The Violet Fern

A Colorful Tale of a Garden in the Making

What’s Blooming: The Last Nasturtium

17 Comments

I have to thank Carol of Maydreams Gardens for Garden Bloggers Bloom Day on the 15th of each month, who inspires me to walk about my garden in all kinds of weather and take in its beauty. Oftentimes this year, I have taken the garden for granted and not fully appreciated my paradise. Today it is drizzling rain but I walked about and relished the delicious Autumn palette which I will also share with Pam at Digging in Foliage Followup. Just a warning, this beholder found A LOT of beauty to admire …

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It is warm today, so warm that the door is open to our back screen porch – but by the end of this week we will have a real sliding glass door! The warmth is strange with so many of my blooms already to seed and the torch of Autumn aflame. It just doesn’t feel right, but I will enjoy it all the same. We dined al fresco last evening – you have to take advantage!

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I will say it again, I love my Cardinal Dogwood! I love it in the Spring when it’s adorned with white flowers. I love it in the summer when the birds forage its white berries. I love it in the Autumn when its leaves begin to yellow golden almost orange, and its stems begin to turn red. I love it in the Winter when its stems are on fire against the Blue Spruce. (As I write this, a White Throated Sparrow is enjoying some of the last remaining berries!)

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I am also loving one of my Spicebush which actually died back a bit after last Winter but made a good comeback. Its yellow leaves like the sun rising above the Blue Spruce.

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I am always drawn to The Woodland Edge. There is so much going on in this section of the garden at all times. On its floor, Orchid Frost Lamium blooms well into the first few frosts. Wild Strawberry lights up the ground with its reddening leaves.

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I love this little Wood Sorrel – still blooming – in the planters on the log pedestals this year. It is only hardy to Z5 so I think I will store these containers in my cellar for the most brutal months of Winter after they go dormant.

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The Pagoda Dogwood Tree really took off this year. Once loaded with white blossoms, then the most beautiful dark berries, its leaves are now turning a deep burgundy.

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Persicaria Firetail still on fire among the yellowing leaves of Amsonias.

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I feel lucky to get a shot of these Winterberries – they are usually stripped clean by birds the minute they turn red (and orange – the orange not so much).

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Yeah, those berries are nice but I can’t get over the size of these crabapples out front! I just love these and they are beautiful this Autumn. This is the first time this tree has bore apples!

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The Potager seems to have the most blooms maybe because it has “gone wild” on me. I need to cut down many things, especially the Perilla and Garlic Chives, but it all looks so beautiful – why don’t I just wait for a really cold, miserable day? Ha ha, that’s the way. Surprising me, Nasturtium blooms!

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I love the dark green Lacinato Kale against the now toffee colored blooms of Perilla – looks like I’ll have plenty of Perilla next year, too. The wild grapes are yellowing on the fence.

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Lemon Tagetes still blooming.

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Now’s the time to eat this Chard!

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Borage, Calendula, Nasturtium – the staple of the flowers in my Potager.

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One of my favorite Nasturtiums ‘Moonlight’ from Renee’s Garden.

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A green bee taking refuge in a squash flower. I planted my squash late and then it was further stunted by a forest of Dill so it is still blooming and trying to produce.

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One of my favorite colors of the ‘Flashback Mix’ Calendula planted three or four years ago and not since. To say it reseeds is an understatement!

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Speaking of reseeders, Granpa Otts Morning Glory is still quite glorious!

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An example of that red Blueberry Autumn foliage one always reads about!

I think gardeners tend to forget how outstanding Oenothera is in the Autumn garden. I grow it in the Bird & Butterfly bed and around my Pin Oak.

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The leaves of the Pin Oak.

It seems that the Helianthus Microcephalus went to seed earlier this year. It is usually one of the last bloomers. Behind it, the blooms of Panicum ‘Dallas Blues’ in the Bird & Butterfly garden.

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This is why I end up with so many Black-eyed Susans because I cannot bear to chop them down. They look cool! And the birds love to eat their seeds and since I will be migrating myself, I will leave them up all Winter long to feed the birds.

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The leaves of (naughty) Amur Maple, an invasive small tree I cannot recommend planting but I have it anyway in my garden because it hitched a ride from our Maine home.

Another Dogwood – I love them. (The shrub in the foreground beginning of Hosta Row.) Remember this one? This is a story of perseverance. This was the Dogwood that was sawed down by the Dogwood Sawfly caterpillars. Look at him now! A complete comeback, amazing.

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That “rug” of green on the workshop/garage wall is Clematis Virginiana. All I can say is WOW.

A surprise, and thoroughly neglected, Petunia or maybe Viola. This container (also on a log pedestal) was planted in early Spring and I have not been good about watering it regularly throughout the entire Summer – or even checking on it. Maybe neglect is a successful gardening method?

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Heuchera ‘Pinot Blanco’ still blooming among a few yes, self seeded Calendulas, and a fading ‘Quickfire’ Hydrangea.

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The fading blossom of Snowball Hydrangea.

I am also surprised Obedient Plant is just about finished blooming – again, seems to have gone to seed earlier this year, but very colorfully.

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I was captivated by these furry tails of Liatris!

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But Solidago ‘Fireworks’ seems to be blooming right on time. One can always find some type of pollinator on Solidago, even at this time of year which is why Solidagos are so important.

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Instead of a throw away Mum, I opted for a New England Aster which I will plant out in the garden. I don’t seem to have luck with Asters but I keep adding them hoping one will “catch” other than the weedy little white flowered one which pops up everywhere in my garden.

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Wild Grapes on the front porch.

This year should be dubbed the year that containers didn’t die. A Gazania ‘Frosty Kiss’ blossom! among some added gourds to a container out front.

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I’ll leave you with hope for Spring: a Milkweed pod bursting in what I hope will be its new home along the Nice Driveway instead of in the middle of my entry way. I find it beautiful.

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Author: Kathy Sturr

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

17 thoughts on “What’s Blooming: The Last Nasturtium

  1. Wonderful that so much still blooms.

  2. Kathy look at your garden grow. Voles ate my carrots and chard. And the dogwood caterpillars were cut back and taken care of and my bush came back too. Of course I think the birds got lots of them. So much blooming for you. Foliage just amazing too. We had a flock of White-Throated sparrows passing through who were eating seeds found around as the berries have been stripped here. I do hope someday to visit your garden in person.

    • Oh yes Donna, my garden grows and grows “wild.” The foxes and still voles? Maybe you should build or invest in an owl box? I only saw one White Throated Sparrow – imagine I’ll see more over the next week or so. I loved to hear them sing in Maine – oh, so beautiful! Here I just see migrants. I hope to visit your garden, too, Donna – we’ll make it happen!

  3. Love your dogwoods! I never noticed how nice their coloration is in the fall! I also really like the picture with the Pin Oak surrounded by Oenothera. Some years it looks really good in my garden…yet other years the leaves are decimated by insects and there is nothing left to turn red.
    Great post!

    • Huh Daniela, I never seem to have insect damage on my Oenothera? Does yours have yellow blooms? Perhaps you have a different variety than I do. I used to have more geranium than Oeonothera – the Oenothera won. But the geranium also has lovely Autumn color! I keep moving some to other spots so I won’t lose it.

  4. Lovely, Kathy! I’m glad I found your blog as your garden is so very beautiful! Great photos. My favorites are the two closeups studded with raindrops. You said you are migrating, are you a snowbird?

    • Thank you Eliza. It is still raining here but gently. I will be a snowbird this year for the first time! Last winter did us in. We will be migrating to the small town of Cedar Key, Florida. We visited there last year for a few short weeks. I am looking forward to it! It is a very unusual feeling to look forward to the Winter months. I will worry for the garden, the birds, my house plants but I will manage I think.

      • It is a dream of mine to escape the winter, good for you! I wonder about leaving a house over the winter, do you have a sitter? I have friends who have a place in HI, so she gardens year round. (pout!) They just drain their pipes in their place here and go!

      • We are shutting down the house – draining the pipes and all. I’m setting up all my plants in our cellar which is like a good old fashioned root cellar – it will be an experiment but truth be told I have way too many! I sincerely hope they all survive. I just can’t burden anyone with all my plants! My husband is a real estate broker and his partner a property mgr so the house will be watched and monitored. I’m hoping for the best. I hope your dream comes true!

  5. Wow, so much going on! So what kind of dogwood is ‘Cardinal’? I have lots of gray dogwoods with white berries but their fall color is disappointing. I do like the yellow leaves of our Spicebush, though.

    • ‘Cardinal’ is a Red Osier. I purchased mine mail order from Bluestone Perennials – it was a little wee twig. I could root you some. I would love to add some gray dogwoods to my garden, too, but I’m running out of room waaa waaa!

  6. Looks like you have a really beautiful garden! I am impressed… and I think you are doing very well as far as your mission is concerned… I especially like the first photo… nice!

  7. Oh Kathy, I went out of town on the 15th and you “sneaky” little blogger-lol. I missed this post! What a beautiful fall garden:-) I admire it all and you always post great tours!!! I love how you talk about your plants as if the are people-well they are right!!!
    You can’t be leaving this soon:-) I am looking forward to all your posts this winter to keep me warm-don’t forget to post! I hope you don’t get too remote-lol..stay near an internet so we can all keep updated + see all the WARM stuff near you-lol

  8. Such a pretty garden even at the very end of the season.

  9. Wow! Pleasant days perfect for alfresco dining; this is my kind of autumn! Your garden is bursting with fall color. I love the Black-eyed Susans. I have a lot of these growing wild along side our drive. I would not be able to cut those seed heads either!

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