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The Garden Awakens

Anise 'Woodland Red' ( Illicium floridanum ) A few weeks ago, I thought spring would never arrive, but now the change is astonishing. The nights are still cold (40s and sometimes even 30s) so planting tender annuals and vegetables is unwise although I have already succumbed, but covering and uncovering things gets old quickly. Someone made a wise comment last week and I must agree with them - "Don't plant anything tender until after May 1". Several plants are blooming like never before. One is the Anise shrub (above and below). I don't know if the recent tree pruning, which is allowing more sun into the woodland path, is affecting it or perhaps it is just age, but I've never seen so many blooms. Michael refers to this as "the stinky fish shrub" and I have to admit to smell of the flowers is quite unpleasant. It is so beautiful that I can overlook that. The old pink dogwood tree, which was already here, shades our woodland path and it too is prett

Falling Leaves

The leaves continue to fall, especially after brisk winds last night. Before I went to bed, I could see the small leaves of the Japanese maples beginning to carpet the deck.

There are two unnamed Japanese maples by the deck steps, one on each side. They are among the first trees planted after we moved in. The tree on the right was the one losing most of its leaves. This is how it looked this morning -

The opposite maple, on the other hand, lost very little. Hmmm....

The parrotia also lost most of its leaves overnight, mainly toward the top. Revealed - a squirrel's nest? Ugh

The one tree with the most leaves left is the 'Dakota Pinnacle' birch. It has been the prettiest it has ever been this year. 

Winter draws closer with snow in the forecast for next week.

Text and photos by Phillip Oliver, Dirt Therapy


  1. Love that Dakota Pinnacle - reminds me of the birches in Sweden. <3

  2. Love seeing all the color in your garden. The Heuchra leaves and the fall leaves are a perfect match.


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