The Violet Fern

A Colorful Tale of a Garden in the Making

What’s Blooming: Sage is the Rage


My husband turned to me last evening and said “frost warning.” WHAT?! I am definitely not ready for THAT – not ready at all. I shrugged it off – it was a warning on his cell phone. We live close to the river. Though, I must admit the first thing I did this morning was check the temperature on my cell phone: 46° F, whew! So, let’s celebrate another Garden Bloggers Bloom Day while we can, eh? I credit Carol at May Dreams Gardens on the 15th of each month for making me stop to smell the flowers so to speak.

Last year around this time I remember thinking my Helianthus Microcephalus was declining – not so. This year it is bigger and badder than ever and full of bumbles. A little floppy with recent rain.


Last year around this time I remember thinking to myself I will divide those Black Eyed Susans – not so, never happened. Believe it or not my husband dragged a ladder through here to finally patch the hole near the roof of our garage/workshop the Starlings were kind enough to point out to us one Spring, and to clean out the gutters. He patched not one, but two holes. I’m thinking we should maybe patch a few things with impenetrable Black Eyed Susans.


Another patch that needs my DIvided attention, is Obedient Plant along the nice driveway. Last year it flopped over and this year is a repeat performance. The bees don’t mind as much as I do.


Indian Grass, in contrast, stands tall. I love the spikelets (a new word I just taught myself which refers to the flower clusters on grass florets) on this grass!


And surprise! The False Sunflower given to me by a friend last fall is now blooming. I didn’t think it made it as it is on the edge of the Nice Driveway which receives the brutal brunt of the weather. It’s not attracting bumbles right now but a different kind of insect.


Another bumble friendly plant this time of year that I don’t give enough credit to, is Garlic Chives now blooming in the Potager.




Also in the Potager, Lemon Gem Tagetes. I was supposed to eat more of these (and those garlic chives now that I think of it)! I think they also help keep Mosquitos away.


Leaving the Potager and strolling down the yet unfinished Hosta Row, Heuchera ‘Pinot Blanco’ is blooming again! Have to love Pinot!


Hydrangea Quickfire’s beginning to burn – the creamy blooms now turning a burnished pink.


Which will bring us to the Nice Driveway again and my container of Pineapple Sage and lime – Nicotiana and Zinnia. I used to grow Pineapple Sage in Maine and marveled at how large it became for an annual – shrub size. Then just before frost its tips catch fire with fiery red blooms that no hummingbird can resist! I snatched it up immediately when I saw it at our local nursery. I enjoy watching the hummingbirds hover around this container just as I imagined when I dragged it up from the bottom of our driveway to dress up our sea of pavement.


We’ll continue on to the Riverfront which is showing signs of my neglect. Still, Russian Sage impresses with a backdrop of Black Lace. Black Lace made an amazing comeback this year after our last harsh Winter. And no, I have not cut back the dieback yet. Someday, someday …


I hate to be reminded of our last Winter but hear that this Winter will also be quite severe. There are signs also that what I hear is true – fruit. Lots of food.

The Purple Prince Crabapples out front are loaded.



I thought this was a crabapple tree also planted out front, but now I’m beginning to wonder. These are some pretty large crabapples and there are lots of them.


The grapes on our front porch are dripping and just beginning to form. I love when the leaves yellow and the dark berries burst.


The Cranberry Viburnum is also loaded up. Really spectacular this year.


Next month there will be less blooming but it will be ALL about foliage! The Kopper King Hibiscus is just starting to show off and with that I’ll leave those of you who pine for Fall in the Northeast, anticipating …



Author: Kathy Sturr

Cultivating art, growing soul, and creating plant-based food in the beautiful 1000 Islands, New York and Cedar Key, Old Florida.

8 thoughts on “What’s Blooming: Sage is the Rage

  1. Fabulous blooms Kathy and you are right so much of the same blooms showing up……my berry plants aren’t as loaded as yours…maybe that means I won’t get a harsh winter?….yah right!

    • You can only hope Donna! I love the berries and fruits. The hummingbirds are still visiting this morning so we have a little more time. I hope to be in the garden right up to snowfall this year – weeding, thinning, edging so I can manage next year. We hope to actually have a door and a wood stove installed on our back porch, too, which will be nice.

      • door and wood stove? Sounds as if your back porch has been a transit in winter.

      • Yes Diana! Winter is too long here so we need a “two season” porch – not just for summer. I am really looking forward to it. The door will be all glass – sliding. A view of the Winter garden and birds. The fire will be so nice. We live in this room more than the rest of the house. It has been worth the wait.

  2. Truly a magical wonderland! I am sounding like a broken record here but your Potager is STUNNING!!!! I have been visting several blogger friends gardens and I am using the word stunning a lot-lol…but really, it is beautiful……obedient plant i miss in my garden:-( but need to change that soon…just had to move a few things this year , so some plants were missing…..your pictures just glow with color!
    I am seeing grasshoppers all over the path I bike this fall:-) there seems to be more this year.
    Freezing-NO! first day of all on Monday…I am eager to take a break, but not to visit w hat we had last year!

    • Me either Robbie! I think they are calling for frost here tomorrow night! I don’t want my succulent garden to suffer like last year but I am really not ready to start hauling things inside. I have to pick the last of my cherry tomatoes and freeze them. We had homemade sauce last night over pasta – yum. We have lots of it, too. I am not worried about the rest – Chard, Kale, Brussels, Collards – they will keep going until we leave for Florida – whoo hoo! I will be able to keep my spirits up this Winter regardless. When we come back home hopefully we will have a wood stove on the porch and still be able to live out here – will be so nice to read those gardening books by a warm fire with a view of the winter garden. Then I’ll start seeds early in the greenhouse in March. I can live with that. Three months of Winter and not five!

      • oh…and you make sure you take LOTS of pictures of your beautiful retreat!!!! It will make the winter a bit better for us that have to live with the extra two months. Will look forward to your posts!

  3. first day of fall….my fingers are missing strokes the past few weeks…hmmm….time for a break:-)

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