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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

Our Florida trip

We just got home from our annual trip to Florida this past Saturday. On the way down, we were trying to remember how many times we've been. Michael thinks this is the 9th year. I would have to check my gardening journal to be sure. With the exception of one year in Gulf Shores, we've always stayed in Destin or Panama City. Our favorite area is along scenic Hwy 30A (off of Hwy. 98), located right between Destin and Panama City Beach. It is less congested and very quiet this time of year and that is what we like.

This year we splurged a bit on the house but it was fantastic! Three floors with fantastic views and great windows. Way too much room for just us but we loved it. We were hoping that Michael's cousin and a friend could accompany us like they did last year but they could not get away. So, we decided to keep the house. Here is a view of it from the beach -

This is the view from the main floor -

I almost had a conniption when I saw the kitchen - it has a GE Monogram oven and the refrigerator (which you cannot see in the photo) was enormous. Unfortunately, I did not get a chance to do any baking.

The balcony was great and we had terrific views of both sunrises and sunsets.

We did our usual - sunbathing, shopping, walking the beach, reading and of course, eating. I enjoy the great seafood which Michael will not touch. He loves Angelina's, a great little Italian restaurant that has the best pizza and salad we've ever had.

Overall, the weather was exceptional. There were some cold mornings but it really warmed up later. There was only one brief rain shower and that came on Thursday night. The weathermen were constantly wrong (and I thought ours were bad!) and we learned by mid-week we could not take them seriously. The beaches and the water were beautiful this year.

I have more photos that I took on our regular jaunt to Eden State Park, one of our favorite places. I also read about Henderson State Park which had a fascinating nature trail and we visited it for the first time. I will post those photos in my next post.

Text and photos by Phillip Oliver, Dirt Therapy


  1. I am so glad you have a wonderful time here in FL. We learned long ago not to take our weather guessers too seriously.

  2. This McMansion on the beach is what dreams are made of.

  3. Oh Phillip, you and Michael had such a lovely and perfect place to enjoy a beach vacation! That is just my kind of trip. My mom has been recommending Destin to us, so we'll have to check it out. We went to Marco Island in September, and I literally cried when we left. I need to live at the beach forever!

  4. Check out Bellingrath Gardens during the azalea season sometime. Fantastic.
    The coming rain storm today was a big disappointment. I only got 0.03 inches of rain. Hope to finish planting the rest of my potted plants in the garden before my knee surgery Wed. I keep getting a larger pile of empty pots, but the full ones are multiplying for some reason. I found a half off sale today and bought a couple more of the Encore Autumn Starlite to finish out in front of the house. I found a $3 rhododendron and a Camellia that I'll have to find room for along the dry creek. Glad you guys had a great time. Mary

  5. I am totally with you on the weathermen/coastal stuff. Since moving to the southern coast I just don't even look any more, they really have no idea.

    That setting is spectacular. This is something else I don't do anymore either is go to visit other beaches, living at the beach as I do, something I used to do at least once a year myself.

    You are making me realize I really need to plan myself a proper vacation!


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