April flowers

Weather-wise, the weekend got off to a dreary start with cold, windy and damp conditions after 3.5 inches of rain on Friday. I forced myself to get some weeding done despite the frigid wind. Today was much nicer - sunny and in the 70s. I trimmed hedges, mowed and did more weeding. I think I overdid it and my back was killing me tonight. I spent it prone on the sofa and we finally watched "The King's Speech".

Because of the frequent rain and storms we've had so far, blooms have been brief. The dogwoods were gorgeous for a few days and then decimated by rains before I even had a chance to photograph them. A string of hot days did in the Lady Banks rose and most of the azaleas. The roses are beginning to bloom and I believe they are a week ahead. Anyway, it is futile to worry and fret about it. Here are a few plants in bloom now:

Beauty Bush (Kolkwitzia amabilis) - I love this shrub. It is glorious when in bloom, which about three weeks. It also holds up well to heavy rains. After the deluge on Friday, the blooms perked back up with hardly a whimper. This shrub is about 10 feet tall. The rose in front of it is "Buff Beauty".

The Blaze rose over the gate by the vegetable garden is just beginning. The clematis came out of nowhere. I vaguely remember planting it but cannot for the life of me remember what it is.

Clematis "Elsa Spath"

Smoke Tree "Golden Spirit" (Cotinus coggygria 'Ancot') - I thought it had died but it lives! The regular burgundy colored smoke tree can be seen in the background.

Encore Azalea "Autumn Rouge"

Hybrid Musk Rose "Buff Beauty", one of my all-time favorites.

A newer rose, planted out by the street in front of the house, this is "Marchesa Boccella" (love that name!) It is also known as "Jacques Cartier" but I prefer the Marchesa name. Intense fragrance.

Text and photos by Phillip Oliver, Dirt Therapy


  1. I am fan of your roses, Phillip. That's a lovely Clematis - reminds me of the fragrant Passion Vine that died last year :(

  2. Your weather's no fun at all!

    I've just been watching an item about it on the news, the report was from NC, just devastating.

  3. Spring can be so fleeting. What you have shown us is quite beautiful. Take care of that back. There is a lot more gardening to be done.

  4. Great roses. My little Buff Beauty is putting out some blooms too! Waiting for mine to grow up and out! Ha! Your garden is looking great! Happy Spring!

  5. Despite your rains you do have some beautiful blooms Phillip. Hope your back is better.

  6. Tim at A Chef in the Garden tells me you have many Hydrangea plants and are an expert on them. He left a comment on a post I wrote about transplanting in the spring. We discussed "Lady in Red" and what a disappointment it has been. Can you add to the discussion?

  7. I love your roses Phillip. Beautiful clematis. Glad you had no damage. Me either. Have a good day. Rest up.

  8. Phillip,

    I love that gate! These are such wonderful photos. No storm damage to us, 50 miles from us is a complete mess, we were very lucky.

  9. okay, while I'm at it :) what about these roses on this post? blackspot issues? (can you tell I'm on the lookout for new roses but worried about BS?)

  10. That beauty bush is wonderful, wish I had room for a bush that large. I guess I will just enjoy yours. Its nice to see the bright green Smoke Tree, I see more of the Purple Smoke Trees around here and have been trying to decide if I could squeeze one in some where. Still thinking about it.

  11. Your Beautybush is amazing! I love the foliage of the Smoke Tree. That color can really light up a garden.

  12. Always such a beautiful display of flowers and foliage in your garden, Phillip.

  13. We saw the The King's Speech the day after it came out in December... it was theraputic for me and I hope watching it made you feel better, Phillip!

    Too bad your weather has been so rough on the garden but Elsa Spath is very beautiful and Buff Beauty never seems to disappoint. Happy April!

    Annie at the Transplantable Rose


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