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Moving Schipka Laurel for Rhododendron 'Loderi King George'

Picture it - a 6 ft. tall Schipka Laurel used to stand here (I forgot to take a "before" shot and don't feel like searching for one).  I knew when I planted it that it was probably a bad idea but thought it would be good for a fast-growing screen along the back fence-row. I'm sure all gardeners do this, especially if you have a new garden and are eager for greenery. In all fairness to the laurel, it is a useful plant and I would argue even a beautiful one when nicely maintained. Before I dug this one up, I stood back and admired it and felt the guilt pangs stabbing at my heart.  I removed a much larger laurel than this a few years ago and they are not the easiest plant to dig out. I was determined to save this one and I believe I was successful.  Here is a thought and you can take this to the bank - the pot you choose to hold a plant that you dig up will ALWAYS be too small. Always!  So, after finding the largest pot I could, here it is, after being cut back pretty dr

Back to the garden

I have been looking forward to today all week with the promise of sunshine, 50 degrees, and no wind or rain! Yipee for gardeners! 

Signs of life are apparent everywhere. The crocus is starting to bloom (the little bunch above is right near the entrance to the driveway, underneath a Dwarf Red-Twig Dogwood (Cornus sericea 'Kelseyi'). 

Other newly planted bulbs are also coming up and of course, I don't remember what they are -

I got a lot of tasks accomplished today. I pruned a few roses, more ornamental grasses and the hellebore foliage.

I planted some new things, including this Fringe Tree (Chionanthus virginicus), which was a favorite in the Alabama garden.

And five new roses arrived from Antique Rose Emporium ('Cl. Pinkie', 'Lamarque', 'Red Cascade', 'Sea Foam' and 'Veilchenblau'). I planted 'Climbing Pinkie' today on the new pergola.

And, last but not least, I got 2 more loads of pea gravel spread over the quarter minus in the new courtyard area. That should be all the gravel I need so a major portion of it is completed and I can start concentrating on adding the plants.

A few plants that are really beautiful right now -

Juniperus conferta 'All Gold'


Cornus sanguinea 'Midwinter Fire' (Red Twig Dogwood)

Another nice day is forecast for tomorrow. Maybe I can get the remainder of the roses planted!

Text and photos by Phillip Oliver, Dirt Therapy


  1. Doesn't it feel great to be able to get outside and accomplish something in the garden!?! Your new courtyard area is really coming together. I can't wait to see all the plants you put around and in it. We are to have some decent days this week too. I hope the weather holds so we can be outside.

  2. It was beautiful yesterday ! You even got gravel down . I got most of the back garden tidied up , but still so much to do.

  3. A fresh canvas is so much fun. I can't wait to see the climbing rose on that fantastic pergola!

  4. beautiful photos
    I loved knowing your blog.

  5. Fringe tree! That will be lovely.


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