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Oscar Olson
Sub-Region: Southern California Coastal, Inland
State: California
Business: Retired

Biographical Information

I went to L.A. State where I graduated as a Biological Sciences Major. I taught Biology at California High School in Whittier for 34 years prior to retiring. My interest in Staghorn ferns stared in 1988. I tried to spore ferns while he was teaching, but it never worked. I retired and moved to Poway in 1993. I tried sporing again, and it worked. Like hobbies usually do, it started with just a few plants. A few plants morphed into many. While collecting most of the 18 varieties of platyceriums, I got hooked on superbums, because they only grow from spore. In a short time I became a spore-aholic.

Please tell us briefly about your favorite cause/business/product in which you are involved that you would like to share with the general public and why.

Where can members get more of your advice?
Call me at 619-559-4405.

Background Information Briefly describe the climate where you garden now (climate zone, state, area) and any other areas where you have gardened in the past.
I live in Poway which is located in Northern San Diego County California. The climate Zone is 20 in the ,Sunset Western Garden Book

How long have you been gardening?
I've been gardening forever. As a teenager I raised bees in the orange tree grove on Laura Scudder's farm.

What triggered your interest?
I was always interested in biology which includes plants. I especially liked ferns because they date back to prehistoric times.

What is your specialty, expertise or claim to fame?
Platyceriums, Platycerium superbum, and raising ferns from spore.

What formal education do you have?
Bachelor of Science in Biology from Los Angeles State, 34 years of teaching biology, and many, many years of experimenting.

What formal horticultural training do you have?

What is your favorite garden or plant-related topic? Tell us a little about them.
I especially likes ferns because they date back to prehistoric times. Since platyceriums are fern, it comes as a natural curiosity. Sporing is my favorite aspect because of the challenge.

What is your biggest gardening pet peeve? Tell us about it.
Pests that attack plants

How much time per week do you spend gardening?
Approximately 30.

How much time per week do you spend working at the business of gardening, such as consulting, reading, writing or talking about your gardening subject?
A few.

 Oscar's Book Recommendations

Fern Growers Manual

Platycerium Hobbyist's Handbook

The Cycads

  Oscar's Favorite Websites

What gardening or horticultural clubs, societies, or organizations (or any other interest) do you belong to?
San Diego Horticulture Society, San Diego Fern Society, San Diego Orchid Society

What other biographical information would you like to share?

Gardening Questions

What do you like most about gardening?
The challenge.

What do you dislike most about gardening?
When plants die.

What individual has influenced your gardening interest the most? How?

What is your favorite place or activity in the garden?
The hot house and the shade house.

What is your favorite time in the garden?

What is your favorite public or private garden in the world? Why?

What is your favorite color in the garden?

If you could grow only one plant, what would it be?
Ferns, especially platyceriums. They are unique and they date back to prehistoric times.

What plant have you tried to grow that has given you the most trouble? Or, what plant would you like to grow and can't, and why?

What is your favorite gardening outfit or costume?
Jeans and a t-shirt.

Do you have a gardening philosophy you would like to share with other gardeners? What is it?
Perseverance and tenacity; just keep at it, and do not be discouraged if things you try do not go well. Keep trying.

Who is your own favorite gardening personality on TV, radio or in print? Why?
Barbara Joe Hoshizaki.

What is the one question about gardening you would really like people to ask you?
What is the Life Cycle of the fern?

And what's the answer?
You will have to ask me.

What is a garden myth you hear frequently which you know is untrue?
Should I feed my Platyceriums bananas?

And, what is the reality?
The reality is; do it if you want lots of bugs.

What group or kind of person do you think would benefit most from the advice you can give on gardening?
Platycerium fern enthusiast.

Would you like to participate, or can you recommend someone who you think should? We're always looking for more expert gardeners to tell about their philosophies and give their plant recommendations contact us and we'll get started.


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