Pittsburgh Home Trends for Summer
Products, tips and the latest buzz in the world of all things home and lifestyle.
On the Upside
Just because you live in the city doesn’t mean you can’t plant a beautiful garden. City Grows in Lawrenceville specializes in container and vertical gardens — freestanding or designed to be attached to a patio or fence. City Grows owner Patty Logan also suggests bringing the containers indoors. “If you hang them near a sunny window in your kitchen, you can snip herbs while you’re cooking all day long,” she says. [photo by Patty Logan] —JS
Get Your Goat
Steel City Grazers, run by Arlington Acres farm owners Carrie Pavlik and Doug Placais, opened this year as Pittsburgh’s first goat-grazing company. Goat-grazing is an environmentally friendly option, as no pesticides are used. The animals are delivered to your property and stay until the job is done. Goats are great at getting into hard-to-reach areas and at clearing out prickly weeds and poisonous plants such as poison ivy (which don’t affect them). [photo by Carrie Pavlik] —LD
Take the Tour
Garner garden ideas from the sites featured on this year’s 18th annual Pittsburgh Botanic Garden Town & Country Tour. On June 28, join the bus or do the self-guided version for an exploration of 14 gardens — some DIY and some professionally landscaped — and talk to their owners about the stories behind the designs. [photo by Joanne Lightner] —LD
Pitt, Don’t Peat
After learning about the negative environmental effects of peat-moss harvesting, Mont Handley founded PittMoss in 2011. Today, the product — made from recyclable materials — is sold locally and in commercial greenhouses in the northeast. After a recent appearance on ABC’s “Shark Tank,” the Ambridge-based company received an investment from the panelists, including Mt. Lebanon native Mark Cuban. [photo by Amy Cicconi] —JS
The Center for Sustainable Landscapes at Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens is one of the “greenest” buildings on Earth, being the first facility of its kind to be certified by the four most rigorous green-building organizations. One of the most recent distinctions is achieving the Living Building Challenge — the center operates at net-zero energy. Tours take off at 1 p.m. Thursdays-Sundays. [photo by Paul g. Wiegman] —LD
The principal of Point Breeze-based Rush Creek Designs, Leslie Kaplan specializes in residential-garden design and horticultural consulting. A Master Gardener with the Phipps Garden Center, Kaplan regularly teaches classes there, including programs on shade gardening, tree and shrub identification, designing a native mixed border and more.
How do you make a garden beautiful for all four seasons? Many perennials, shrubs and small trees are unexpectedly ornamental in the autumn, with glorious color before their leaves fall. Also, winter should not be neglected in the garden. Evergreens can be an effective background for plants with spectacular bark or berries.
What’s your favorite plant to work with? I love flowering shrubs, and I tend to use a lot of different hydrangeas. I can find a hydrangea to fit almost any situation in a garden.
What’s the most important consideration when gardening in the city? My own garden is “on the street,” and I have constant interactions with people walking by with questions about this or that plant. Vegetable gardening is rising in popularity, and I encourage city gardeners to mix veggies in with their flowers. —JS