Garden blogger's bloom day

It has been ages since I have participated in Garden Blogger's Bloom Day and this is my first time to do it after moving to Washington. On the 15th of every month, garden bloggers across the country take photos of what is blooming in their garden.

We just endured yet another heat wave and dry spell (boo! hiss!) but today there is a long, slow rain (or drizzle rather) and the temperatures are much cooler. Thank goodness. I have planted a ton of stuff, including some large trees, and I was beginning to get worried. Since our yard (I won't call it a garden yet) is virtually shade-free, the sun is pretty harsh out here. It rises in the sky at an odd angle and it always seems to be in your face no matter what time of day it is. A few days ago, I spent the entire day planting and ended up with a sunburn. I was wearing a tank top so I have, what Michael calls, a "redneck tan". But I digress...

Most of the blooms in the garden are from newly purchased plants that already had blooms or were very close to blooming. We are having fun watching how fast the plants grow here! A small clematis that I planted a few weeks ago seems to grow at least 6 inches per day. It is wonderful and amazing.

An Abutilon megapotamicum 'Variegatum' (Flowering Maple) that I bought at a local greenhouse.

Another abutilon that we bought at the Vancouver Farmer's Market. It is called "Red Dragon".
Kousa dogwood 'Wolf's Eyes'
Honeysuckle (Lonicera americana)
Jerusalem Sage (Phlomis fruticosa)
Orchid Primrose (Primula vialii)
A wisteria that was already planted on the fence leading to the back garden. 

Japanese Snowbell (Styrax japonicus), one of the first trees I planted.
Smoke Tree 'Royal Purple' (Cotinus)
The first rose I planted, 'Lady of Shallot', just beginning to open.
Rose 'Ketchup and Mustard'
Rose 'Gold Medal'
This beautiful rhododendron was already here on the west side of our house. There are no windows on that side so our neighbor gets the most benefit from it.

Check out other blogger's bloom day posts at May Dreams Gardens.

Text and photos by Phillip Oliver, Dirt Therapy


  1. You have beautiful blooms, Phillip, but I know what you mean about not calling your yard a "garden" yet. I'm in the same place, and also working on some day achieving "garden" status. :) My Snowbell is in full bloom too. A word of caution - be sure to sweep up all the seeds it drops, or you will have seedlings EVERYWHERE next year. I admit it is kind of therapeutic to pull them all out, but seriously - one can have more fun than that! Happy Bloom Day!

  2. Gorgeous blooms! The Snowbell is so lovely! I also love that Orchid Primrose. I have waves of guilt when I see your 'Wolf's Eye.' I planted one once upon a time. I paid too much online for a plant that was a mere seedling. I then put it in bad soil and fertilized it! It promptly died. That was a long time ago, and I have learned a lot since then. Perhaps I will plant another one one day.

  3. You've made a good start on garden purchases . Were did you get Noid abutilon ? I haven't been to the farmers market yet this year , I'll have to down there.Happy bloom day.

  4. I am jealous that all your roses bloom at the time of rhododendrons. I think we have all the rain here on the east coast over the past two weeks is yours.

  5. Great blooms, Phillip! I think your NOID Abutilon is Abutilon megapotamicum 'Variegatum.'

    Rare Plant Research in Oregon City is holding an open house on May 21st. It's a fun place to visit and they have some interesting plants too.

  6. Happy GBBD, Phillip! Based on your flowers, I'd say your "yard" is already a garden.

    What do you think of 'Lady of Shalott'? How is the fragrance?

  7. I have been reading about the warm weather the PNW has had lately; it seems strange when we have been going through such a rainy spell here and even some cold weather--too bad this couldn't even out over the country. Somehow I missed that you had moved, Phillip; you have moved to what I consider Gardener's Paradise:) After the Portland Fling in '14, I decided that everything grows bigger and better in the PNW. Your beautiful blooms prove that; Happy Bloom Day!

  8. You have a lot blooming in your 'yard garden' Good thing you had your tshirt on or you would have been a lobster. Do take care. Are those Abutilons an annual out there? Congrats on your first GBBD.

  9. Cool plants, Phillip.

    Looks like you've packed your yard/garden (yarden?) with some awesome flowers.

    Speaking of which, at what point do you think a yard that's been planted with trees, shrubs and flowers makes the transition to a full-fledged garden?

  10. It all looks great! I had to chuckle at the water droplets on your all your flowers. It is Washington! Enjoy your new garden.

  11. Philip, you must go ahead and call it a garden no matter what level it is. It's obvious that you already have countless flowers blooming, so that totally counts! And why is it that we never remember sunscreen when we're gardening? LOL


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