Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Foliage follow-up

First of all, thanks for all the blog name suggestions! I received some really good ones and I'm making a list. Some of you asked if the property has a name. Not really, although Michael and I have discussed calling it "Shady Pines" because we love "The Golden Girls" and there are actually lots of pines on the property. So, a "Shady Pines" blog? I don't know yet.

 A few days ago I posted photos of flowers that were blooming. Now here are some foliage (and berries) shots I took.

Ornamental Cabbage (or Kale) (Brassica oleracea)
The center part of same plant
Italian Arum (Arum Italicum)
Holly 'O Spring' (Ilex cornuta)

Leatherleaf Viburnum (Viburnum rhytidophyllum)
English Ivy 'Gold Child' (Hedera helix)
Yucca 'Color Guard' (Yucca filamentosa)
Possumhaw Holly (Ilex decidua)

Text and photos by Phillip Oliver, Dirt Therapy

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Winter flowers and random bits of news

The gray garden

It is a gray cold Sunday and normally I would be in the kitchen baking but I'm having a bit of cabin fever and I've baked enough lately and getting tired of the jigsaw puzzles. I've been wanting to try out my new camera lens so I decided to go out into the garden. It is amazing what you can find in January. 

But first, a few tidbits:

Website - Since starting this blog, I've neglected my website A Southern Garden.  I'm in the process of updating it and it has moved to a new address. I'm in a quandry about what to do about our Internet service. We've been with the same provider since first getting a computer and our only complaint with them is that you have to have a landline telephone to get service. We would love to get rid of those phones and just use cell phones. At first I thought I would just move my websites somewhere else and then move to another provider. However, a lot of my blog photos are on my server so that would mean moving them also. What a headache. Also, the thought of changing my e-mail address makes me ill - how on earth do you go about changing all of the websites where you log in with your e-mail address? So, at this point, it looks like we will have to keep paying that ridiculous phone bill even though the only reason we use it is for the Internet. It just seems like we are paying double what we should be for the Internet. Anyway, enough of that!

Garden Tour - We have been asked to be on the garden tour that will take place during the State Master Gardener conference that will be held in Florence in April. I will keep you posted about the details. I hope you will plan to attend the conference. I was on the committee to choose the speakers and I think I did a good job - check out the lineup and let me know your thoughts.

New Blog? - I want to begin a new blog to document the work I'm doing on my family property and what will hopefully be our future home and garden. I cannot think of a name for this. Dirt Therapy 2? Help! I need suggestions.

Now for the photos I took this morning:

Kerria japonica (Easter Rose) - I don't recall it ever blooming in January.
This is one of my favorite spring shrubs.

Honeysuckle "Alabama Crimson"

Loropetalum - not the best photo but wanted to show that this was blooming in January (I've got to practice working with the focus on this new camera)
Camellia "Magnoliaflora" - despite some imperfections, an exquisite camellia.
The leaves have been tarnished by the soot that comes from the hackberry trees.
My favorite scent from the garden comes from Osmanthus (Sweet Olive)
This is Osmanthus "Gulftide" which has sticky holly-like foliage.
I have not seen flowers on this shrub yet.
Another great winter fragrance comes from Winter Honeysuckle (Lonicera fragrantissima)

Roses in January? Why not? This is "La Marne"
Camellia "C.M. Wilson" (and sport)

Text and photos by Phillip Oliver, Dirt Therapy

Monday, January 7, 2013

The Layered Garden - a book review and give-away

The number "3" is the lucky winner and that would be Lisa Blair. Thanks to everyone who entered!

Brandywine Cottage is a 2-acre garden in Downington, Pennsylvania created by David Culp and Michael Alderfer. Culp shows how they planned and created this lovely garden by combing their obsessive love of plants in design combinations that provide a succession of peak garden moments throughout the year in their Zone 6 garden.

Situated at the base of a hillside where 20 houses were to be built above his, Culp first planned for privacy and planted a screen of evergreens. This was followed by a series of garden rooms that includes a rose garden, vegetable garden, perennial borders, a driveway gravel garden, a winter garden, hillside garden and a "jewel box" that provides visual interest right outside the front windows.

Culp shares his childhood memories of plants and his grandmother who influenced him and he enthusiastically writes about the plants that he is passionate about. Hellebores are one and he offers tip on how to grow and breed them. Culp is also obsessed with Galanthus (snowdrops) and he grows over 100 different cultivars including one that he successfully propagated and now bears his name. 

The Rose Garden
A chapter on signature plants includes a section for each season and profiles some of Culp's favorites, such as narcissus, iris, lilies, roses, peonies, alliums and hydrangeas. Tips on gardening practicalities, such as dealing with deer, managing weeds,  and using containers, are also included. Culp wraps up with a recommendation of favorite gardening books and his thoughts on beauty in the garden.

The North Border

The book is generously illustrated with photographs taken over a 2 year period by Rob Cardillo.

If you need some gardening inspiration for 2013, this book will do it!

This contest has ended.

Disclosure: Timber Press sent me a free review copy of this book. I read and reviewed it at my own discretion and without any compensation.

Text and photos by Phillip Oliver, Dirt Therapy

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy New Year!

Goldfinches outside the kitchen window, taken with my new camera lens.

Since I have a big phobia about the number 13, I'm wondering how I'm going to cope with 2013! Yikes.

Happy New Year!

Text and photos by Phillip Oliver, Dirt Therapy