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The Garden Awakens

Anise 'Woodland Red' ( Illicium floridanum ) A few weeks ago, I thought spring would never arrive, but now the change is astonishing. The nights are still cold (40s and sometimes even 30s) so planting tender annuals and vegetables is unwise although I have already succumbed, but covering and uncovering things gets old quickly. Someone made a wise comment last week and I must agree with them - "Don't plant anything tender until after May 1". Several plants are blooming like never before. One is the Anise shrub (above and below). I don't know if the recent tree pruning, which is allowing more sun into the woodland path, is affecting it or perhaps it is just age, but I've never seen so many blooms. Michael refers to this as "the stinky fish shrub" and I have to admit to smell of the flowers is quite unpleasant. It is so beautiful that I can overlook that. The old pink dogwood tree, which was already here, shades our woodland path and it too is prett

More lilies

The lilies are spectacular this year (with the exception of those annoying white flies that leave the powdery residue).

"Caravan" - 7 feet tall and gorgeous color
"Scheherazade" - another 7 feet tall lily with loads of blooms

Tiger Lily

Text and photos by Phillip Oliver, Dirt Therapy


  1. Philip... you're singing my song!! beautiful... not familiar with the flies however and hope it stays that way!! Larry

  2. Beautiful! My Tigers have just opened. More rain needed here.

  3. Hi Phillip, spectacular they are indeed! I have no lilies in my garden yet, but your post really makes me want to plant some :-)! I wonder how they will be doing in our dry summer heat.

  4. Beautiful! Love them! Those white flies are on my limelight hydrangea. Hate them too. Spraying doesn't seem to help much.

  5. Your lilies are superb! My crop of whiteflies are the horrible this year. I have been spraying them with an eco-friendly summer oil, and that has helped a lot. But just about when I think I have them truly conquered, I find them in another shrub.

  6. I cannot wait for my tiger lilies and "Scheherazade" to bloom...gorgeous!

  7. For the past few years I have admired lilies in other people's gardens and yours are beautiful. I resolved to add some in my own this year. I wanted something orange and tall to rise over my other plants, particularly over my Black and Blue Salvia. I found some at a flower show that were supposed to be 48" tall, but when they bloomed they looked more like little florist lilies, and if it is even possible, they were too orange, even for me.

  8. What gorgeous lilies, especially that Tiger Lily. I'm a big fan of them too and am looking to add more to my garden for next year.

  9. Simply stunning! So very beautiful, Phillip! You've got me yearning for a flower-bed filled with the most spectacular lilies now.


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