Farewell to September

It is hard to believe that October is almost upon us. We had a really wonderful weekend with mild temperatures in the 70s and not a drip of humidity. I loved it! Today it is rainy and about 75 degrees. 

Yesterday morning I took some photos before breakfast. You will notice that everything is uncommonly green and lush right now. Normally it is parch-dry this time of year and a few drops of rain are cause for celebration. This has been a wet year and the garden and myself are greatly relieved.

Looking through the pergola, you might notice something amiss. That would be the rose "Buff Beauty" directly behind the urn. I pruned the heck of it about a month ago. The rose, although one of my absolute favorites, has had a lot of die-back on the lower branches. The rose is also much larger than I envisioned. I wanted a view through the pergola so that the eye could travel past the rose, to the statue of Efebe and to the garden wall farther behind. "Buff Beauty" changed all that with its massiveness and aside from removing it, there is no hope. Now it looks like the new growth is reaching upwards. Okay "Buff Beauty", you win!

Chester says "Who cares? It is bath and nap time."

To the side of the pergola and up the steps to the side garden. The garden is very wooly at the moment but at least it is green. On the left, coming over the wall, is the plant from hell, Chamelion Plant (Houttuynia cordata). Take my advice - don't ever plant this. It is the most invasive plant that I've ever dealt with. In the upper left, note the beautiful ginger plant that never blooms.

Garden Wall
The garden wall is rapidly being overcome with the Ivy "Gold Child".

The Secret Garden is mostly green with hydrangeas and hostas. Lots of dead wood on the rambler rose "Bobbie James" on top of the iron gazebo that needs to be cut out.
Looking from the opposite direction you see Leatherleaf Viburnum (Viburnum rhytidophyllum) on the right and Holly Fern (Cyrtomium falcatum) near the center. This area is right underneath a Black Walnut tree (at right)
On the other side of the house, the north side, is a small area underneath a Yoshino Cherry tree. The plants here are nandina, camellia, cast iron plant, hydrangea and ferns. The Goldenrod (Solidago rugosa "Fireworks") can be seen under the birdhouse. It has just started to bloom and I'll post photos for my next post.
The view from the other side. I'm afraid the rose "Sombrueil" and "Climbing American Beauty" on the archway is suffering greatly from lack of sunlight. I should just bite the bullet and replace them with a shade loving vine.
 I'm hoping for a colorful, cool Fall. Wouldn't that be wonderful?

Text and photos by Phillip Oliver, Dirt Therapy


  1. Your garden look quite happy and lush with all that rain. I love those climbing roses. Not enough sun here either. I am surprised that things do so well under the walnut tree. I think viburnums are the best shrubs. Love seeing overviews of your garden. It looks so inviting.

    The rain had gone all around here until yesterday. Happily we got a nice slow rain. It felt so good washing away all the dust and giving the garden a good drink.

  2. Your garden looks lovely Phillip. We had a marvelous cooler and wetter than normal summer, but fall has been warm and dry...I, too, hope for a cool and beautiful fall....with more rain. Replacing beloved sun needing plants has elements of sadness, to it! Do you miss the sun in your garden? I do and this winter I'll have an arborist limb the trees so more can reach the understory.

  3. Looks great Phillip! I think it looks better now than when we were there in the Summer.

    Do you have a new cat?

  4. I really enjoy fall, almost as much as spring. Your garden certainly has appreciated all the rain we have had this year; it is lovely and lush! Walking along those verdant paths must give you a lot of pleasure. I loved the weather this past weekend. I have taken advantage of the weather by planting lots of ferns and a few other plants, and I am grateful for all the rain we have had.

  5. September can be a tricky month in southern gardens. Yours looks great, a lot less disheveled than mine.

  6. Gail, yes to your question. I'm always trying to do something to bring more sun in.

    David, no that is the same cat. Our other cat came up missing about a month ago. So now we just have the one.

  7. Your garden is looking wonderful & you'll surely miss it if you leave. How did you go about making the wall (you know the purple one with all the cool stuff hanging on it? Was it cinderblock covered with stucco? Love, love, love that wall and want to imitate it in my own garden. I can't believe that it's the end of September already! Crazy how fast summer went this year.

  8. Phillip,
    Lovely as always. And I love the term "wooly" - very descriptive! Green is good.
    Nice & dry here too.

  9. Phillip,
    Your garden is beautiful as always! I may adopt your term "wooly" - very descriptive!
    Best to you,

  10. Hi Peter, the wall was made with concrete blocks and covered with stucco. Then it was sponge painted.


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