Autumn Natives Bloom

For man, autumn is a time of harvest, of gathering together.  For nature, it is a time of sowing, of scattering abroad.  ~Edwin Way Teale

My autumn garden is certainly casting its seed.  I have found the plants that seed themselves freely are my native plants.  Rudbeckias, Joe Pye, columbine, heliopsis, echinacea and goldenrod seem to move freely and show up where I least expect them.  Sometimes I love the effect, and then there are times I have to move the volunteer.  Usually it is because the volunteer is too big a plant for the spot it has chosen.

This week is Wildflower Wednesday.  A wonderful time to flaunt your wildflowers and join Gail at Clay and Limestone.  As we start the autumn season and I assess my garden, I can’t help but notice my natives flourishing everywhere.  I am trying to catch up on the monumental task of weeding.  But many of the so-called weeds are really my natives or wildflowers from the meadow.

I also love to leave the seed heads of many natives for the birds.  Echinaceas, heliopsis and rudbeckias are rarely cut down in my garden because the finches especially love them and rely on them for food.  Of course leaving the seeds does encourage those volunteers, but I share my garden with the wildlife around us so I actually don’t mind.  I’ll cut it all back in the spring all at once.  This actually saves me time and leaves some interesting stems and foliage to look at in the winter garden.

So what autumn natives are blooming….


The meadow is sporting goldenrod which is making the pollinators dizzy.  Meadow asters (at the beginning of the post) are coming into their own.  I had thought they had died off, but I wasn’t patient.  They are coming on strong, and have moved nicely around the meadow.  Echinacea in the meadow is still going strong as are many of the rudbeckias.   The area pictured above had been overrun with teasel and we are far from eradicating it from the meadow, but I was glad to see this wildflower take its place.  I hope to seed some other natives in this area for later summer and fall blooms.



Coreopsis is one of my favorite native plants because it has non-stop flower power, is tolerant of many different conditions and looks gorgeous as the flowers seem to float above the foliage.  Coreopsis will grow in part sun, full sun, moist and dry conditions.  I have found they are not too fussy about soil either.  Of course the more sun you give them, the less likely they are to flop over.

There are many varieties these days, and I have previously featured a few.  Here are some more that are blooming this fall.  Top left is a newer variety called ‘Cosmic Eye’.  It pops against the green wiry foliage and I love the red eye.  Next is a lovely pink variety, ‘Dream Catcher’.  Moonbeam (lower right) is one of my favorites.  I love the pale yellow color.  Next is a new favorite ‘Sienna Sunset’.  I love the apricot color and this plant requires no deadheading at least in my garden.  It bloomed profusely from summer through fall.  Last but not least is a later bloomer, ‘Full Moon’.  It is a larger variety that shows up later in summer and continues through fall.  Love the lemon yellow color.  All these varieties seem to flower without deadheading.  Of course if coreopsis seems to have finished flowering, you can be assured of constant blooms if you give them a little “hair cut” in late summer.



The ilex verticillata (American Winterberry) is full of berries in fall.  These ripe berries won’t last long once the birds find them.  This a dwarf variety called ‘Red Sprite’.  It has finally grown large enough to be seen by the birds.  Hopefully the rabbits will leave it alone.  I am planting several more larger Winterberry bushes to grow near the gazebo.  I hope to have a whole patch for wintering birds to rely on.



I wait all summer to see this beauty bloom.  This burnet is ‘Greater Burnet’ or Sanguisorba officinalis.  It is native to many areas of the world including the cooler areas of North America.  I am still learning more about this plant; as a herb to eat and its many medicinal qualities.



Formerly known as Cimicifuga simplex ‘Brunette’ now called Actaea simplex ‘Brunette’ or snakeroot, this lovely native is adored by butterflies.  I love the long graceful flowery wands that look like berries before they bloom.



I have tried growing maidenhair ferns and they are finally growing in the shady, wetter area behind the gazebo.  These ferns and many others are natives.  I have several and plan to add more.  Many became dormant in early summer due to the drought.



Another welcome fall native is helianthus or false sunflower.  While several have been blooming all summer, some wait until late summer or early fall in my garden to finally bloom.  The bees are covering these flowers all fall.  I love the seed heads.  They are as pretty as the flower.  As they ripen the finches will be busy fattening up on the seed.



Cattails are considered a native grass.  I love to watch them going to seed.  The frogs brought them to our pond, and they have made a home for themselves.


Special Announcement:  It has been a wonderful beginning to year 2 of my blog.  First I was honored as one of the Top 50 Memoir Blogs.  That was astonishing to me.  The folks at encourage their adult students to read and write memoirs, and use the Top 50 blogs as inspiration and educational resources.  My last job was working with adult students so this was a wonderful honor.

The next surprise came from Carole Sevilla Brown who has a great blog Ecosystem Gardening.  Carole built a wonderful blog called Beautiful Wildlife Garden.  An incredible team blogs about native plants, insects and wildlife.  As they say on their website, “What if we could redefine what makes a garden beautiful? That was the question that led to the creation of Beautiful Wildlife Garden. We came together as a team, a group of wildlife gardeners from around the country to begin a conversation to redefine beauty in the garden and celebrate the nature and wildlife to be found when we choose to share our space with birds, butterflies, pollinators, bats, and other wildlife.”

Some of you may recall I did a guest post for Beautiful Wildlife Garden on August 6th.  They liked it so much they have asked me to join the Team.  I cannot relay to you the sheer joy this request brought me.  My answer was an immediate ‘yes’.  I will be guest blogging the first Saturday of every month.  I hope you can join me there.  There are wonderful daily posts from this great team of bloggers who have taught me so much about wildlife gardens.


Jack-in-the-Pulpit fruit changing color



Everyone must take time to sit and watch the leaves turn.  ~Elizabeth Lawrence





I’ll also be joining Tootsie Time’s Fertilizer Friday and Tina’s PicStory Weekend Flowers on Friday.  So drop by to check out all the wonderful flowers.

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.



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





  1. Donna says:

    Donna, a very lovely post for the wildflowers and insects that depend on them. A big congratulations on working with Carole and friends, that was truly an honor to be included in her group. I grow coneflower and Black-Eyed Susan enmass in my side cutting yard that reseed. I always let them form seed heads to leave for winter for the birds. But my neighbor dislikes them and ALWAYS cuts them down every fall. She says she can not stand the dead look of them or the birds pooping on her car. That is city life with native plants….next she will be getting the boyfriend to mow my front garden because there are too many bees. That is a huge complaint too and one of the reasons I got a rear fence.

    • Donna says:

      Thx Donna….Donna I am still in shock reading your comment. How a neighbor could think that touching your garden is OK is beyond belief…so over the line…you certainly do have a challenge but at least the critters can get beyond the fence that keeps out the neighbors…at my last house I took out most of the grass and my neighbors were shocked until they saw the incredible woodland gardens I planted…the new owners promptly took out the plants and planted grass…my old neighbors were so sad to see the gardens go..

    • Donna says:

      Thx Heather…I am still in disbelief and hope I can live up to the challenge…the team is so outstanding…I know you are on the team of the sister blog…both blogs have certainly influenced me so much!!

  2. Carolyn @ Carolyn's Shade Gardens says:

    I love the greater burnet, the color is amazing. I have never seen it before. I wonder if it grows here. Have the birds already started eating the berries on your Red Sprite because mine is absolutely loaded with berries (photo in next post)? Congratulations on the recognition you have received.

    • Donna says:

      Thx Carolyn! I believe the Burnet would grow for you too. No the birds have left the Red Sprite berries alone. They were more interested in the Viburnum berries this summer, but hopefully they will find the Winterberries when they need them.

  3. HolleyGarden says:

    Love the look of that burnet! That red is just beautiful. I also love cattails. How nice that the frogs brought them to you! Congratulations on being honored. I bet the memoir blogs are wonderful to read, and joining a team you respect is an ongoing joy.

    • Donna says:

      Thx Holley… that burnet is a beauty…I had planned to plant a cattail once we started the pond but within a year, I think the second spring, there it was…and boy do they grow in. I really think it brings in more frogs and dragonflies…

    • Donna says:

      The Monarchs have been blessing me this late summer and fall. They seem to just alight wherever I am and pose for a photo shoot…thx so much for your lovely words!!!

  4. Sheila says:

    Great post! The burnet is a new plant to me – what a stunning color. I like the fuzziness of it, too. I have a winterberry holly filled with berries, but so far the birds are ignoring it.

    • Donna says:

      Thx Sheila. Isn’t it funny that the birds are not going near either one of our winterberries. Maybe they are leaving them for winter…the burnet is an interesting plant and even more spectacular in person. Very tall 5-6 ft and on wiry stems…right now it is leaning due to some rain and wind…

  5. Lona says:

    What beautiful natives Donna. I have never saw the Burnet. What a wonderful looking flower. I love to see the field here dressed is seas of yellow from the Golden Rods. I keep trying to add more natives to my gardens. Great pictures.

    • Donna says:

      Thx Lona. This time of year is beautiful with natives like goldenrod and asters in the meadow. The yellow and purples are stunning and the monarchs and bees love them.

  6. Ginny says:

    Sienna Sunset is one of my favorites, too. Congratulations on joining the Beautiful Wildlife Garden team. I enjoy that blog so much and will enjoy it even more with you as a contributor!

  7. Janet/Plantaliscious says:

    Firstly – wow, so many beautiful natives blooming away. I love your burnet, mine stopped flowering a couple of months ago, I am hoping it is because they were new plants and need to bulk up. Secondly – rats, missed another Wildflower Wednesday. Thirdly – congratulations on being asked to join the Beautiful WIldlife Garden team! It’s been quite a year for you.

    • Donna says:

      Thx so much Janet. I am sure your beautiful burnet will return. I have to write down when Gail is doing the meme or I would never make it…although it usually falls the last Wed. in the month. It has been quite a year and I am learning to just go with the flow where it takes me. There is a path I am following and it reveals itself every so often…BTW, trying to learn how to collect seed (reading this winter and learning next year) so if I can send seed or plant across the Pond (couldn’t resist using the phrase-I love it), I would be happy to if the burnet is a no go for you or you covet any other plant…I know you will be starting a new garden so if I can help, I would be happy to 🙂

  8. Barbarapc says:

    Love the photo of the birdhouse in the middle of the solidago – so pretty. You’ve given me two timely reminders – I often forget to go out and appreciate my Jack’s seeds at this time of year and secondly, I need to go shopping for an Ilex boy – sadly mine has died and so my girl has been berry-less for several years now. Thanks for sharing your wild flower photos.

    • Donna says:

      Barbara so nice to have you visit the wildflowers. I adored your pictures as well and can understand why you love my goldenrod pic now!! Good luck with replacing Ilex boy…we can’t hav our girls berry-less…hope to see you around the garden again!!

  9. Marguerite says:

    Followed you here from Gail’s blog and was delighted by the array of wildflowers you have. I’ve never seen the Burnet before but really liked the beautiful colour. I absolutely agree goldenrod likes to move freely. I try to keep it to the meadow on our property but it seems to feel just as at home in the garden beds and is constantly making an appearance there.

    • Donna says:

      Marguerite so glad you could visit and that you are enjoying the wildflowers. I have a few goldenrods that are not as aggressive in the garden but the wild ones definitely don’t just like staying in my meadow either. I think they get a bit lonely 🙂

  10. Cathy says:

    Congratulations, Donna! I am so pleased for you! I will definitely have to follow you over to your Saturday blog event! And Happy 2nd year blogging anniversary!

    • Donna says:

      Thx Cathy. The beginning of my second year has been a wonderful start. It seems the light on the next path is being illuminated and it will be quite an adventure. Thank you for following and supporting me on this new endeavor!!

  11. Gail says:

    Welcome to BW! it’s a great team of writers. Also, thanks for celebrating WW and showing us the beauties you have in your garden. I love Greater Burnet’ or Sanguisorba officinalis but fear it is not for clay and limestone. gail

    • Donna says:

      Thx Gail. I am still pinching myself. My burnet is strategically placed near the pond not in my clay meadow so I understand. I look forward to WW every month and save some great flowers to share…

    • Donna says:

      Thx for visiting the garden. I do so love your blog. The monarchs have been very accommodating this year. They float around the garden and light near me so I have been keeping my camera at hand as I weed. Also this year with all the tall asters in my meadow, they are coming by the dozens and floating right in front of me, and partaking of the nectar 2 and 3 on a plant…it has been quite a treat!!

  12. Lavender Cottage says:

    I’m visiting from Fertilizer Friday and it is refreshing to find another gardener that uses lots of native plants.
    Some you’ve listed that self seed have never done so in my gardens but it could be the clay we have.
    I’m in zone 5a Ontario and learned long ago that native plants will survive anything Mother Nature dishes out.
    Since I don’t have Facebook, I couldn’t find a way to follow your blog so I’ll bookmark it for future visits.
    Congratulations on your new writing assignment.

    • Donna says:

      Judith how wonderful to have you visit. The natives seem to find a way around even in some clay. You actually can follow by email. Just above the tags in the sidebar is a bar that says subscribe. Click the email tab and then on the Feedblitz tab..then put in your email and you should be all set…let me know if it doesn’t work and thx for following…

    • Donna says:

      Thank you so much and thank you for visiting my blog. Cattails are great fun to watch grow, but they can be a bit aggressive. You would love snakeroot if you have a shady area that is moist or dry. Burnet is also a wonderful plant to grow.

  13. Becky says:

    It’s been many years since I showed my children how to squeeze a cattail to make it expand into a huge ball of fluff and release it to float in the wind. Your Beautiful Wildlife post is an extraordinary Beginning. Bravo!

    • Donna says:

      Oh Becky how wonderfully sweet of you…so glad you enjoyed my first post at

      and I am happy you liked this native plants post with the cattails…I have not planted the beautiful irises you sent yet…I have them potted and ready but with the lack of garden maintenance this summer I had to wait. I will be planting them this month and posting about your wonderful pass-a-long plants…

  14. Grace says:

    Hi Donna, Congratulations on your honors! They couldn’t be awarded to a nicer person! I’m very jealous of your Sanguisorba. Mine sported about three blossoms this year. I need to do some moving I think. Beautiful photos!

  15. Jen @ Muddy Boot Dreams says:

    I am so glad that you put the reminder about clicking on the post title up there. Every time I forget how to comment, [no comment on my abilities please, LOL] and then frantically scroll through.

    Thank you so very much for leaving such a supportive comment on my blog. Sometimes the heart speaks, and the brain just has to let it.

    Congrats on all of the wonderful things that are happening to you, and your blog. They are well deserved, this is one amazing blog.

    Jen @ Muddy Boot Dreams

    • Donna says:

      Jen when your heart speaks it speaks to many of us…I am glad you let it out…I never think of my humble blog as anything special, but it is part of me and from me and for those it touches I am happy and blessed…your sweet words mean a lot…

  16. Clytie says:

    Hi Donna, I followed your Weekend Flowers link here, and spent a while going back through some of your older posts. You are surrounded by so much beauty!

    A couple of weeks ago you posted a waterfall. At the bottom of the waterfall (did you notice?) there is a heart! I would like to feature this picture on my meme “Guest Heart Thursday”. Every heart I feature is copyrighted to the person who took the photo, with a brief description of – and link back to – their blog.

    I would love to feature your heart!!!

    • Donna says:

      How wonderful that you found your way here. So happy to have you visit. I did not notice the heart at the bottom of the waterfall. That picture is a painting of a picture i took. There is an app that allows you to use a picture you took and make it into an oil painting. You may absolutely use the picture. Happy to share it…thx!!

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