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Garden Blogger's Bloom Day - September 2021

Hibiscus 'Midnight Marvel' Last week I wrote about the joys of new Abba and Vera and this week there is more excitement - we have rain in the forecast! And the possibility of a good rain - at least one inch. Keep your fingers crossed for us. We are in dire need of it and I'm sure the plants would be overjoyed as well. Despite the drought, there are lots of blooms in the September garden. I will start with the container plants which get daily watering. Note to self - less containers next year. Two matching baskets hang on the pergola - they are filled with Begonia 'Bonfire' and Fan Flower ( Scaevola ). I don't remember the name of this begonia. I've overwintered it for the past two winters in the garage.   I tried to overwinter Hell's Bells ( Datura ) last year but it didn't make it. We liked it so much that I got another one this year. Oxalis 'Plum Crazy' Another beautiful begonia (a customer recommended this one) and an overloaded fuchsia at

The View from Above

We've spent most of the last two days working on an arborvitae next to the house (that is another post!). I was up on the roof this morning in order to trim part of it and took some aerial shots while I was there.

The photo at the top and the one below is looking out over the front garden. I am standing just right above the front door.


(Above) The area to the left shows the garden directly in front of the living room windows. The only plant here when we moved in was the 'Bloodgood' Japanese maple at the top left corner.

(Below) Looking down on the center area of the front. To the left is the painfully slow-growing Sourwood tree (Oxydendrum arboreum) that was planted the first year. It is now only 7 feet tall and very little horizontal growth. The large Japanese maple on the right is 'Skeeter's Broom'.

(Above) The area to the far right next to the driveway. Cotinus 'Royal Purple' (Smoke Tree) is on the upper left and the 'Esk' maple is to the right. The Japanese maple in the foreground is 'Sango Kaku'. The tall columnar conifer is White Pine (Pinus sorbus 'Fastigiata'). Sassafras tree is to the right along with Ceanothus 'Black Diamond'.

(Below) On the side of the house at the bottom of the driveway you can see the arborvitae hedge on the far left that we are working on. Next to the garbage bins is Catalpa bignoinoides 'Aurea'. The yellow clematis on the arch is 'Bill Mackenzie'.


(Above) - Now to the back garden - this area is the terraced lower slope. The large tree on the right is Katsura and on the left is Eucalyptus.

(Below) - The center portion of the back garden. The tree in the center is Nyssa sylvatica (Black Tupelo).

The only section I wasn't able to get was the Pan Garden which is located to the right in the above photos. I can't get to that part without stepping onto the deck roof cover and I was afraid to do that. I hope you enjoyed the aerial tour!

Text and photos by Phillip Oliver, Dirt Therapy


  1. I’ve always yearned to see your gardens from this perspective, thank you!

  2. What a fun tour, like being in a hot air balloon: I enjoyed this most unusual perspective of the garden. I never realized you grow eucalyptus, and a beautiful specimen at that. It's one of my favorite trees although not the first one that comes to mind when thinking of PNW trees.

    1. It has been amazing. I brought it home in a little quart pot and it is now 10 feet tall. It grew so fast.

  3. A good perspective of your garden. So much has happened in such a short time. Your penchant for collecting handsome plants and knowing how to show them in such a splendid fashion makes your garden a delight to view from any angle.

  4. Your garden is remarkable from any viewpoint. I'm amazed at how good everything looks as summer grinds to its end, especially give the horrific heatwave you experienced earlier. I've been tempted to get a drone to photograph my garden - I won't walk the roof and I don't want my husband (who suffers from vertigo) up there if it can be avoided.

    1. I would like to get a drone too although I would be afraid I'd crash it. The roof is quite dangerous. I hate the pitch of it.

  5. What a gorgeous garden. I am full of envy.

  6. Well, I shouldn't be so amazed having seen your previous garden and followed along with this garden, but the aerial perspective shows just how much work you have done on what was probably a very plain yard before. Maybe there should be a drone in your future to do yearly perspectives? Well done, Phillip.

  7. These pictures will be useful as a reference in the future, to give us some perspective when you home in on certain plants.


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