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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

Garden Blogger's Bloom Day for August 2019

Angel's Trumpet (Brugmansia 'Charles Grimaldi')

This looks more like a July Bloom Day rather than August. We have had spectacular weather (although some might disagree) with really mild temperatures. Lately, most of the high temps have been in the 70s with a few days creeping into the 80s. It hit 90 on Tuesday but those days have been rare.

On to Bloom Day which is the 15th of each month, a day for garden bloggers to post about what is blooming in their gardens. This brilliant endeavor was created by May Dreams Gardens and if you follow the link, you will find links to other garden blogs with more flowery eye-candy.

August brings out the tropical-type flowers. The Angel's Trumpet (Brugmansia 'Charles Grimaldi') resides in a tall ceramic pot. There are a dozen blooms in the photo above (taken two days ago) and on Wednesday, there were 16. This plant is sitting on the south side of the house near the bedroom window and at night we can catch the delicious fragrance. We give it bloom booster fertilizer at least once per week and sometimes I will throw in some fish emulsion. This was a plant that I had doubts about in our climate but it is doing well.

Another tropical flower in a nearby pot is Princess Flower (Tibouchina) - 

Princess Flower (Tibouchina)

A tree (or shrub if you like) that I thought would be a heat lover is the Chaste Tree (Vitex). It is blooming like crazy though on a rather small plant. There is a lovely tree-sized one at Joy Creek Nursery.

Chaste Tree (Vitex)

And one more for the tropical category - Spiked Ginger Lily (Hedychium spicatum), planted just this year, from Far Reaches Farm.

Spiked Ginger Lily (Hedychium spicatum)

The hydrangeas have been beautiful this year. Some are beginning to fade but others continue to shine -

I failed to note this one but I'm pretty sure it is 'Bloomstruck', a bargain found on the Home Depot clearance rack.

Hydrangea 'Pistache' - this one took a while to start blooming. It has a tendency to look either really bad or really good. Right now, good!

My favorite oakleaf hydrangea 'Snowflake' (discovered in Alabama).

I am becoming very fond of the mountain hydrangeas. This is Hydrangea serrata 'Omacha Nishiki'.

The roses are in re-bloom phase. I was particularly happy that the rambler 'Phyllis Bide' rebloomed nicely. I have not taken a photo but I did get shots of -

'Gold Medal'

'Lady Emma Hamilton'

'Eden' (Michael took this photo)

Other miscellaneous blooms -

Joe Pye Weed (Eutrochium purpureum) is about 8 feet tall. Blooming in front is Salvia 'Rockin Fuchsia', 'Casablanca' lilies and the rose 'Princess Alexandra of Kent'.

Pineapple Lily (Eucomis 'Sparkling Burgundy'), a bit past prime.

Clematis 'Polish Spirit' and 'Kiri Te Kanawa' 

Clethra 'Ruby Spice'

Coreopsis 'Leading Lady Sophia'

Crocosmia 'Twilight Fairy'

Dahlia 'Lolipop'

Unknown Dahlia

Kniphofia 'Poco Orange'

Persicaria 'Blackfield'

Gladiolas have been really spectacular this summer.

An unknown Hosta with particularly large blooms.

Happy Bloom Day!

Text and photos by Phillip Oliver, Dirt Therapy


  1. So many flowers on your Eucomis! Do you have several planted together there? I only ever get one flower on mine, and it keeps getting wimpier every year. I used to have a handful of Brugs, but I decided to stop growing them because they are so fertilizer-intensive and don't start flowering till so late. And they take up a lot of room in the garage over the winter.

    1. Alison, there are 3 of the eucomis planted together. As for the brugmansia, this is the first time I've grown it here and haven't decided if I will try putting it in the ground or inside. I've heard from people who have grown it successfully outside but our winters have been mild recently.

  2. Such a diverse array of blooms! Your garden must be stunning in person. I'm a fan of Oakleaf hydrangea ; even when the blooms fade I find those shrubs to be beautiful, year round actually. I'll love to have 'snowflake' if there was room left in my garden...
    I'm making a note of your Crocosmia 'Twilight Fairy'. I got rid of 'Lucifer' that was too vigorous; kept a couple of corms for the joy of humming birds, and planted NOID orange variety: smaller and better behaved. I'd like to have another red that isn't so thuggish, and 'Twilight Fairy' may just be the one, if I can find it.

    1. Yes, you need 'Snowflake'! Where do you live? The nursery in Vancouver where I work has 'Twilight Fairy' crocosmia. We have 4 left in 4" pots for 8.99. According to the tag, it only gets 18" inches tall.

    2. Thank you Phillip, but it's rare that I go that far south. I garden in Northwest Seattle, near Carkeek Park. I don't suppose your nursery does mail orders.

  3. As always you have a great selection of blooms Phillip. I was wondering if your Brug is able to be outside all winter? It seems like it get pretty cold for it. Happy GBBD.

    1. Lisa, this is the first time I've grown it here and haven't decided if I will try putting it in the ground or inside. I've heard from people who have grown it successfully outside but our winters have been mild recently. In my former garden, I left it outside for many winters before a really harsh one killed it.

  4. Of all the wonderful flowers included in your post, I was most struck by Hydrangea 'Pistache' and those glorious blue Clematis. Hydrangea hasn't got much of a chance of surviving the dry conditions of my garden but I'm making a renewed bid to grow more clematis. Happy GBBD!

    1. I have mixed results with clematis but for the most part, they do well. I always forget to plant them deep. A lot of times when you think you've lost one, it will still be alive and come back. Don't give up too easily!

  5. What a wonderful garden! It's so full of colors and textures, I would love to wander around in it! Your garden will keep me going until my spring arrives :)

    My Corner of the World


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