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Chilean Fire Bush - a hidden jewel in our garden

It is heartbreaking that this beauty is hidden in our garden but at least the hummingbirds have found it. Hidden because it is planted behind a 7 feet tall rose. I planted it there because I was under the impression that it would become a tree. It can indeed become a tree and there is one growing about a mile from our house that is around 20 feet tall.  In our garden, it is taking its sweet time and is only 4 feet tall after being planted seven years ago (2017). It did not begin to bloom until its fifth year and this is the first year flowering has been so profuse. Whenever I think about this plant, I always remember what the Gosslers said in their book "The Gossler Guide to the Best Hardy Shrubs". I quote it here: "Since this plant comes from southern Chile, we begin with a word of warning: it will not grow anywhere in the United States outside western Washington, Oregon and northern California. People wanting to grow E. coccineum in the eastern part of the country will

Garden Blogger's Bloom Day for March 2019


Last year's March Bloom Day was a lot more active than this year's. We had the coldest February in 30 years and a few snowfalls although nothing major on that front and certainly not matching the 11 inches we got the second winter we were here.

Things are warming up fast and next week promises to see temperatures reaching near the 70 mark. I'm sure that will perk things up.

The little Iris reticulata is blooming and another patch of it bloomed much earlier and got trampled by snow and ice. I'm still not sure why one patch bloomed before the other as they are close to each other.

I posted this photo of the pretty yellow iris that is blooming by the entrance to the driveway -

Last fall, I planted more crocus and they are beginning to emerge and some are starting to display blooms. 

The one is right outside our front door. I love the purple and orange combination.

One hellebore is also blooming and has been for a month now. This one is 'Gold Collection Merlin'. Last year, I picked up some hellebores at the nursery but I haven't seen blooms on them yet.

And lastly, the Creeping Rosemary has blooms. Is this normal? It is planted at the top of a retaining wall so it is in a very warm spot. So far, in my quest to find cascading plants to drape our curving wall that borders the driveway, there have been few successes. This is one of them. A second Creeping Rosemary planted in the hillside terraces died last winter. 

Hopefully, there will be much more to show in April!

Garden Bloggers Bloom Day is hosted by May Dreams Gardens. Check out what is blooming in other blogger's gardens around the world. 

Text and photos by Phillip Oliver, Dirt Therapy


  1. When you ask if it's normal for creeping (or prostrate) rosemary to have blooms, do you mean do they generally bloom, or that you think yours is blooming oddly? Because they bloom like mad! Mine blooms nearly year-round. You can let those draping stems lay on the ground and they'll root. I just cut three off the "mother" plant. I also have several I grew from stem cuttings rooted in water, and they started blooming nearly right away.

    1. Hi Lisa, I was uncertain if they bloomed this early. I remember that it had bloomed last summer.

  2. I have lost multiple Rosemary over the years; they aren't always hardy and your microclimate will determine if they survive. Or just luck. I've also been surprised at times when I see Rosemary in bloom, seemingly out of season, though always a welcomed site. The yellow blooming crocus is so delightful, like a ray of sunshine.

    1. This particular one is in a really warm spot, next to all that concrete.

  3. I love that Iris reticulata! I planted some bulbs, but they haven't been successful. Happy GBBD!

  4. Oh those crazy Rosemary plants always bloom at odd times. Some pretty late winter blooms in your garden this month. Strange how the temperatures are fluctuating from fairly cold to suddenly summer within a week's time. Happy GBBD!

  5. The rosemary has been blooming here the past few weeks. Triggered by number of daylight hours? Some plants do that.

    Your bulb flowers are so lovely. The intensity of the colors is delightful.


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