Thursday, September 15, 2016

Garden Bloggers Bloom Day

solomons-seal-persicaria-hosta I have been enjoying the beautiful fall-like weather and planting up a storm. I will share what I've been doing in a future post. I actually took time this morning to take a few photos for Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day which I usually miss altogether. The above photo was taken out front along the foundation. It is kind of a hot mess of Fleece Flower (Persicaria 'Red Dragon'), hostas and Solomon's Seal - more of a foliage shot but at least the Fleece Flower is blooming. Speaking of, it is a sprawling mess right now and I will move it later in the fall. I don't think it gets enough sun. Actually, I will be moving a lot of plants this year. Live and learn!

Some of the potted plants first -

'Dragon Wing' begonia by the front door

We love this little begonia and I don't recall the name of it. It is a little blooming machine, doing perfectly fine in full shade. I hope I can overwinter it.

Now on to plants in the ground -

The blooms have been a bit stingy but I am loving Pink Princess Escallonia (Escallonia x exoniensis 'Fradesii')

Yarrow (Achillea)

Our neighbors gave us this dahlia - isn't it stunning? The blooms are huge and more are on the way.

Peacock Orchid (Gladiolus murielae)

Buddleia 'Buzz Hot Raspberry' - a dwarf variety of Butterfly Bush that has bloomed non-stop since I planted it.

A new plant for me - Potentilla 'Gold Star'. I found this on the discount table at Portland Nursery. The bees love it. last week.

Penstemon mexicala 'Windwalker Garnet'

Penstemon 'Violet Kissed'

Bougainvillea 'Barbara Karst'

Lion's Ear (Leonotis nepetifolia), another amazing plant that is new to me.

Some roses to finish the post - Hybrid Tea rose 'Gold Medal'

Miniature rose 'Boogie Woogie'. The poor thing has blackspot but it has been blooming like mad.

English rose 'Lady of Shallot', the first rose I planted, just starting another flush of blooms.

Garden Bloggers Bloom Day is held on the 15th of each month. You can see what is blooming in other blogger's gardens at May Dreams Gardens.

Text and photos by Phillip Oliver, Dirt Therapy

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Fall beckons


According to the local weather folks, the hot weather could be out of here! All told, I would guess that we had a total of about 10 days above 90 degrees since July so we are not complaining at all. We love the Pacific NW weather. 

Of course there are a few drawbacks - tomatoes did not begin to ripen until mid-August, the puny canteloupe I planted has fruited but seems to be at a standstill and some of the heat-loving flowers like Hyacinth Bean vine, lantana and marigolds have been small-growing. However, this is not a bad price to pay for a humidity-free climate.

Gardening-wise, the most difficult thing for me to adjust to is the dry summers. We have not had an inch of rain since mid-June! Even though I water faithfully, I honestly do not know how plants are still alive, especially the ones that grow in the wild. It is typical weather in this maritime climate though. Tomorrow we have an 80% chance of rain and we got a good sprinkle yesterday and today.

Parrotia persica (Persian Ironwood)
Persian Ironwood (Parrotia persica)
The trees, perhaps due to the lack of water, have begun to turn color. These are the leaves on the Persian Ironwood (Parrotia persica) tree.

The moisture-loving hydrangeas too have looked a bit sad for some time now.

Hydrangea 'Preziosa'
Hydrangea 'Preziosa'
There are many plants that love the dry weather. It is all a learning experience!

Some of the dry summer lovers -

Mexican Feather Grass (Nassella tenuissima)
Mexican Feather Grass Mexican Feather Grass (Nassella tenuissima)

Celosia 'Intenz Purple'
Celosia 'Intenz Purple'

Agastache ‘Tutti Frutti’
Agastache 'Tutti Frutti'

Sedum 'Cherry Truffle'
Sedum 'Cherry Truffle'

Agastache foeniculum (Anise Hyssop)
Anise Hyssop (Agastache foeniculum)

Alcea (Hollyhock)
Hollyhock (Alcea) grown from seed - it is only 2 feet tall

We are in love with Heliotrope, which smells like baby powder.


Dahlia ‘Dahlightful Lively Lavender’ has been covered with blooms all summer. I just keep pinching off the faded blooms and more appear. A definite winner!
Rain is now falling outside the window as I type this. I think I can hear the plants growing!

Text and photos by Phillip Oliver, Dirt Therapy