Late Spring

It has been awhile since we've had a Spring like this and I love it. It seems that we usually have one week of Spring and then are immediately plunged into Summer. This year Spring is lingering. I think the plants are appreciating that.

One of my favorite shrubs is Beauty Bush (Kolkwitzia amabilis). I suppose I should now call it a tree. This is a shrub that you never see in nurseries but can easily find in mail order. I think I purchased this one from Bluestone Perennials.

Azalea "Martha Hitchcock"

Florida Anise (Illicium floridanum)

Florida Anise (Illicium floridanum) - close-up of the blooms
A symphony of purple - Crested Iris (Iris cristata) and Chinese Ground Orchid (Bletilla striata)

Jerusalem Sage (Phlomis frutcosa) just beginning to bloom

In a few weeks this gazebo will be blanketed in white bloom from
the Rambler Rose "Bobbie James"
Mock Orange (Philadelphus)

Mock Orange (Philadelphus)

Crested Iris (Iris cristata)

Louisiana Iris "Black Gamecock"
Allysum "Snow Princess" (Lobularia)

Unidentified Iris with Rose "Mutabilis" in the background
This iris is throughout our garden. Anyone know the name?

Yellow Flag Iris (Iris pseudacorus)
This Million Bells (Calibrachoa) over-wintered

Clematis "The President"
Peony "Scarlet O'Hara"

Linden Viburnum (Viburnum dilatum)
Swan River Daisy (Brachycome)

Text and photos by Phillip Oliver, Dirt Therapy


  1. Your garden looks so lush and lovely! I especially like that Florida anise - a new one for me (naturally it does not grow in the north, phooey.) That mock orange also has to be the most elegant I've ever seen. Those do grow up here, but perhaps a different variety? The ones I've seen are a bit "wild" looking, with much smaller flowers. Your iris are fantastic!

  2. Everything looks so vibrant and happy. Your gardens are full of color and yes, we too are enjoying this long spring and it appears the gardens are as well. Lets enjoy this mild stuff while it is here, soon it will be stinking humid...

  3. It is exciting to see all of these blooms. It makes me anxious for things here to get blooming. I love those iris. Of course I just love seeing all of it. Soak up those lovely spring days.

  4. Oh, your blooms are so pretty! Everything seems very happy in your garden.
    I think mine is enjoying the nice weather also. Have a great weekend. Carol

  5. Wonderful pictures! I love mock orange - I wish people would plant more of it.

  6. Your garden is so lovely! Kolkwitzia amabilis is a favorite of mine as well. The peeling bark in winter, the light fresh smell of the flowers and the pretty fuzzy business that remains when the flowers drop. The bees and birds seem to like it too. Many think of it as an old fashoned plant and I've not seen it at nurseries in this area either. Love the gazebo and, well, everything in your garden!

  7. Spurge, I don't know much about that mock orange. If memory serves me correctly, I purchased it at a local plant sale many moons ago.

  8. Phillip,
    I LOVE the crested iris. I don't think I've ever seen it before.

  9. I am weeks away from weigela blooms but thanks for the preview. I love a slow spring. Sigh!

  10. Gorgeous bevy of blooms. The crested iris and ground orchid duet is marvelous. Love to see a good mock orange blooming. My grandmother who lived on the edge of the Outback always was a believer in planting a mock orange near her bedroom window for the intense. Not a bad strategy if you've ever smelled one.

  11. The beautybush is magnificent! I love the combination of ground orchids and roof iris. Your beautiful mystery iris looks like it could be 'Helen Collingswood'.

  12. Hi Philip, I thoroughly enjoyed the look into your spring garden! Your beauty bush certainly lives up to its name. I also love your Florida anise, a plant that is now on my must have list!

  13. As always, your garden is delightful! I think your Iris looks very similar to Chartres.....but you'll have to do the's hard to tell without a "real" plant to look at to feel confident about calling it!

  14. That iris and orchid combo bears repeating.


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