Two weeks ago I lead a trip to Pittsburgh (that is why there are many blogs on Pittsburgh)…and we were privileged to visit the private garden of Doug Oster, a well-known garden personality in Pittsburgh. He began by telling us he doesn’t have much time to spend in the garden anymore, so he tries to make the garden as easy as possible to take care of. I need that…no matter what anyone says, gardening is work…but, it is rewarding.
Now we proceeded UP…way up…the hill to Doug’s neighbor Rob Joswiak’s Japanese garden.
What a treat!
Everything in this garden was hand built by Rob Joswiak!
One of the fascinating substitutions that everyone raved about…Rob faux painted PVC pipe instead of using bamboo…it was much cheaper and lasts longer…especially since he used it all over the garden! You can see a little of it in this photo…it is a yellowish color.
Rob’s entire lot, hillside and front yard…every tiny bit of space is landscaped with pergolas, sitting areas, bridges, paths and many Japanese Maples and interesting plant combinations.
One Japanese Maple in his front yard has curly leaves. If anyone knows the name of this tree, please write back! Yes, it is supposed to curl like that.
Rob claims he changes the garden and plantings if he doesn’t like where things are placed. See the photo with the plant combinations demonstrating the differences in leaf texture…
The creator of this hillside Japanese garden and his wife, Mary of many years…
Well in this neighborhood…Rob’s wife, Mary came out and started giving us food to take on the bus and garden books to give away. Then a few gardeners noticed a nice home a few doors down from Rob’s (the bus driver had meanwhile driven the bus up to Rob’s house). They started looking at the new garden and the owners came out. One of the owners was Jon Gregory Colburn…earlier of MSU! Wow, what a small world. We were not only were treated like neighbors, but we found a former Michigander in the neighborhood. Everyone could not have been more friendly! His small garden was lovely also…
Doug Oster sold and signed his new book, “Tomatoes, Garlic, Basil…then lead us down the hill in his truck to the highway….and gave us a wave as he took off. Did I mention that we arrived just after 7 AM in the morning!
I hope we would be this friendly and helpful if a visiting group came to Michigan.
I’ll bet Doug knows a few more of his neighbors now…!