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Fall Colors

The fall colors have really been kicking in these past weeks. I've made a video with live shots of the most colorful plants in the garden right now.     Or, if you'd rather just see the photos - Burning Bush ( Euonymus alatus 'Rudy Haag' and Sourwood ( Oxydendrum arboreum )   Birch (Betula pendula 'Trost's Dwarf')     Amsonia hubrichtii   Sumac 'Tiger Eyes' (( Rhus typhina ‘Bailtiger’))   Vine Maple 'Pacific Fire' ( Acer circinatum )   Miscanthus sinensis 'Little Miss'   Persian Ironwood ( Parrotia persica )   Bloodtwig Dogwood ( Cornus sanguinea 'Midwinter Fire')     Strawberry Tree ( Arbutus unedo)   Redbud ( Cercis 'Rising Sun')     Dogwood ( Cornus kousa 'Celestial Shadow')   Dogwood ( Cornus kousa 'Wolf's Eyes')   Joe Pye Weed ( Eutrochium purpureum )   Redbud ( Cercis 'Hearts of Gold') and 'Pacific Fire' vine maple in back Pomegranate ( Punica granan

Winter planting

I posted last week about transplanting. Winter is also a great time to plant hardy trees and shrubs. The weather was mild this past weekend and I knew that heavy rain was on the way, so I wanted to get some new plants in the ground.

First, out with the old. It really kills me to discard a plant but this juniper is too big for this spot (it totally blocks and crowds the beautiful Japanese Maple behind it) and it keeps encroaching on the driveway. I decided to replace it with a low growing camellia.

This looks rather sad but the new camellia ('Chansonette') is in place. The Japanese Maple can now be seen and the balance of this planting area should be more pleasing to the eye once the camellia takes off. This still leaves a large hole on the left side so I'll be looking for something to put there. Low growing shrub under a dogwood tree - any suggestions?

Here is another new camellia that I bought - this one is "Showa No Sakae"

This is Osmanthus heterophyllus 'Gulftide' also known as "False Holly." Sweet Olive (Osmanthus fragrans) is my favorite fragrant plant in the garden but I had never seen this variety.

The leaves are totally different from the regular sweet olive and they do indeed look like holly. I'm excited about this shrub and I'm curious to see if it blooms as well as the Osmanthus fragrans.


  1. Your planting looks very nice Phillip. I know what you mean when you say you hate to take an established plant out. However I think you made the right decision. This area looks quite fresh even in its winter outfit.

  2. I'd like to know how you like that particular osmanthus. I also have 'Goshiki' which is a variegated yellow/green. Prickly like a holly, too. I like the color that it gives in the mixed border, but it doesn't bloom like the osmanthus fragrans.


  3. I'm not so experienced a gardener to give you suggestions, but I sure see that you're carving out a beautiful garden by giving out your maple a view!

  4. Hi Phillip, I agree with the removal of the juniper, it looks better already. Chansonette is one I have and it has stayed smaller than stated height on the tag of four feet, it is more like two feet but has been a tough performer under adverse conditions. I think ferns would be a good addition there, maybe some evergreen tassle ferns?


  5. Frances, ferns sound like a good idea. I'm glad to hear that 'Chansonette' stays low. I was hoping for under 3 feet.

  6. The osmanthus is interesting. The leaves look very holly-like. I've been reflecting lately that I should have planted more evergreens, pine, juniper, etc. It's a shame yours had to come out.

  7. Love the look of your garden and the back-drop too. The old window box and things on the wall. It's all those treasures that make a garden huh?

    I gave up on camelias. They get bit by the March cold that leaves nothing it its wake. I think the Autumn bloomer would fair better in my neck of the woods.

  8. Looks great! I'm not a fan of junipers of any kind so its removal wouldn't have bothered me! Maybe plant some heucheras under your dogwood? The seem to thrive no matter what I do. Ours are in shade most of the day.

  9. I fell no guilt pulling out plants that have served there purpose and their time is done. You could consider one of the low growing, late blooming Satsuki hybird Azaleas, a variegated Winter Daphne or how about a patch of Hellebores.

  10. A very nice look at the dogwood now! Ferns sound perfect, they won't out grow the dogwood and will a good look all winter. I would love to have the osmanthus and wonder if any nashville growers have success with it...Gail

  11. I really like "Gulftide" and its leaf color. It looks like a good addition to your garden.

    Always Gardening

  12. I love that false holly, both the leaf shape and the blue-green color. Does agarita grow there? Your false holly reminds me of it.

  13. I love your plaques and birdhouses and stuff on your house, Phillip. Very interesting! I agree that the maple can now hold its own now that the juniper is gone. I never feel sorry about getting rid of a plant whose time has come and gone. I usually wonder why I waited so long! Your plantings look very cool.

  14. I think it looks much better now. You can really see the beauty of the maple's trunk. That osmanthus is really interesting. I've never seen it before so am interested in how it works out for you.

  15. A good move Phillip. I think most evergreens, especially Junipers make for better background intrest and filler.

  16. That Japanese Maple might thank you if it could talk, Phillip- it looks so good with the camellia. Touching junipers gives me hives so one less doesn't bother me.

    That's an Osmanthus? I love the Sweet olive and have managed to keep three alive here... it will be interesting to find out if this holly-leaved type can smell as lovely.

    Annie at the Transplantable Rose

  17. Hi, Phillip--I have the Gulftide osmanthus and I just love it. the flowers are even--what do you say? Less significant?--than those on the sweet olive, but the plant is nevertheless really fragrant and much prettier. Be aware, though, that it grows more quickly and much taller than the sweet olive (though you can prune it easily). I like the hellebore suggestion--or maybe an homage to your old big juniper with a dwarf one?

    Happy New Year, and love your amaryllis blooms.


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