Tuesday, April 15, 2014

April showers

The April rains are really causing the garden to go into overdrive. Everything is popping out all over. The white wisteria has started to bloom as well as the spirea.

I've never seen so many blooms on Leathleaf Viburnum (Viburnum rhytidophyllum). The pink blooms to the right of it are on the Piedmont Azalea (Rhododendron canescens)

The Kerria (Kerria japonica) continues to shine - I could not find a good viewpoint without getting the oakleaf in the photo. :( 


I love these Spanish Bluebells (Hyacinthoides hispanica) - they are among my favorite bulbs.


The blooms on the Chinese Snowball (Viburnum macrocephalum) have now turned white. It puts on quite the show. Notice all the weeding I have to do!


Text and photos by Phillip Oliver, Dirt Therapy


Friday, April 11, 2014

Tulips at UNA

I have been admiring these tulips everyday as I leave the library. We have had a few that have come back year to year but generally, tulips are treated as annuals here and planted every year. 

They are beautiful but I can't figure out why they only planted 1/4 of the bed?

Text and photos by Phillip Oliver, Dirt Therapy


Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Transplanting Large Oakleaf Hydrangeas

A few weeks ago, Michael moved out of his salon (he sold it back in December but the new owner let him rent it until April 1). I had planted various shrubs and trees on the strip behind his salon that separates the salon from another parking lot. He kept telling me that I should dig up two large oakleaf hydrangeas because they were so pretty and who knows what will happen to the plants.

In the meantime, a rather large Colorado Blue Spruce that I planted in our front garden the first year we moved into the house (1992) has continued to deterioate and several of the lower branches had died. I reluctantly decided to cut it down although this created a huge hole along our fence border. When the issue of the oakleaf hydrangeas came up, I thought that might be a good replacement for the spruce.

Transplanting is one of my least favorite jobs and I always worry if the plant(s) will make it. Since these hydrangeas were large, I had my doubts but I decided to tackle the job and get it over with. I cut the spruce down in sections (sad) and was aghast at the big hole it left (our privacy!).

The first hydrangea was the smallest of the two but it turned out to be the most difficult to dig. I finally got it out and transferred it to our house and planted it. The soil at the salon has lots of clay so fortunately the rootball stayed intact. I know it is best to prune back newly transplanted shrubs but I did not want to loose the height of the plants.

We have had several rainfalls since I moved the plants and in addition to that I have kept them watered. So far, so good! The leaves were just about to open and I have not noticed any change in them. I hope this is a good sign. It is best to move plants when they are dormant - during the winter months is best - and I know this was a bit too late. We will see what happens!

Text and photos by Phillip Oliver, Dirt Therapy