The Violet Fern

A Colorful Tale of a Garden in the Making

What’s Blooming: Everything!


It is the 15th of the month, that means Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day hosted by Carol at May Dreams Gardens. A wonderful forum where everyone shares what’s blooming in their gardens. So, what’s blooming in the Violet Fern garden? Just about everything!

Here is a bird’s eye view of the Bird & Butterfly and Woodland Edge borders. The entire garden hums and soars with bees and birds during the day and crickets and bats in the evenings. Cabbage whites, and occasionally other butterflies (I saw a Monarch the other day!), flutter and spin skyward. This is why I let it grow wild with natives and don’t use any types of herbicides/pesticides – all is blooming and alive. It is music to my eyes and ears.


In the Bird & Butterfly Garden we have perennial sunflower, Helianthus Microcephalus which has spread itself around a bit; Black-eyed Susans; Joe Pye; Mint; and a new feature somehow, a Lemon Balm edging which the Wool Carder Bees are guarding.


Joe Pye Weed


Black-eyed Susans

In the Woodland Edge, Phlox; Nodding Onion; Flowering Raspberry; Great Blue and Cardinal Lobelias; Persicaria; Cup Plant and Rudbeckia Laciniata bloom on and on. Turtlehead is just peeking out of its shell. Jewelweed is also in bloom and is almost constantly visited by either Hummingbirds and / or Bumblebees.


My Grandmother’s White Phlox


Nodding Onion


Cardinal Lobelia


Great Blue Lobelia


Cup Plant is at least 10-12 feet tall this year!


Rudbeckia Laciniata and Cup Plant


Pink Turtlehead


Jewel Weed

Corkscrew vine is blooming! – but WAY up there! (It still smells divine down here, though.)


I got out a ladder so I could zoom in.


Corkscrew vine flower


Corkscrew vine flower

Talk about vines – trumpet vine continues to bloom and impress! Untitled

Polite Clematis Claire de Lune is putting on a show this year.


Clematis Claire de Lune

In striking contrast, our big brute, native Clematis Virginiana, has them all beat! In full bloom now and rambling among Hosta Row into the Hostas and Hydrangea.


Clematis Virginiana


Out front a pink phlox blooms against Karl Foerster, and Russian Sage against Black Lace.


Karl Föerster grass



Russian Sage in bloom, Black Lace in background

I know that it’s the grand finale of Summer because Obedient Plant is just beginning to paint the Nice Driveway in purple.


Obedient Plant

Normally this would make me sad but this year I am looking forward to cooler weather and spending some quality time in my garden neatening it up a bit and reinforcing a few paths through the beds for easier maintenance. After that I will be spending a whole month (!) moving my office/studio to a different room of our house that is a little bit larger and putting together and organizing my seed starting set up. We will be escaping again this winter to Cedar Key, but I want to be ready the minute I get home to start seeds which I will begin indoors this time before moving out to the little greenhouse. I’m going to start them in my new office/studio space which will be clean, organized and welcoming when I return home. The hornet’s nest in the greenhouse now looks inactive and I am dying to get in there to clean it up – it is full of weeds ):


Author: Kathy Sturr

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

19 thoughts on “What’s Blooming: Everything!

  1. What a pleasure to see all your blooms especially that first photo….isn’t it amazing to see all the blooms. We have 2 monarchs in the garden for 2 days now and I think one is a female. I saw a couple this year but they never lighted long enough for pictures. I too love the Clematis Virginiana that is such an amazing vine. Getting hot here again so no garden work for at least a few more weeks and I am injured so I need time to heal. Have fun in your garden.

    • Oh no, injured! I hope it’s nothing serious and you recover soon! I have sweat buckets this year Donna and have to admit, I am ready for some cooler weather so I can work more in the garden. I was hoping to see more Monarchs by now. The Milkweed is finished blooming and full of pods. I feel like collecting them and doing a little gorilla gardening!

  2. Everything is looking so grand, Kathy! Love the vines, particularly the corkscrew. I’m loving this full summer immersion, aren’t you? It is glorious!

    • Thank you Eliza but as THE gardener I find it difficult sometimes to enjoy and not see the consequences of my neglect – my own sorry situation. I still manage to find joy in the garden – the bees, the birds especially the hummingbirds (which I see magically right now visiting the Jewelweed), the hibiscus bloom … so much to take in this summer immersion – so little time! You are right, it is glorious!

      • I think it is pretty universal that gardeners tend to see all the work that needs doing and have to train themselves to see the beauty they’ve created. My spouse is always reminding me to stop and smell the roses. 😉

  3. I don’t use any chemicals either but I never see as many insects as I think I should. Maybe I am not observant enough or perhaps they haven’t found our little valley in great numbers. My nodding onions are all done and my lobelia hasn’t started yet. Kind of surprised my garden doesn’t follow yours more closely. Didn’t realize that corkscrew vine was fragrant; I might have to try that in my garden.

    • I love the corkscrew vine but I can say I haven’t had success starting it from seed. I ordered a plant from easy-to-grow bulbs. It is a novelty to me. The close proximity of the St. Lawrence River definitely affects our little world here, Kathy. I don’t know why I have so so many bees and insects but I would attribute it to native plants that include trees and shrubs. The crickets are quite loud this year and there are definitely more types – tree, etc. because there are new sounds. It is so fun to attract insects! Perhaps you are in more of a rural area where there is more real estate per capita for the little guys?

  4. Hi Kathy, it looks great there. I think corkscrew vine is one of the best scents on earth. I have to start mine early indoors, or buy a plant from Bustani, to have them bloom in plenty of time before fall. I’m amazed that yours blooms early enough. I also think that as stewards of nature, gardeners are luckiest people on Earth. Happy Blooming and cool news on the changes in your home too.~~Dee

    • Dee, I bought a plant from easy-to-grow bulbs. I never had any luck starting from seed – even in the greenhouse. I will definitely be ordering more from them in the future. The Gloriosa Lily and Passion flower vine also came from them – all did very, very well. I always think I am so lucky to have a job where I work in gardens all day even though weeding can be a bit much every day. I love being close to earth and nature, God if you will. It IS the best job on earth! I look very forward to organizing my studio office and becoming more productive painting/illustrating – especially garden subjects!

  5. Pingback: What’s in Bloom Here Now – Aug 2015 | A Moveable Garden

  6. I’m impressed with how lush and blooming your garden is looking at a point in the summer when mine is seeming more than a bit bedraggled.

  7. Your garden is an artist retreat! I love it all + the photos are beautiful. I am busy getting in my winter crops to keep going as long as I can but I know you will be leaving. I envy you but know you will be back for another growing season soon! I don’t blame you but I am hoping this winter we have a bit warmer season. The farmer almanac says, NO-but the weather people say YES….I hope we don t have months of below zero!
    I look forward to seeing your new studio:-) I must confess my “creative” room is a mess! But I have a good excuse-I was busy this year:-) Next year will be the year to PURGE! LOL

    • I didn’t get much of a harvest this year Robbie but I WILL have pesto! That’s important – and my garlic survived. I am hoping to spend a lot of time this Fall in my garden cleaning it up and severely cutting back things – maybe even getting rid of things! I may yank out the Rudbeckia Laciniata and just plant some on our lake lot where it can roam freely. Things like that. Well, ha, Robbie I think my office/studio is such a mess from being so busy and torn in all directions. I hope to find more discipline and focus by staying organized! And I’ve been saying “next year” well, for quite a few years now ha ha. I hope you have a fabulous winter! Lots of snow but not cold – perfect winter garden conditions!

  8. That is all just so lovely Kathy. I forgot to buy corkscrew vine this spring, and now, I miss its wonderful fragrance. Happy Bloom Day!~~Dee

    • I see large bean pods hanging on the yellowing Corkscrew Vine Dee – it grew so tall I wasn’t able to enjoy the flowers up close. The fragrance didn’t stand out much for me either – the wicked wind probably whisked it away! I think I will stick to my Cardinal Climber next year and try Exotic Love Vine (Spanish Flag) again. If you would like I would be happy to send you a bean although I certainly didn’t have any luck germinating the seed but you may! The Passion Flower was amazing and I’m going to try to overwinter it in my cellar (that hopefully won’t freeze again!) as the variety I have is hardy to zone 6. Then I’ll put her back outside come Spring. I love experimenting!

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