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Some Evergreen Shrubs

Mahonia repens (Creeping Mahonia) I can never over-emphasize the importance of evergreen shrubs in the garden. Otherwise, you have nothing to look at during the winter months. Here are a few of my favorites. Talk about a carefree plant! The PNW native  Mahonia repens (Creeping Mahonia or Creeping Oregon Grape) requires nothing special and will even tolerate drought after it is established. I tend to think of this plant more as a groundcover but after many years (six to be exact - it was planted in April of 2017) it is beginning to look more like a low-growing shrub. The height is less than 2 feet tall. Growth tends to be more horizontal and it has spread 3-4 feet. Not a fast grower. Sun or part-shade. The leaves are an attractive blue-green and they become tinged with red and purple when the weather is cooler.  Flowers have been sporadic but every year they increase. It usually blooms around April - The flowers are then followed (around July) by the berries or "grapes" - Os

Fireworks in the garden

We are back in drought mode here in north Alabama so it is back to lugging the hoses around. Yesterday was a super nice day with low humidity, a pleasant breeze, lots of clouds and temperatures in the 80s. Unfortunately, I was stuck at work. Why is it that all the nice days come on work days? Anyway, I took some photos in the evening. Here is what is blooming right now -


Lily 'Muscadet' in a pot - the fragrance is incredible

Hosta 'Gold Standard'

The common orange daylily

Rudbeckia (Black-eyed Susan)

Plume Poppy

Creeping Jenny and Wire Vine


  1. Those photographs are amazing. Very clear! I like the foliage shot of the caladium.

  2. I love the title of your blog--bet that's how many of your readers decompress after a hard day/night/week. You seem to be a little ahead of us (I'm in Virginia)--my crocosmia is just about to bloom. How do you keep it in check, by the way? I love it, but the clumps triple in size every year, and I have trouble finding the right spots for it . .

    Cosmo (at

  3. Sorry about the duplicate post, everyone. I'm a novice blogger, and I was trying to fix a typo.

  4. The crocosmia is wonderful. I've tried three times to grow it and every single time something happens to destroy the plants before they bloom. We'll be trying it again soon when the new side bed goes in, maybe we will succeed next summer.

  5. BEAUTIFUL photos Phillip!!!!!

    Thanks for your tips & comment about our little garden :) I will keep it well watered. We'll see what happens, I'm hopeful :D Thanks so much for the book too. I have a bit more to read and then I'll give it to Andy to bring to you. Oh, I don't remember off the top of my head but I'll get the name of the pink flowers, I have it somewhere....

    Have a great day, I hope you get great weather on Friday, when you can enjoy it! We are heading to TN to visit Andy's parents and I think possibly GA to visit his sister as well. He's taking Thursday off too, so it will be a mini-vacation :)

  6. Thanks, I'm checking it out now!

  7. Wow, those pics are amazing..I love foliage plants...

    You have been tagged. Please visit my blog if you would like to play along ;)

    Or just come for a vist.

  8. Fabulous photos! Really gorgeous...

    Remember, it builds good upper body strength to drag those hoses around!


  9. Very nice shots, have you changed cameras, or the way you post? I tend to agree with Cosmo on the Crocosmia, it is invasive for me, but it does pull up easily where it is not wanted.

  10. very beautiful and clever!

  11. We, too, have had a day or two of lower humidity and slightly cooler temps, but no rain so I know what you mean about dragging hoses around. I am hoping for rain the weekend. I am luck though, I'm off work so I can enjoy this nice weather. Your garden looks like it is still going strong. Love that coleus - it is my favorite.

  12. Phillip, we have sprouts! I was so excited and couldn't wait to tell you! Hope you are having a wonderful day :D

  13. A visit to your blog is as refreshing as a shower after working in the garden (and also as refreshing to the plants as getting a needed shower from a passing cloud). Great photos and text...I aspire to have a blog as sharp as yours one of these days. That is to say, your blog inspires me to blog better! Have a Happy 4th! Jon in Vicksburg, MS

  14. These photos are looking much like a preview of what I can expect. The crocosmia, black-eyed susan, my red Austin rose that hasn't bloomed yet... Miscanthus, on the other hand, is one of those things that I just love in my neighbors' gardens but can't seem to find a place for in my garden.

  15. Phillip,

    Hi again...can you tell me if your Plume Poppy is at all aggressive? My sister gave me a bit and I wasn't sure I wanted to plant it. Plume has taken over one of her beds. She has beautiful loamy soil and I have clay will that make any difference?


  16. Wandered onto your blog by chance. I'm enjoying your beautiful photos!

    I lived in Huntsville, Al for several years. I miss the long springs and mild winters.


  17. Hi Phillip,

    The earlier commenters are right - these photos are pretty spectacular, especially the red-and-white lily and variegated leaves.

    My crocosmia is budded - could it really become invasive? My clay might slow it down!

    Please don't tell me that the plant you are praising (mixed in with the Creeping Jenny) is Asiatic Jasmine. That stuff was well-established in this yard and two adjoining yards when we moved here and it is the bane of my gardening existence. I hate it, hate it, hate it.

    Annie at the Transplantable Rose

  18. Great new camera Phillip! Which one is it? I stumbled on your blog from my traffic counter. I'll be back!
    By the way - your purple wall is a most fetching structure behind your plantings. I think it really sets off everything else around it.

  19. Phillip, I think the name of that creeping jenny is "goldilocks"


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