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Garden Blogger's Bloom Day - September 2021

Hibiscus 'Midnight Marvel' Last week I wrote about the joys of new Abba and Vera and this week there is more excitement - we have rain in the forecast! And the possibility of a good rain - at least one inch. Keep your fingers crossed for us. We are in dire need of it and I'm sure the plants would be overjoyed as well. Despite the drought, there are lots of blooms in the September garden. I will start with the container plants which get daily watering. Note to self - less containers next year. Two matching baskets hang on the pergola - they are filled with Begonia 'Bonfire' and Fan Flower ( Scaevola ). I don't remember the name of this begonia. I've overwintered it for the past two winters in the garage.   I tried to overwinter Hell's Bells ( Datura ) last year but it didn't make it. We liked it so much that I got another one this year. Oxalis 'Plum Crazy' Another beautiful begonia (a customer recommended this one) and an overloaded fuchsia at

Apple Cake

Our poor bedraggled apple tree has a bumper crop of apples this year. Actually, it did last year too but the squirrels and birds got most of them before you could blink an eye. This poor tree, which has never looked that great, stands along the back border of our property, growing tall with long, draping branches that are now weighted down with apples. I pruned the heck of it last year and if it weren't for the fact that it provides a little shade, it would probably have been removed entirely. 

It is earning its keep though and the apples seem to be nicer this year and it has been possible to get some good ones that haven't been touched yet by wildlife. That is saying a lot since our back garden is a virtual Grand Central Station for birds.

There are even unblemished apples lying on the ground although you have to get them quickly.

I was in a baking mood but wanted something quick and simple. After consulting the Home Economics Teacher's Cookbook that my mother used all the time, I chose a recipe called "Fresh Apple Cake". It turned out to be awesome and I allowed myself a few bites (I am on a low-sugar diet). Michael proclaimed it to be a winner. It should be - the ingredients are a killer! The next time I make it, I may try and reduce the sugar a by maybe 1/2 cup and the glaze should also probably be reduced.

Fresh Apple Cake 

2 cups sugar (this could probably be reduced to 1 1/2 cups)
1 1/4 cups vegetable oil
3 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. salt
1 cup chopped pecans
3 cups chopped apples


(This makes a lot of glaze - I think it could probably be cut in half)

1 cup brown sugar
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup milk
1/2 cup melted butter

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease and flour a tube pan. Do this generously because the cake sticks easily.

Mix the sugar, oil, eggs and vanilla until well blended.

Whisk together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Gradually mix it into the egg mixture. The batter will be very thick.

Stir in the pecans and apples. Pour the batter into the pan and smooth the top. Bake for 50 - 60 minutes, until a tester comes out clean.

As the cake is baking, prepare the glaze by whisking together the ingredients.

When the cake comes out of the oven, poke a few holes in it and pour the glaze over the cake while it is still in the pan. Let it sit for about 5 minutes before carefully turning the cake out onto a rack to cool.

Text and photos by Phillip Oliver, Dirt Therapy


  1. One of my favorite cakes. The recipe I have was hand written by my mother in law about 30 years ago. I do not put the glaze on it.


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