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The Buttonbush ( Cephalanthus occidentalis) is an unusual shrub with curious white pincushion flowers. It is found in the wild all over the United States, usually in swamps and moist areas.  Growing up in rural Alabama, I remember seeing it in the woods behind our house.  It doesn't garner much attention until the blooms make their appearance.  Sources vary on the size of the plant. In the wild, it can get to 20 feet but in gardens, most likely under 12 ft. In my garden, it is about 4 feet tall after five years in the ground. It is located along the back fence in an area that doesn't get much supplemental water although I am working on the area and watering more often this year. The flowers have a slight honey-like fragrance. Bees love this plant! Text and photos by Phillip Oliver, Dirt Therapy

September Bloom Day

The temperatures are falling so there should be more blooms by October. The air is now delicious with the scent of the Sweet Olive.

Some roses -


'Mrs. R.M. Finch'

'Weeping China Doll'

Rose Hips

Mexican Sage



Ponciris (Hardy Orange)

Crepe Myrtle 'Victor'


Salvia 'Black & Blue'



That's it for September! Visit May Dreams for a list of blogs that are participating in Bloom Day.


  1. Hi, Phillip--Wonderful photos as always. My tea olive blooms are just starting--yours seems way ahead. You're warmer than we are, right? Zone 8? Maybe you've had more rain . . .Anyway, a lovely posting.

  2. Your blooms look wonderful in September. The roses especially seem to like this month!

    Thanks for joining in for bloom day,
    Carol, May Dreams Gardens

  3. Great shots of your roses, Phillip and I love that Crepe Myrtle.

  4. Love your blooms Philip. I always think of fall when I see rose hips and Crepe Myrtle.

  5. Love that Victor. Very pretty pictures.

  6. Gorgeous photos. I envy your roses. My roses have been a battle for the last few years. Japanese beetles and not rose rosette disease. As I lose bushes, I will not be replacing them.

    Your weeping china doll is so lovely.

  7. Hi Phillip, As always, I am in love with your garden. You have captured a couple of things that I have never been able to photograph clearly, one being that black and blue salvia. I think the crapes are difficult too, you have done well as both a gardener and a blogger! Congrats!

    Frances at Fairegarden
    new url

  8. Everyone seems to have Goldenrod but me! Maybe I need to invest in some of the golden beauty...

  9. Love those roses - is Mrs. R. M. Finch a china? Mutabilis and Weeping China Doll are two of my favorites, but both are beginning to be shaded out; I need to take cuttings this fall and start some new ones for a sunnier spot (like I have one of those!). My Osmanthus hasn't bloomed yet (it's either too young or too shaded), but it's supposedly O. fragrans 'aurantiacum', so I wish it would flower so I could tell if the blooms are really orange. I'd love to have a Poncirus someday, if I ever have the space. Those bring back happy family vacation memories for me which involve cows and a swimming pool - a long story which has bored anyone to tears with whom I've ever shared it...

  10. Your Rosa mutabilis is charming in its simplicity, but I must confess that I really like the "Weeping China Doll" Rose best. It's been difficult, but I've resisted the impulse to deadhead my new Rose & I'm finally getting hips. Do you ever eat yours? I'm afraid of Ponciris - that thing looks vicious. I'm always so envious when I see Crepe Myrtle blooms, and "Victor" is such a frilly fellow.

  11. Beautiful photos of gorgeous blooms. I have Salvia envy :)

  12. I'm so excited about this weather. I have been outside all week catching up on garden stuff.

  13. Jeff, Mrs. R.M. Finch is a polyantha rose.

  14. Love the leaf colour of the plecthrantus (spelling ???)

  15. I am late visting all the bloom day posts. It is increasingly difficult to check in on everyone. You have some nice things in your garden and few of them are in mine also. I am waiting for someone to make a cake that tastes like the Osmanthus smells.

  16. You either have a steadier hand than me, or a much better camera!
    You take very nice pictures.

  17. Hi Phillip -- you have a beautiful garden! I see that you've linked to my Defining Your Home Garden blog. I'm adding a link to yours. I'm so glad that I found your site! The photos are gorgeous! Cameron

  18. So your garden is already fragrant with Tea olives and roses, Phillip? Wandering your beautiful Bloom Day gives me hope that will happen here, too.
    My three Teas/Sweet olives opened a couple of flowers, then went back to closed mode when the temperatures returned to the nineties.

    The graceful white lespedeza is very intriguing!

    Annie at the Transplantable Rose

  19. Beautiful garden! I wish I have the space to garden. I do all my gardening on my tiny deck. Nice photography too.


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