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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

August roses

'Princess Alexandra of Kent'

With no rain since early June and none on the horizon, you begin to note which plants can handle the stress of drought. Although we water regularly, sometimes even that does not seem enough. I am astounded at how plants in the wild survive with no additional water.

Roses have a good reputation for drought tolerance but look their best with a regular watering schedule. The roses in our garden have started blooming again after a brief hiatus in July.

For the most part, I am pleased with the ones we have, especially the David Austin English roses. The newest addition, 'Princess Alexandra of Kent' (pictured above), is off to a good start. This is one I have wanted since seeing it at the Portland Rose Garden.

Other David Austin roses in the garden -

'The Lady of Shallot' - the first rose I planted in this garden. It is a big one at almost 6 ft. high and wide and that is with pruning.

'Golden Celebration' is doing much better since I moved it to a spot where it would have more room to spread. I have been a little disappointed with it as the color is not as deep and spectacular as I expected. I have hopes that it will improve. 

Some non-Austin roses -
'Phyllis Bide', a rambler growing on the moon arch, was one that I debated about for months. So far, I have no complaints and it seems to be getting better and better. 

'Cornelia', a hybrid musk rose that I am growing on an archway. 

'Coral Cove' is a shrub rose from the Easy Elegance series. We sell these at the nursery where I work and I loved the color of this one. I have been really impressed with the second flush of bloom and the leaves also look healthy.

'Double Delight', still one of our favorite hybrid tea roses. It has looked a bit rough on many occasions and looks best if old growth is constantly removed.

'Radway Sunrise' was a rose I had never heard of when we moved here. Several gardeners recommended it and after it sulked in the garden the first year, it has had a spectacular rebound in the second season. The color of this rose is simply incredible and it glows on a cloudy day. Even on a sunny day, it is pretty impressive!

'Marjorie Fair' (or 'Red Ballerina'), a rose from our Alabama garden that we loved and felt we had to have it here. The first flush of blooms were disappointing as they quickly faded. The second flush has been more rewarding. It is located in a hellish sunny spot but gets some relief from an overhead Japanese maple. 

Text and photos by Phillip Oliver, Dirt Therapy


  1. Your roses are lovely and are doing much better than mine. I'm sorry the weather there has not been cooperating as much as it should. We were getting quite short on rain and then got 4 1/2 to 5 inches in 24 hours. We've had dry hot days since then and I would so appreciate a more even distribution!

  2. Your roses look marvelous to me. I don't have the patience or the sun for roses. I have to enjoy them through your photos. I just wish I could smell them.

  3. My gosh those are glorious roses. Wonderful to see some not destroyed by Chili Thrips, which should not become a problem in your zone. A nasty pest!

    Surprised that 'Golden Celebration' is so pale--here even in summer it opens as a rich, deep, golden yellow. Strong citrus scent? I almost wonder if it is 'Jude the Obscure'...


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