Garden Journal-Bloomin’ September

“The foliage has been losing its freshness through the month of August, and here and there a yellow leaf shows itself like the first gray hair amidst the locks of a beauty who has seen one season too many.”
–   Oliver Wendell Holmes

This Garden Bloggers Bloom Day (hosted by Carol at May Dream Gardens) on the 15th of September is truly bittersweet as we come to a close on summer.  But this is the time of year we see certain flowers, and they bring us joy through the last days of summer and on into autumn.  Some flowers like the begonia above are still going strong while others are a faded memory.

I love this quote by Holmes because it conveys how I feel when I see those yellow leaves on the trees.  I stare in horror at first knowing summer is ending and much like any gray hair I might have  (if I had any) I tend to ignore the signs of the changing of the seasons for as long as I can.  But there are so many lovely blooms in the garden that I have to share them with you.


Lovely Japanese anemones popped up recently.  I love the way the buds seem to stay suspended in mid-air on thin stems and then slowly unfurl their stunning pink petals.  I always smile when I see one in the late garden.  A vision of loveliness standing out in a withered crowd.



The asters are dancing in the meadow.  Not as many as last year, but maybe more will pop up.  I’m not sure who is happier to see the asters me or the bees.  The bees cover the asters in the garden most days.  I have to be careful when I weed or garden around them.  There could be dozens covering a bush all trying to get the last drop of pollen.  I do not want to get in their way.



Another flower that pops up now are the Toad Lilies.  It is such an exotic flower.  I have many varieties of these beauties.  Most are distinguished by the purple spots inside the petals.  They remind me of an orchid.  How can anything this exotic survive our harsh winters?  I only wish they bloomed longer.



A favorite native that blooms in late summer is Chelone or Turtlehead.   Pollinators love to climb right inside to get the goodies found there. I do so treasure this flower.



This lovely daisy is ‘Clara Curtis’.  I planted it in honor of my mother-in-law, Clara.  It has an amazing pink flower.  It originally was in a small bed in the front of the house. Even though it was labeled a dwarf plant, it grew to over 4 feet tall and wide.  I moved it to the back and although it blooms, it is a bit leggy and not as nice a plant as it was in the full sun out front.  I may move it yet again to give it the proper conditions to thrive and bloom in all its glory.



Some plants are sending out a second flush of flowers.  This dwarf echinacea has decided to bloom some more.  A few others around the garden are following suit since the rain and cooler temps.  I am happy to greet them.



Can you guess what this wonderful bud is?  It is my ‘Crystal Fountain’ clematis ready to bloom again.  It is covered in blooms.  Can’t wait to see it again.  Was hoping other clematis would rebloom, but this is the only one so far.


A surprise was the appearance of Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’.  I have planted this before and it never came up.  This year it wonderful winged petals caught my eye as they were opening…Isn’t this the loveliest of surprises to have blooming.  I have not spied the hummers at this plant yet, but I am sure they are visiting.  They are known to love this plant as much as I do.  I can’t wait for it to grow in more and multiply next year.



One of my longest lasting blooming flowers is this Gaura ‘Whirling Butterflies’.   It blooms in my garden from late spring, all through summer into fall.  The gorgeous white flowers dance on wire wands as the wind blows through them.  I love watching the dancing butterfly flowers as do the pollinators.  This plant is on the side of the pond in a fairly dry area covered with stones.  It loves the heat.



One of the most beautiful shrubs flowering this time of year is the Caryopteris.  I finally found just the right spot for these beauties to grow.  A bit on the dry side with ample sun.  The large background picture is of Caryopteris  ‘Snow Fairy’ with its gorgeous cream and green variegated leaves.  The flowers are small and hard to see, but they look like a small orchid.  Bottom left is Caryopteris ‘Summer Sorbet’ another variegated variety.  The leaves are chartreuse and dark green.  Stunning against the blue flowers here just about to open.  Top left is a more common variety called ‘Bluebeard’.  Lovely blue/purple flowers blooming.


So as this last Bloom Day of the Summer fades to Fall, what will our gardens have in store for us?  I dream of warm Fall weather, lots of blooms and many more veggies to harvest.


“But now in September the garden has cooled, and with it my possessiveness.  The sun warms my back instead of beating on my head … The harvest has dwindled, and I have grown apart from the intense midsummer relationship that brought it on.”–  Robert Finch


Shameless Book Flaunt–For those that have asked, you can order the book, The Moment I Knew,  from the publisher Sugati Publications where more of the proceeds go to the womens’ groups.  Free shipping from the publisher as well.  You can also order it from Amazon.  I hope you enjoy the book and I would love to hear your feedback on my poems.


Special Note: All flowers pictured here are from my garden.  Flaunt your flowers at Tootsie Time this Friday where she hostsFertilizer Friday.  I’ll be flaunting mine.

Monthly (usually around the 10th) I guest blog at Walkabout Chronicles.  Stop by to read my post on Mindfulness! 

Please remember, to comment click on the title of the post and the page will reload with the comments section.

All content is copyrighted and the sole property of Donna Donabella @ Gardens Eye View.  Any reprints or use of content or photos is by permission only.


  1. Donna says:

    Really beautiful captures of your garden blooms, Donna. I have to say I am not in love with the Holmes quote since one gray hair certainly does not indicate one too many seasons of life. He has an oddly counterfactual and pithy analogy in my opinion. Sure the ‘bloom off the rose’ indicates aging, but not one lonely gray hair. lol. Maybe his comparison should have mentioned frumpy, silver topped, middle age souls instead. That looks more like those yellowing and browning leaves to me, chronological more accurate too. Having had gray hair at nineteen, this guy would have written me off long ago.

    • Donna says:

      You made me laugh. I think he was a bit of a chauvinist with the gray hair comment…so glad you enjoyed the blooms in the garden…Happy GBBD

  2. Rebecca says:

    Love the quote–that’s one I’m sure I’ll remember 🙂 This time of the year is a bittersweet for gardeners and I share the same fall dreams as you do.–Hopefully they’ll be a lot of warm-bloom filled days to come!

    • Donna says:

      Rebecca so glad you could visit and that you enjoyed the post and pics…we’ll keep our fingers crossed for those warm fall days filled with flowers!!

  3. Marcia Richards says:

    Donna! Bet you’re shocked to see me here…I do apologize, it’s been too long. What a treat to come on the day when you have so many gorgeous pics of your flowers up! Going now to catch up on posts that I’ve missed here.

  4. Grace says:

    Hi Donna, I can’t believe my timing. I started a new job three days before the book came out and I haven’t been able to read very much at all yet. This week has been kind of hectic but next week should be better and I promise to converse with you about your awesome poems. I’m interested in seeing the Facebook chat page too. I love all of your September blossoms. That little, vibrant pink echinacea peaking out is a lovely shot. And the ‘Clara Curtis’ too. Isn’t Gaura an amazing plant? I love how it just blooms and blooms and doesn’t require any additional summer water. Being a lover of pink, your sweet anemone shot is to die for.

    • Donna says:

      Grace I know exactly what you mean about time. My job is consuming me again this month but I hope for a bit of time in a couple of weeks to dive into the book more myself. I have so much garden work from now until mid November I will need a break to rest by Thanksgiving…So glad you enjoyed the pics…anemone is popping up all over the garden this week…talk with you soon!!

    • Donna says:

      Christine how funny is that…we do have such great taste in plants… 🙂 Can’t wait to see your “Lucifer” in bloom…Happy GBBD

  5. HolleyGarden says:

    Pretty blooms! I, too, love asters and am so excited when they start blooming again. Your Clara daisy is beautiful – what a nice remembrance. I see your caryopteris is blooming. I love this plant, but mine are in much too much shade. I moved them there this year, not realizing. Now I’ll have to move them again! But you’re right – they are great plants – and worth it.

    • Donna says:

      Holley I have been trying to get my caryopteris to bloom and thrive for years. This year I found that sunny drier spot…it is a challenge sometimes to find just the right spot for plants…so glad you enjoyed the blooms

    • Donna says:

      Scott so glad you could stop by to visit the garden. Gaura is a fun plant. Make sure you put it where it can dance in the wind and be a focal point…

    • Donna says:

      Ginny you won’t be sorry growing the toad lilies. Once you start you will want to grow so many varieties…one of those plant addictions…and perfect for moist and dry shade..

  6. Sheila says:

    You have some wonderful blooms! The toad lilies are so exotic-looking. I agree, caryopteris is a wonderful shrub. Even though the blooms are small, they are a stunning color. It’s deer-resistant, too!

    • Donna says:

      Glad you enjoyed the blooms Sheila. I love the blooms of caryopteris and the fun new foliage varieties. If I had some more drier areas I would grow others.

    • Donna says:

      Patrick it is wonderful to have you visit. It has been a battle of wills to grow the caryopteris in spots that they will thrive. I think I finally have them in places where they are happy. You would love them…find a nice spot where they get sun and a bit of dry or normal moisture…you won’t be sorry!

  7. andrea says:

    You have lovely blooms there, although they are all unfamiliar to me in person, but they have species or cousins also growing here in the tropics. Is that also the echinacea rich in quercetin used to build resistance? It is popular in stores here.

    • Donna says:

      I love finding out that my plants have tropical cousins…yes the echinacea is the very one that is popular in stores to help build resistance…glad you enjoyed the blooms!

  8. Janet/Plantaliscious says:

    I agree about Japanese anenomes, in fact I love pretty much any plant that flowers on tall wiry stems – they float above the garden like floral confetti. Glad ‘Lucifer’ finally decided to bloom for you, hope it is the shape of things to come, it is one of my favourites too, though mine finished flowering a couple of weeks ago.

    • Donna says:

      I think that is why I also love Gaura..the wiry stems…The anemones have seeded themselves and I love watching the pink blooms rise above all the foliage in the late garden in spots I did not expect to see them…

  9. Gail says:

    My asters are same color as yours- that breathing blue/purple-and covered with bees, as are my zinnias.
    Thanks for sharing your thoughts about end of summer season.

    • Donna says:

      Gail so glad you could visit and enjoy the asters…the meadow is coming alive with pink and purple ones suddenly as the weather has cooled…

  10. Cathy says:

    Gorgeous photos… that begonia is like the sun shining.

    I so agree with the quote you chose and feel the same way you do. I dread winter, but yes, the toad lilies are almost worth it LOL.

    My caryopteris is showing an amazing cap of blooms this year – the best year we’ve had with it. I think the drought last summer stunted many things, and this summer, the extra rain has more than made up for it.

    • Donna says:

      So glad you enjoyed the post and pics Cathy…one of my favorite begonias so far that I have grown. I hope to overwinter it in the basement and see if I can be successful in planting it again next spring…I have had the opposite with the caryopteris…the drought has actually helped them this year…we get so much rain most summers that I found them rotting and splitting even in the drier areas of the garden…this year they are doing great..

      • Cathy says:

        My uncle raised award winning begonias for years. He dug the tubers and brought them in for the winter. I’m not sure if your variety is the type that produces tubers, but if so, someone who raises them should be able to guide you. I do know they need a period of dormancy.

        Our caryopteris had almost no blooms last summer (our drought was mid-July to the end of September, right when it would be blooming). The buds formed but sparsely, and essentially dried up before opening. This year, we’ve had normal rain, and that has been a boon for the garden!

        • Donna says:

          Thx Cathy for the tips with the begonia…it is tuberous…that is quite a drought you had last yr. Ours was June and July but I think the extra moisture that is held in my clay soil from winter melt and spring rains must have done the trick…I’ll let you know how the begonia fares…

  11. Stacy says:

    Donna, what beautiful blooms! It always amazes me what we can grow in common and what we can’t. No toad lilies or anemones here, but my gaura and blue mist are blooming like crazy. I always loved this time in the northeast for the goldenrod and asters filling the meadows but also felt intense pressure to ENJOY EVERY MINUTE knowing winter was coming.

    I keep returning to your photo of the asters–the light on the buds and their not-quite-hairy textures are so beautiful!

    • Donna says:

      Stacy thank you…the golden sun was just right the day I took the aster picture…it is amazing what we can grow and enjoy in common on opposite ends of the country. I know exactly what you mean about the pressure to enjoy every minute…I find a rush to get so much done in the garden before the weather changes and the garden is sleeping until spring…it is an intense pressure and one that consumes my time right now…

    • Donna says:

      Mona so glad you enjoyed your visit. It is such fun looking at the different flowers we grow…some so different and others the same…hope you visit again!!

  12. PlantPostings says:

    Hi Donna: I love the comparison of the gray hairs to the yellow leaves. I feel the same way about summer ending. But now with cool blasts of light frosts, it’s clear that autumn is here. Time to harvest Apples! (I love Tricyrtis! I must try planting it again!)

    • Donna says:

      I could smell the autumn in the air as I weeded this cool weekend. We have not had a frost yet, but we dipped into the low 40s. It is apple time and that makes fall worthwhile.

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