Skip to main content


Homemade Pretzels

I haven't made homemade pretzels since we were in Alabama and I had forgotten how easy they are if not a little time consuming. I made these last week for Oscar night. They keep a long time in an airtight container. 1   (.25 ounce) package   active dry yeast 1 tablespoons   brown sugar 1  teaspoons   salt 1 ½   cups   warm water (110 degrees) 3   cups   all-purpose flour 1   cup   bread flour 2   cups   warm water (110 degrees) 2   tablespoons   baking soda 1-2   tablespoons   butter, melted 2   tablespoons  kosher salt Line two or three baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside. Place the yeast, brown sugar and salt in the 1.5 cups of warm water. Stir to dissolve. Stir in the flour. Knead for about 7-8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl and cover. Let it rise for an hour (I place mine in the oven with the light on). Combine the two cups of warm water with the baking soda in a square shallow pan. After the dough has risen, cut it into 12 equal pieces.  Roll each section into a

August Roses


'Seafoam' rose with Clematis x durandii

The roses are displaying their second flush of blooms and basking in the languid hot temperatures. I fertilized them with fish emulsion about a month ago. The second bloom is usually much lighter than the heavy spring displays but some of them can be quite profuse.

On the lighter side, 'Seafoam' (above) has actually been a very shy bloomer this year, even on its initial display. I don't know why this is. 

Also, much sparser in blooming this go-around is 'Radway Sunrise'. This is a rose that just keeps blooming as long as the spend blooms are deadheaded. Amazing color on this one -

'Radway Sunrise'

When I look at the photos, 'Playboy' (below) looks a lot like 'Radway Sunrise'. 'Playboy' is more orange although the color now has a more pronounced pink effect. Maybe the weather or the camera -

Another in the orange color is 'Coral Cove'. I'm still impressed with this one. It is part of the "Easy Elegance" series and just a fantastic performer -

'Tequila Sunrise'

The color for Best Orange must go to 'Lady Emma Hamilton'. Despite occasional foliage issues, the flowers are drop-dead gorgeous -


And here she is in action -

Another rose out next to the street is 'Robin Hood', a hybrid musk shrub. I'm not sure how I managed to plant this rose out in the front since I was trying to stick with orange, reds and purples.  Oh well, I'm not moving it -

'Robin Hood'

And yet another rose in the pink range - this is 'Marjorie Fair' (sometimes called 'Red Ballerina'). This is a big sized rose and needs lots of space. Ours is cramped but seems happy -


'Marjorie Fair'

In the back garden, 'Lamarque' is performing more admirably this year. It barely bloomed last year but has in bloom this year almost all summer -

Another white rose - 'Darlow's Enigma' - which I envision covering the pergola. It will be competing with a number of other vines, mostly notably the Crimson Glory Vine (Vitis coignetiae).


'Darlow's Enigma' and Porcelain Vine (Ampelopsis glandulosa)

 The pinks -




 'Eden' with 'Phyllis Bide' which has already faded -

'Gertrude Jekyll' which took the place of 'Iceberg' on the obelisk. 'Iceberg' is doing well in its new location next to the garden shed.

'Gertrude Jekyll'

 'Marchesa Boccella' reblooming nicely -

'Marchesa Boccella'

 'Olivia Rose' is one of the nicest performing David Austin roses so far -

'Olivia Rose'

Text and photos by Phillip Oliver, Dirt Therapy


  1. My favorite rose is the one I look at in that moment. I imagine it's a full time job to keep deadheading them all summer long. A labor of love rewarded.

    1. Michael does most of the deadheading and goes through them a few times every week. I always try to have the pruning shears on me so I catch a few when doing other things.

  2. Lovely one and all, although it was the clematis in the first photo that really grabbed my attention. I've had only sporadic blooms on my 'Pink Meidiland' roses this summer and no others but I know they're not getting enough water this year.

  3. Gorgeous roses. Especially love the colour and form of 'Marchessa Boccella'

    1. That bloom is fading and the shape of the bloom changes and flattens a little as it does that.

  4. I usually do an August cut back on my roses but I never got around to it this year. I usually cut off about a third and I get fresh foliage and 1 or 2 more bloom flushes-our first frost seems to be holding off til late Nov or December these days. I'm with you on Lady Emma !

  5. Gorgeous roses indeed. Enjoyed seeing them. 'Lady Emma' was a terrible fader and the foliage was awful in my garden. The freshly opened flowers and the red brand new foliage were the best--but as both aged, yeeeechhhh. Yours looks perfect.

    1. Despite the blackspot, it is usually a nice looking rose. The color is fantastic.

  6. Lovely roses. I am waiting for mine to have their late summer flush, but for some reason, this year they have been so odd. I am sure it hasn't helped that they've been attacked by beetles. The foliage is beautiful but they are just not doing much now. Which is why I loved your post. Living my rose life vicariously through you. :)

    1. Do you have Japanese beetles? I had those in Alabama but fortunately haven't seen them here in Washington.


Post a Comment

Popular Posts