Rhododendron 'Taurus'
Nothing too pressing but a lot of odd jobs to get done, mainly getting container plants situated and planted. A day for puttering, a favorite activity. I would get much more accomplished if I focused on one task but I find myself stopping here and there and thinking about what needs to be done. Or seeing plants that need to be photographed so a rush to get the camera. I do lots of running back and forth. 
Vine Maple 'Pacific Fire' (Acer circinatum)

The 'Sem' False Spirea is looking really beautiful. I recently dug it up and put it in a pot in fear that it would try to take over the garden. The roots had spread quite a lot.
'Sem' False Spirea (Sorbaria sorbifolia)

The weather was nice today with the exception of a pesky wind. Otherwise, lots of sunshine and temperature in the 60s. It was also a day for watering which is distressing for such an early date. We are over 3 inches behind on rain and it will be getting 80+ degrees later in the week. 

I'm not sure if I was annoyed or concerned when contemplating this -

But back to work. New plants to be potted -

Being from the south where magnolias were so common, you would think I would have grown one by now. That isn't the case until now. This is Magnolia 'Baby Grand' which is a dwarf variety and is supposed to only reach 10-12 feet (even smaller than 'Little Gem'). I have a spot in mind for it along the back fence row but I think I will keep it in the pot for a season or two.
Magnolia 'Baby Grand'

Another new plant that will be pot-grown is Pomegranate 'Crimson Sky'. I am excited about this and look forward to the orange blooms and perhaps fruit?
Pomegranate 'Crimson Sky'


I moved some plants to larger pots. This included the Brugmansia and the olive tree. 
I also brought out the few succulents that I have in pots. These spent the winter in the basement egress window.

A major accomplishment was getting a rose planted in the spot where 'Iceberg' had resided. It was too aggressive for the pillar so I moved it back in December. A co-worker offered me 'Gertrude Jekyll' which I happily accepted. He also gave me another Austin rose called 'Tranquility' and since I have no good place for it in the ground, I'm going to keep it in the terracotta pot he was growing it in. This will be the first time I've grown a large rose in a pot.
'Tranquility' rose

Gertrude Jekyll rose in her new home

Not yet planted -
Hosta 'Designer Genes'

Cuphea 'Funny Face'

Hopefully another productive day tomorrow!

Text and photos by Phillip Oliver, Dirt Therapy


  1. I laughed at your description of work pattern in the garden. I used to be hard on myself for my day dreaming and endless meandering, feeling I get very little done. But the truth is that everything gets done eventually, and the joy of experiencing the garden in a free-flowing way. This time of year I just like being there, appreciating the fruit of my labor. The actual labor can wait...

  2. I find a get a lot done during those afternoons spent puttering, sometimes even the one or two of the tasks I had in mind at the outset. I can empathize on the rain issue. Although our rainy season generally comes to an end about now, we usually get a lot more rain through the winter and early spring than we have this year. My total for the "water year" (counted from October 1, 2020) is a paltry 3.95 inches and, absent a far-reaching tropical storm this summer, that's likely to be it until October or November 2021. It doesn't bode well for the summer.

  3. I love puttering days. Lots get done despite the aimless looking around. Some of my brightest ideas have come to me during those long pauses.
    Love the magnolia and I am a bit surprised that you've not grown one before.


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