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Fall Colors

The fall colors have really been kicking in these past weeks. I've made a video with live shots of the most colorful plants in the garden right now.     Or, if you'd rather just see the photos - Burning Bush ( Euonymus alatus 'Rudy Haag' and Sourwood ( Oxydendrum arboreum )   Birch (Betula pendula 'Trost's Dwarf')     Amsonia hubrichtii   Sumac 'Tiger Eyes' (( Rhus typhina ‘Bailtiger’))   Vine Maple 'Pacific Fire' ( Acer circinatum )   Miscanthus sinensis 'Little Miss'   Persian Ironwood ( Parrotia persica )   Bloodtwig Dogwood ( Cornus sanguinea 'Midwinter Fire')     Strawberry Tree ( Arbutus unedo)   Redbud ( Cercis 'Rising Sun')     Dogwood ( Cornus kousa 'Celestial Shadow')   Dogwood ( Cornus kousa 'Wolf's Eyes')   Joe Pye Weed ( Eutrochium purpureum )   Redbud ( Cercis 'Hearts of Gold') and 'Pacific Fire' vine maple in back Pomegranate ( Punica granan

Fall Favorites

There is a soothing slow rain today and it is so nice sitting inside listening to it through our open windows. It is getting that time of year when there are subtle changes in color and some plants are really coming into their own. The anenome (above) is a perennial that really puts on a show in the fall. It seems they just get better each year (of course, part of that is due to their tendency to spread...)

Clematis 'Bill Mackenzie'

Another plant that seems to sneak up on me is Clematis 'Bill Mackenzie' although it actually begins to bloom in mid-summer. It really comes into its own though in September with a smothering of yellow blooms. This clematis is in the Tangutica/Orientalis group. It is getting more aggressive with age (I think this is the third year) and I dug up two rootings yesterday. Anybody need one?

Aster 'Wood's Purple' and Cedrus deodora 'Feelin' Blue'

I've really become fond of asters since moving to Washington. There are several in the garden ('Woods Purple', 'Monch', 'Purple Dome', 'Kickin' Purple) and they all do well. I love the colors.

Symphyotrichum lateriflorum 'Prince'

One of my favorites is the unusual Calico aster 'Prince' (Symphyotrichum lateriflorum). This one has dark maroon-colored foliage and tiny white flowers that begin to appear late.

Cistus 'Mickey' and Goldenrod (Solidago 'Fireworks')

The rock rose (Cistus 'Mickey') always looks good, even in winter, and it is really beginning to spread. I notice that it is the same color as the goldenrod (Solidago 'Fireworks'). I should do something to break up the color there.

Lantana 'Miss Huff' & Brugmansia 'Charles Grimaldi'

The Angel Trumpet 'Charles Grimaldi' is in a pot and is blooming profusely for the first time this year (there have been a sprinkling of blooms earlier but nothing like this).  It likes a lot of water and fertilizer. Lantana 'Miss Huff' is set to take over the world. It is simply huge (5' tall and wide) and I can't bear to cut it. This is the hardiest lantana I know of. Here in the Pacific Northwest, the damp winters can kill them so good drainage is essential.

Acer circinatum 'Pacific Fire'

The vine maple 'Pacific Fire' is lovely right now and growing just the way I wanted it to - narrow and upright. I will be curious to see what the bark color will look like this winter.

Rose 'Marie Pavie'

Another healthy flush of blooms on the polyantha rose 'Marie Pavie'.  Not as compact as I hoped (it is twice the size it was in Alabama) but such a great performing rose that I can't complain.


Rose 'Lady Emma Hamilton'

And yet another photo of 'Lady Emma Hamilton'. She is so beautiful and has become one of my favorites. The foliage isn't first rate but the flowers are just exquisite.


Text and photos by Phillip Oliver, Dirt Therapy


  1. The bloom of 'Lady Emma Hamilton' is indeed exquisite (no one grows roses for their foliage anyway). In warm climate, Lantana is used as a hedge and gets sheered and shaped without damaging the shrub. Do you find the Angel Trumpet fragrant in the evenings? It suppose to have a wonderful scent.

    1. It is fragrant in the evenings. Sometimes I can smell it coming through the windows on windy nights.

  2. Your garden looks fresh and colorful. I can't tell you how much I envy you that rain. I'm going to look for a Clematis in the same group as your 'Bill MacKenzie' - the only clematis I've had success with to date is Clematis terniflora and even that one isn't looking its best this year.

  3. I am very tempted to say "yes" to your question about the Clematis 'Bill Mackenzie'. Any chance you're coming to the swap at Dale's?

    1. Loree, I will not be there as I'm leaving for Alabama tomorrow. However, I live close to Dale and you are welcome to stop by and pick it up. Michael will be here. Just let me know!

  4. Your ‘Feelin’ Blue’ Deodara looks quite upright for a prostrate tree. What’s the age? I keep worrying about my placements of Feelin’ Blue and Feelin’ Sunny. I wonder if all the prostrate cedars eventually do this unless lopped.

    1. Yes and I wasn't sure what to do about that. I was going with the size on the tag which said 1 foot. I wasn't sure if cutting off the main limb would disfigure it.

  5. I too like asters. You have some beauties.


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