Saturday, May 28, 2011

Visiting Rosedale Gardens

Daylily "Long Stocking"

Mary at Rosedale Gardens blog opened her garden today for visitors to come see her extensive collection of over 400 varieties of daylilies as well as a large collection of Japanese iris and Oriental lilies. Mary visited our garden a few weeks ago. She lives in Tuscumbia, which is just about 10 or 15 minutes away. She is delightful, welcoming and generous (delicious blueberry cake and daffodil bulbs!), and obviously caring (she rescued 3 border collies who you can see and read about on her blog).

After breakfast, Michael and I headed over her way. After a perfect day yesterday with a pleasant cool bite in the air and temperatures around 70, reality set in today as temperatures climbed toward 90. We are in for a hot week ahead with 90s all week. The heat didn't stop me from gawking at Mary's beautiful daylilies and iris. I did not take notes so I don't know the names of the daylilies but here are just a few from her huge collection.

You can see that Mary is an Auburn fan! She has an Auburn garden (orange and blue), a UNA section (gold and purple) and other color coordinated gardens. The daylilies are "Long Stocking"
"Ruffles and Son"

Iris 'Ruffled Dimitry' (Iris ensata)

Daylily "Sticky Fingers"

Daylily "Earl of Warwick"

Daylily "Chin Whiskers"

Daylily "Cameroon Night"

Japanese Iris "Crystal Halo"

Daylily "Chicago Picotee Memories"

Daylily "Quiet Whisper"

Daylily "Chicago Scintillation"

Daylily "Kindly Light"
And not just daylilies and iris. This is a beautiful dogwood called "First Lady". Isn't it gorgeous? I want one!

Text and photos by Phillip Oliver, Dirt Therapy

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Storm damage

We had more severe weather last night. A line of storms came through around 11pm. I was on the computer in the middle of responding to an e-mail when the power went out. It was out until 5am this morning. I didn't think we had any damage. I was out all morning and got home around 1pm and went out to get the mail. It was then that I saw that the "Autumn Blaze" maple had been hit. Two large limbs, one hanging, one already down. It was sad seeing this but other people have had much worse things happen. I saw a lot of trees down around town this morning and there was damage to the water lines in town. The lines have been fixed but we are still under a warning to boil our water before drinking it until it can be checked for bacteria.

Text and photos by Phillip Oliver, Dirt Therapy

Tuesday, May 24, 2011


The hydrangeas are really looking good this year! So far (knock wood) we have had sufficient rainfall and I sure hope it continues. (Click on photos for larger images)

"Annabelle" and "Madame Emile Mouillere" with hosta

"Madame Emile Mouillere" and "Bluebird"

"Madame Emile Mouillere" and "Bluebird"

Oakleaf hydrangeas "Dayspring" and Native

Hydrangea "Nikko Blue"

Oakleaf Hydrangea "Snowflake"

Text and photos by Phillip Oliver, Dirt Therapy

Monday, May 23, 2011

Hidden Hills Garden blog

I'd like to introduce you to a new Alabama garden blog called "Hidden Hills Garden". Peggy Hill, who lives on Smith Lake, is a writer for Alabama Gardener and Smith Lake Living magazines. On her blog she describes herself as "a full time, garden obsessed, crazy gardener" and I was pleased when I read that when she watches tv, she is more interested in what is going on in the landscape than with the characters. I thought I was the only crazy person who did this! I had the pleasure of meeting Peggy last week when she and her garden group came to visit my garden. She has a post about their visit and she will be writing about Maria Wall's garden on her next entry. I hope you will take a look at her blog, I think you will enjoy it!

Text and photos by Phillip Oliver, Dirt Therapy

Sunday, May 15, 2011

May Bloom Day

Kousa Dogwood
I don't know about the rest of you but I've been disappointed with spring so far. First, the early bloom display of the yoshino cherries lasted about 3 days and then the same thing happened with the roses! They bloomed really early this year and then were zapped by storms and rain. Normally, our garden is glorious around Mother's Day but this is the first year that I can recall when most of the roses were kaput on that day. We had three days of 90s last week and this weekend has been damp, dark, dreary and chilly. Can there be a happy medium? Sorry for my rant!

Despite the setbacks, I found a few blooms for Bloom Day, a day when bloggers share what is blooming in their gardens. For more gardens, visit May Dreams Gardens.

Some of the roses that are still blooming -

"Super Dorothy"
"Sea Foam"'

"Scarlet Meidiland"

"Nearly Wild"
The hydrangeas are also beginning - 

"Twist n' Shout"



"Endless Summer"

"Madame Emile Mouillere"

Bonfire Begonia

Loropetalum, Thuja "Green Giant", Bamboo

Rose Campion, Lamb's Ear, unidentified rose

Creeping Bellflower (Campanula rapunculoides)

Clematis "Jackmanii"

Euonymous "Emerald n' Gold"'

Text and photos by Phillip Oliver, Dirt Therapy

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day to all the mothers our there and happy birthday to my mother, who is 72 today! It has been a beautiful weekend. Michael cut some flowers yesterday and made this arrangement. It has roses (Alba Meidiland, Marjorie Fair, Tradescant, Lyric, The Fairy and Lamarque), peonies, hydrangea, spirea and oakleaf hydrangea. I think it so beautiful. I don't why I don't cut flowers more often.

Text and photos by Phillip Oliver, Dirt Therapy

Friday, May 6, 2011

Cryptomeria update

Before --

Change is inevitable in a garden, often for the good but sometimes not. I posted a few months ago about the sad state of the Japanese Cedar (Cryptomeria japonica) that has been a focal point and conversation piece in our garden for many years. Our county extension agency man came by and said that it appeared the tree had been attacked by spider mites. Spider mites!?!

Considering the size of the tree, spraying was out of the question (I think it was too far gone anyway). I made the painful decision to limb the tree up and  use the trunk as a support for a climbing rose. I've been removing the lower branches and I've already transplanted the "Peggy Martin" rose in front of it. I also transplanted a "Quickfire" hydrangea that I hope will grow fast and at least bring back the screening effect that was once there. I've yet the cut the remaining branches at the top and I'm hoping that I can chop the upper half of the tree off without killing myself.

The tree was not only a focal point in a corner of the border but it divided the area between the rose borders with that of the waterfall area next to the garage, creating a "room" effect. Now, all is open and gaping. There is a beautiful view of the rose and pergola coming down the steps next to the waterfall but I've yet to embrace this new change. Only time will tell.

After --

Text and photos by Phillip Oliver, Dirt Therapy

Sunday, May 1, 2011

May Day blooms

Barberry "Rose Glow" (Barberis thunbergii)

Clematis "Betty Corning"

Iris and Japanese Maple "Sango Kaku"

Jerusalem Sage (Phlomis fruticosa)

Oakleaf hydrangea, Carissa holly (rose pergola in the distance)

Peonies and Japanese Maple "Sango Kaku"

Peony "Karl Rosenfield"

Climbing Rose "Aloha"

Shrub Rose "Daydream" and Spirea "Goldmound"

Shrub Rose "Gartendirektor Otto Linne"

Hybrid Musk Rose "Prosperity"

Climbing Miniature Rose "Red Cascade" on a 5 ft. pillar

Hybrid Musk Rose "Robin Hood"

Rose "Veilchenblau"

Polyantha Rose "Weeping China Doll"

Text and photos by Phillip Oliver, Dirt Therapy