Friday, October 25, 2013

Before the first frost

maple-leaf

A frost is predicted for tonight. Today was very cool but pretty and sunny. I mowed the front strip and took some photos. I also moved all of the houseplants to the library. The first frost is always sad because you see all these beautiful blooms that might not be here tomorrow. And perhaps they will. It usually doesn't get as cold here as it does in outer-lying areas of town. Our garden is well insulated with lots of leaf cover. I have noticed that some plants looked stress, especially the hydrangeas, so I watered them today. A good watering helps plants before a freeze.


chrysanthemum-ryan-gainey
Chrysanthemum "Ryan Gainey"

camellia-snow-flurry
Camellia "Snow Flurry"

angels-trumpet
Angel's Trumpet


miscanthus-oakleaf
Miscanthus "Adagio" and Oakleaf Hydrangea "Sike's Dwarf"


miscanthus
Miscanthus "Morning Light"


panicium-northwind-switch-grass
Switch Grass "Northwind"


panicium-northwind-switch-grass-3  


Text and photos by Phillip Oliver, Dirt Therapy

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Michael's Salon for sale

Michael's Salon is currently listed so if you know of anyone needing a salon or a building for other business purposes, pass this along.

The listing is located here.


 
Text and photos by Phillip Oliver, Dirt Therapy

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

In the woods

A few weeks ago I took some photos in the woods behind my mother's property. I've experimented with planting things there and have had mixed results. This year hasn't been bad because we have had plenty of rain. I finally gave up on trying to keep plants watered. It is an impossible task! So, they are on their own.

This is actually a wildflower and grows in pastures and open, sunny areas. It is called Ironweed (Veronica gigantea). Isn't it pretty?

 
The Black Tupelpo tree (Nyssa sylvatica) is doing well.

Sweetshrub (Calycanthus floridus) - I've planted several of these and they seem to do well, with minimal care.
Bald Cypress (Taxodium distichum) - I planted this right next to the creek-bed and it is doing great. I see these growing down by the Tennessee River, just a few blocks from our house, but I don't see them growing around my home place.
Sourwood (Oxydendrum) is another tree that I've had good success with. This is a native tree but again, I don't see them growing in the woods near my homeplace.
A mystery - anyone know what this is?
Poison Ivy (Toxicodendron radicans) - My nemesis! I usually end up getting a poison ivy shot every year, sometimes more than once. In fact, I just got on this past weekend. I am extremely allergic to the stuff and spreads all over me.

 
Poison Ivy in the trees - an older and mature vine like this would send me to the hospital!

Something else I'm not fond of. I've seen this guy several times at the creek. I know he is probably benefit and eats lots of undesirable insects but he gives me the creeps.
 
Goldenrod blooming behind the barn.


Text and photos by Phillip Oliver, Dirt Therapy

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Country roads



A few weekends ago, my brother and I drove around the rural backroads of Franklin County. This is where I grew up. Fall is a beautiful time of year here. The trees haven't changed color yet (that will happen in early-mid November) but autumn is definately in the air. 

Rural Franklin County, Alabama
The pastures and roadsides are covered with Goldenrod, Swamp Sunflowers and various wildflowers.

Rural Franklin County, Alabama

Rural Franklin County, Alabama

Rural Franklin County, Alabama

Rural Franklin County, Alabama  


Rural Franklin County, Alabama  


Rural Franklin County, Alabama
One of my favorite autumn plants is the Sumac. It is just beginning to change color and will take on much fierier hues as the season progresses.


Rural Franklin County, Alabama
Haystacks and turkeys


Rural Franklin County, Alabama
This is Dog Fennel (thanks Sweetbay! It grows in huge drifts with feathery foliage.



Rural Franklin County, Alabama
I caught a glimpse of flowers in a pasture and pulled over to get a better look. This looks like Ageratum.


Rural Franklin County, Alabama
Another wildflower I'm unsure about.


Rural Franklin County, Alabama

Rural Franklin County, Alabama

Rural Franklin County, Alabama
Text and photos by Phillip Oliver, Dirt Therapy

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Hayfield at Bell Mont Mansion, Tuscumbia

Pasture at Belle Mont Mansion, Tuscumbia, Alabama This photograph was taken a few weekends ago in front of the Bell Monte Mansion near Tuscumbia, Alabama. You can barely see it in the distance at the top of the hill. I'm sorry to say that I have never toured the house and that is something I really should do one day. It is one of the few examples of Palladian-style houses in Alabama. It was built in 1828 and is owned by the Alabama Historical Commission. All that information and you can't see the house in my photo. But isn't the pasture lovely? Text and photos by Phillip Oliver, Dirt Therapy

Friday, October 4, 2013

October Fireworks


The cooler temperatures and rain is bringing on the fall flowers. One of my favorites is Lycoris radiata (aka Red Spider Lily) which magically appears in late September out of nowhere. This is related to the pink Magic Lily ("Naked Ladies") that appear earlier in late July. They remind me of sparklers.

Red Spider Lily (Lycoris radiata)  
Red Spider Lily (Lycoris radiata)

Cestrum "Orange Peel" has been a prolific bloomer all summer. This plant was recommended to me by Pam Harper. I purchased this at Plant Delights nursery on our vacation last year. It is truly a great plant, standing about 6 ft. tall and great blooms.
Another plant purchased on that trip at the same nursery - Sissingia "Scarlet O'Hara", this one recommended by Plant Delights owner Tony Avent.

Plume Poppy (Macleaya cordata) and Sedum "Autumn Joy"
Sedum "Autumn Joy" blooms next to the leaves of Plume Poppy (Macleaya cordata)

Geranium
Geranium

Euphorbia "Diamond Frost"
Euphorbia "Diamond Frost"

Mexican Bush Sage (Salvia leucantha)
One of my favorite fall perennials - Mexican Bush Sage (Salvia leucantha)

impatiens-euphorbia-diamond-frost
Impatiens and Euphorbia "Diamond Frost"

Northern Sea Oats (Chasmanthium latifolium)
No flowers but equally impressive is Northern Sea Oats (Chasmanthium latifolium)

Northern Sea Oats (Chasmanthium latifolium) and Hydrangea "Twist and Shout"
Northern Sea Oats (Chasmanthium latifolium) with Hydrangea "Twist n' Shout"

Lantana "Caprice"
Lantana "Caprice"
Abelia "Frances Mason"
Abelia "Frances Mason"

Acuba and Goldenrod
Acuba and Goldenrod (Solidago "Fireworks")

Confederate Rose
Confederate Rose (Hibiscus mutabilis) - Michael and I always admire these every year when we go to the beach. It seems everybody grows them in south Alabama and north Florida. They are marginally hardy here. This one has survived several winters and this is the first year it has bloomed. It is a giant and stands 10 ft. in the air with the blooms at the very top.

Hardy Orange (Poncirus Trifoliata) and Plume Poppy (Macleaya cordata)
Hardy Orange (Poncirus trifoliata) and Plume Poppy (Macleaya cordata)
Text and photos by Phillip Oliver, Dirt Therapy