Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Fall color

I just returned home this week after a ten day visit to Alabama. The fall color there had not started yet but it is really beginning to show out here in the Pacific Northwest. 

Greeting me at the driveway entrance is Kelsey's Dwarf Red Osier Dogwood (Cornus sericea 'Kelseyi'). This small shrub was already here when we moved in. It is located in the most inhospitable site - a dry bed, next to the driveway and road, and in full blazing sun. When I finally identified the shrub, I was told that it is a lover of moist and wet soils. Well, I beg to differ!

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More dogwoods -

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Our beloved 'Wolf's Eyes' which we also grew in Alabama. I never noticed such pink coloring in our previous garden but it is definitely pink here. It has suffered from sun scorch but it appears to be growing and it bloomed spectacularly this spring.


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Dogwood 'Celestial Shadow' is another tree suffering from too much sun in our shade-deprived garden.


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The existing dogwood in the back, the pink-flowering variety, is the largest tree in our garden.

On to more trees -

I just added this Dakota Pinnacle Birch (Betula platyphylla 'Fargo'). It is supposed to grow tall and narrow. I am very pleased with the fall color. I was discouraged by many about planting a Birch tree because of their propensity to borers and other diseases. Fingers crossed...
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Betula platyphylla 'Fargo'

Another new tree for us - Japanese Maple 'Osakazuki'. There are so many varieties to choose from and it easily becomes overwhelming. I loved the shape and form of this one at the nursery and it is reputed to be one of the best reds.

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Acer palmatum 'Osakazuki'

Planted last year, Sourwood (Oxydendrum arboreum) has not grown much but the color and flowers have been very nice.

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Sourwood Tree (Oxydendrum arboreum)


Some shrubs -

This Korean Lilac (Springa meyeri 'Palibin') was another plant already in existence when we arrived. It is lovely in the spring and the fall color is quite spectacular. I don't recall noticing it last year.

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Korean Lilac (Springa meyeri 'Palibin')


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Rhododendron 'PJM'


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Virginia Sweetspire (Itea virginica)


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Oakleaf Hydrangea (Hydrangea quercifolia 'Ruby Slippers'


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Panicle Hydrangea (Hydrangea paniculata 'Vanilla Strawberry')


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Blue Star (Amsonia hubrechtii) and Geranium 'Rozanne'

And I cannot resist throwing a flower in - Aster 'Monte Casino White', from Joy Creek Nursery, just beginning to bloom -


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Aster pringlei 'Monte Casino White'


Text and photos by Phillip Oliver, Dirt Therapy

Sunday, October 1, 2017

End of the Month Favorites - September

Loree at Danger Garden has a monthly meme called "End of the Month Favorites" and while I am two days late, I am joining in. Plus, it has been ages since I've completed a blog post. :o

Fall is my favorite time of year and I have been doing lots of happy dances lately because it has started raining again. There are lots of plants perking up to the moisture and here are some of my faves for September.

Cosmos 'Redcrest' - one of the few annuals I grow successfully from seed. I get this one from Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds and I just love it.

Cuphea 'Strybing Sunset' - overwintered last year in our garage. I am debating whether or not I should leave it in the ground this year.
 
Euphorbia myrsinites (Myrtle Spurge) - doing great in a dry, raised bed in full sun.

Fuchsia 'Cardinal' - I read that this one can get about six feet tall! It has not grown much but the blooms are spectacular.

It is always rewarding when a plant does what you want it to do - Geranium 'Rozanne'

Hellebore 'Merlin' - the first one I have planted and I just got it in the ground a few weeks ago. I love the dark foliage on this one.

I am love with my Lemon Eucalyptis (Corymbia citriodora) - this has to be the most potent lemon fragrance around. It puts Lemon Verbena to shame! I am hoping I can overwinter this.

Leucosceptrum japonicum 'Golden Angel' (Japanese Shrub Mint) really lights up dark areas.

One of my favorite shrubs in Alabama was Sweet Olive (Osmanthus fragrans). I have not been able to locate it here. The one that is widely available is Osmathus heterophyllus 'Goshiki'. It has holly-like leaves with beautiful coloring. I haven't seen a bloom yet.

Pinus strobus "Mini-Twists' - I saw it in the window and just had to have it. It was actually looking pretty ragged at the nursery but it has improved since I have planted it.
The soft needles on this one are incredible.

Sumac 'Tiger Eyes', Michael's favorite. I planted it in the pot with the hole cut out of the bottom in fear of it spreading. I am considering moving it to the front garden over the winter.

I have went nuts over Asters and have bought every variety at Yard N' Garden since working there. This one is the standout right now - 'Purple Dome'

I know buddleias get a bad rap here but this one seems to be very well-behaved and it is so beautiful. It has the unfortunate name of 'Buzz Hot Raspberry'.
Hydrangea quercifolia 'Ruby Slippers' starting to change colors.

Although the Mandevilla has still not reached the top of the mailbox and draped over it like I hoped it would, I include it because every neighbor has stopped and asked what it is and we have seen people stop and take photos of it.


Text and photos by Phillip Oliver, Dirt Therapy