Gold in Steel City
Oster starts with broad topic sections: Flowers; Shrubs, Trees & Foliage Plants; Fruits & Veggies and then adds in plants of black and gold. He trips into yellow, darkest brown or bluish black hues and takes advantage of not only flowers, but the colors in the plants’ foliage and fruit, as well.
How else would you find tomatoes, peppers, eggplant and blackberries in a garden book called The Steel City Garden: Creating a One-of-a-kind Garden in Black and Gold? Oster draws on his imagination for gardens from “outside the lines.”
Flower choices are broad in a few varieties. After all there are many types of begonias and daffodils and daylilies that are hardly just, or even rarely, found with black or purely gold flowers.
Oster’s plant choices get specific where he calls out cultivars; as in Heliopsis ‘Tuscan Sun,’ Bidens ferulifolia ‘Solaire Yellow,’ and Crocus ‘Golden Yellow.’ His ideas are also unexpected, like adding houseplants to the mix. Oster found an orchid cultivar in black and gold and shares information about the shrimp plant; his choice has yellow flowers.
The author shares his favorites in the selections. Oster is “over the moon” with Corydalis lutea, Melampodium paludosum ‘Showstar’, and Koelaeuteria paniculata, a golden rain tree; and explains why gardeners may want to try them in their own black and gold gardens.
Across the pages of The Steel City Garden, whimsy leads readers at every turn of a page from the front to the back cover. A pair of black and gold flamingos and fat bumblebees helps you follow along.
Story-teller Shares Garden Tales from Plant Lovers
“The garden is a place our family always gathers,” says Doug Oster.
In his last book, Tomatoes Garlic Basil, the story-teller intertwined tales about his family and his home garden with the Italian cooking Oster and his wife enjoy.
The garden book had enough hefty how-to instruction that new gardeners could use it to grow tomatoes, garlic plants, and the herb basil, and make their own first garden gathering.
The Steel City Garden is also a blend of stories; Oster explains a bit of Pittsburgh’s history going back to the city seal and the steel industry where the black and gold colors originated. Stories between the plant pages speak of Pittsburgh hockey and petunias, a steel city man who creates art to fill his garden, and from Janoski’s Farm and Greenhouse, where they use mushroom compost to amend their garden’s soil.
Birdhouse and container craft projects give readers whimsy to make their own family stories among gardens of any colors.
Garden Communicator Doug Oster
Not many garden writers give away free seeds on their website.
Doug Oster’s free seeds come packaged with a story, as you read of a legacy variety from the late Fred Limbaugh’s ‘Potato Top’ tomato.
Oster is an organic gardener, who lives on four acres of land near his adopted hometown of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He is originally from northeastern Ohio, so he could be forgiven had he mixed in a few orange flowers among the pages, in honor of his Cleveland Browns.
Oster is the “Backyard Gardener” at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. He is a co-host, with Jessica Walliser, on the Sunday morning radio show “Organic Gardener” and writes, produces, and serves as the smiling face for WQED-TVs contributing gardening stories. He won an Emmy for his work, “The Gardens of Pennsylvania.”
Black and Gold Plants in Steel City Garden
St. Lynn’s Press published The Steel City Garden: Creating a One-of-a-kind Garden in Black and Gold on November 15, 2013. There are 168 pages, each one dotted with artistry and bold colorful photos.
Doug Oster has succeeded in writing a garden book that is pure fun for gardeners. You will quickly find inspiration for your own gardens no matter the climate or hometown’s fan pride you cultivate. New gardeners or plant people who do not live in the upper Midwest will want to supplement the plant knowledge in The Steel City Garden with more in-depth horticultural reference material.
The Steel City Garden is a garden book about mixing sports-team pride with favorite plants. Demonstrating to readers it is true what gardeners believe; we can find an excuse anywhere for growing a garden.