Memories of Fall Natives

“I saw old Autumn in the misty morn
Stand, shadowless like Silence, listening
To Silence.”
–   Thomas Hood


Right now we are getting cold rains and my body is aching from all the bulb planting, weeding and perennial planting.  I know I will miss that ache this winter.  Wanting so much to get out and weed the garden just to be in its presence.

By this time in October, I am hard pressed to find many plants blooming because we have had many frosty morns and at least one hard freeze.  No freeze yet, but the frosts have come and many flowers have faded under the weight of the cold.  But I was so pleased to see some flowers still hanging on.  Of course they are my lovely natives who are unafraid of a bit of cold weather.  I think they relish it.  They are hardy souls who long for that clear, crisp air in order to grow.  So in honor of Wildflower Wednesday hosted by Gail@Clay and Limestone let’s take a trip down memory lane when these hardy beauties were blooming profusely.


One of the best performers that I will miss this winter will be phlox.  They are incredible bloomers that I can move all over the garden in wet, dry and full sun to part shade and they bloom until the first freeze takes them.  They have come back to life with the cooling temps this fall.  I am seeding my meadow to add some of these beauties.



Swamp milkweed is but a memory.  Its seeds have scattered to the wind.  Where they end up in the meadow and garden will be a surprise.  I have decided not to gather the seed and cast the seed, but let Mother Nature do it for me.  I love the papery seed pods and how they remind me of what is to come in spring.  The more of these beauties, the more monarchs will be finding their way to my garden.  I hope they have passed the word on their trip South that my Purple Door Gardens are not to be missed next year.



Coreopsis is another winner in my Wildflower garden.  There are so many great performers amongst these flowers.  The cold rain has begun to takes it toll on ‘Full Moon’ here, but others are still putting out blooms or springing to life for another small flush.



The meadow asters have bid us goodbye.  It will be a full year before I see them again.  They appear in late summer and through early fall.  The colors and non-stop blooming is well worth the wait.  If you don’t believe me ask any monarch butterfly.  They wait in anticipation for the flower nectar of the aster.  They know where the best flowers are, and you can see them in large groups wherever asters are blooming.




Another wonderful wildflower I wait for in fall is my Chocolate Joe Pye.  This was one of my first native plant purchases when I was deliberately looking for unusual native plants.  Of course anything with the name ‘chocolate’ cannot be passed up.  The deep purple brown stems and dark foliage are gorgeous, and then the white flowers burst out to make a stunning contrast.  I plan to move this beauty around the garden now that is it established.  The white garden needs a bit more late summer/early fall blooming.  This will be perfect.



Bright blooms of yarrow are popping up around the garden again.  These flowers do have a tendency to move all over the garden, but I have come to let them go.  After all the feathery foliage and beautiful blossoms are a welcome sight from spring through fall.  I find the more moisture they get, the happier they are.  Who wouldn’t want to see this bright flower in fall when all others have gone to sleep?  I know the pollinators are happy to see it still blooming.



Native geraniums are back too brightening up the fall garden.  I am amazed at this plant.  It never really stops flowering if you deadhead it, even in the heat of summer.  These are my go to flowers, to fill in reliably and bloom in conditions where other more particular flowers would never tread.



My native potentilla ‘Tangerine’ shrub is back for more blooming.  The color is stunning this fall.  Sometimes the heat of summer will wash out the color to a more yellow, but this cool fall weather is producing an incredible flower I am glad I did not miss.




 Dwarf echinacea continues to resurface.  Just when I think it is finished, I find new blooms popping up.  It is just loving this cool, wet weather, and I am loving seeing these bright pink petals.



An unusual rudbeckia has decided to start blooming in the meadow.  It is a small plant but it has a spectacular flower.  I was ecstatic to see it in the cold, rain when most of the other rudbeckias have gone and only seed heads remain.



 For a fall showing, you can’t beat Oakleaf hydrangeas.  The incredible fall show they put on is an added bonus to this native shrub.  I have several and they are a welcome sight in the fall garden.


And speaking of fall color, it is also time to reveal my Autumn Walk Challenge photo.  Carolyn@This Grandmother’s Garden, challenged bloggers to walk everyday this autumn and take your camera to capture your experience.  While most of my walking was done in my garden daily, I was able to get away for a long walk one day to Beaver Lake Nature Center about 45 minutes from my house.  I plan to do a whole post about this for my Beautiful Wildlife Gardens first Saturday in November post.  It is an amazing place every season.  This image is of the lake on a wonderful, still a bit foggy, fall morning.  There were thousands of geese on the other side of the lake out of sight, but this image is one of tranquility.


“Listen!  the wind is rising,
and the air is wild with leaves,
We have had our summer evenings,
now for October eves!”
–  Humbert Wolfe 


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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.


Special Note:  My friends at Walkabout Chronicles have been busy revamping their wonderful website/blog.  Guest posts, like mine, can now be found at Walkabout Chronicle Friends.  My latest post is, Wander.  I hope you enjoy it.

Hope you enjoyed my first post at Beautiful Wildlife Garden, If You Build It….  I blog the first Saturday of every month at BWG.  Check out my next post the first Saturday in November.



I’ll also be joining Tootsie Time’s Fertilizer Friday.  So drop by to check out all the wonderful flowers.




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. tina says:

    The fall color is gorgeous! Your natives are looking mighty good too. Frosts and freezes have been quite late down here as well. What a treat for us all.

    • Donna says:

      I am loving the extended time in the garden but the forecast is about to change for a couple of days later this week. Oh well I can still keep planting. Love to see what survives after the freeze.

  2. Carolyn♥ says:

    That tangerine Potentilla captures my heart! Such a beautifully warm color. Your lake image is enchanting… the reflection of the Autumn colors is stunning. Don’t forget to add your thumbnail to the Autumn Walk Challenge.

    • Donna says:

      I linked in Carolyn. When I first saw the Potentilla, I was immediately struck by the color and had to have it. Then I decided I needed a second one. So glad I did. That lake picture was such a blessing to capture. So glad you enjoyed my autumn walk.

    • Donna says:

      Heather I hope to keep enjoying whatever lovely flowers will keep blooming and then I will capture the dying blooms and changing colors of the garden. I have decided winter , snow, rain will not keep me from my garden.

    • Donna says:

      I was hoping to capture a picture of the geese at the lake, but my bad ankle would not cooperate. So glad you enjoyed the fall garden!!

  3. Donna says:

    You really got a show at Beaver Lake. What a beautiful photo. We are missing quite a bit of the color that we have had in previous years. The deep reds especially. Even the sumac went from red to orange almost overnight. Street trees are almost all yellow. This really makes me wonder what winter will bring. The garden flowers on the other hand are pumping out small showings when they should be settling in for the season. I have been cutting them back to stop the rebloom. I am like you, just waiting to kick back and relax, but with commercial work, that does not happen until December, unless we get nice big snow storms. Can you believe I am wishing for that already?

    • Donna says:

      I cannot believe it…I can barely say the “s” word. We had iffy colors for a while and then they really took hold. I still keep getting strange bloomers and I spied crocus and dwarf Dutch iris putting out foliage. I have never seen this before. Some bulbs will put out some growth and I never worry like daffs but this is a strange fall.

  4. Liz says:


    Lovely photos, it’s a shame to hear you’ve lost your blooms now but hopefully it won’t be long now until the spring bulbs appear for you! 🙂

    The lake photo is stunning; never seem to manage such wonderful colours here, just the odd gem standing out from the rest of the trees.

    • Donna says:

      Liz, where I live in NY is a wonderful place for fall color. I was afraid we wouldn’t get much this fall as the beginning of the season was a bit of a disappointment, but they really have put out some gorgeous colors. With recent storms all but a few trees have leaves. I will plant the rest of my bulbs and dream of spring.

      • Liz says:

        Hi Donna,

        Here it’s quite rare to get the full tones of Autumn like you have in New England and such over there. I think it’s perhaps because you have a lot of acers over there?? Acers aren’t very common here and very few other trees turn reds, most just turn yellow or gold and then die off.
        We do have a lot of Cherries though which sometimes can have very nice colours; but then due to our town planning system, planners do sometimes oppose the planting of cherries considering most ornamental types aren’t natives and therefore look out of place and request the planting of say Oaks, Beech and so on. Although I do like Cherries, I do have to agree with them and if I ever manage to get a planning job I think I would do the same.

  5. Grace says:

    Wow, Donna! That last photo is technicolor extraordinaire! I can see why you wanted to include a photo of that beautiful setting. Have a great week.

    • Donna says:

      Thx Grace. So glad you enjoyed the post and the lake picture. The photography fairies were cooperative that day. All the right elements. Hope you have a wonderful week…and hope the new job is going well…

  6. Carolyn @ Carolyn's Shade Gardens says:

    Still a lot going on in your garden. You have to love garden phlox–mine are still blooming too and some of them started at the end of June. I have never heard the common name Joe Pye used for Eupatorium rugosum. I always hear it called white snakeroot. I am also unclear as to whether it is still a Eupatorium. Anyway it seeds aggressively for me and is very difficult to remove so I call it invasive. I had heard that ‘Chocolate’ was the same way, but yours is the fifth post at least that has recommended it. What do you think?

    • Donna says:

      I have only heard it called Choc Joe Pye and it was tagged as such when I bought it from a native plant nursery. Regular Joe Pye is quite aggressive as a native plant and does seed everywhere, but this Chocolate one does not. I have had it in the same spot for 5 years and it has not moved at all. I just took some pieces and planted them elsewhere in the garden. Choc Joe Pye is currently in a sunny, dry location. Regular Joe Pye seeds from any location and I moved it from the front garden because it was too aggressive. In the back it is more natural and wild looking so I tolerate it. I recommend Choc Joe.

    • Donna says:

      Frances so glad you enjoyed the fall garden. The last photo was such a wonderful sight to behold and I was so thankful I could capture it!!

    • Donna says:

      You are so welcome and glad you could visit to see them. I was afraid with the drought our colors would be bland but they certainly picked up in the last few weeks and lived up to their reputation.

  7. Curbstone Valley Farm says:

    I don’t think the Oak Leaf Hydrangea I grew once ever quite achieved fall color that spectacular! Absolutely beautiful! Your fall foliage by the lake is stunning too, and captured perfectly with its reflection!

    • Donna says:

      Clare I am so glad you liked it. The native Oakleaf hydrangea certainly loves our shorter days and cool weather. It’s what gives it that incredible color we see here.

  8. Alistair says:

    Hello Donna, we haven’t had frost as yet. You really do still have a lot going on in the garden, I cant get enough of the Geraniums, they are such a good all rounder. You had me googling Joe Pye. Such a beautiful scene is the Beaver Lake, I will look forward to your post on it.

    • Donna says:

      Thx Alistair. The bog garden at Beaver Lake will be my main focus and then in spring/summer of next year I will follow some other trails and post about them as well. Sorry about Joe Pye. I sometimes use the common names more often. I hope my geraniums survive the freeze that is coming so I can enjoy them a few weeks more.

  9. HolleyGarden says:

    Oh, wow! What a beautiful photo of the lake with those gorgeous autumn trees reflecting off its mirrored surface. I would love to walk along the shore and see that magnificent scene. Sorry so many of your flowers have already retreated, but you still have some wonderful blooms. Love the chocolate pye weed! And that unusual rudbeckia – what a stunning bloom! I hope you get to enjoy these last blooms for a while longer in your garden.

    • Donna says:

      We are due for snow and a freeze later this week so I fear my blooms are going to be gone. You would love the lake loop trail around this lake. Wonderfully easy, beautiful and only 3 miles around.

  10. Rebecca-the garden-roof coop says:

    Love the photo of the beautiful foliage of the Oakleaf hydrangea! I’ve tried twice to plant this native, but I guess I haven’t put it in the right spot… It’s always been one of my favorite shrubs, and after seeing your fall photo–I think I’ll try again!

    • Donna says:

      So glad you enjoyed the post and the pic of the hydrangea. Oakleaf are a bit different and like it a bit drier and sunnier. They also tolerate a range of soils and do not like it soggy wet. They say that Oakleaf will turn the best shades in fall if they get morning sun and afternoon shade. I find if they get some shade whether morning or afternoon they will turn this gorgeous deep red. Well worth trying again…good luck!!

  11. Sheila says:

    It’s odd how fall brings nostalgia – even when flowers are blooming, I already miss them 🙂 Some lovely photos! I particularly like the spider web and of course, the reflections in the lake. I can’t believe how red your oakleaf hydrangea gets. Mine just turn a pinkish brown. Guess a few hundred miles south mutes the colors!

    • Donna says:

      Sheila we are getting a hard freeze tonight so I will be bidding my garden goodbye. I will see what comes out alive but temps in the 20s should do them all in….I will be lamenting for my garden from now until March or when the snow melts. We are getting some of that too (sigh). So glad you enjoyed the Oakleaf hydrangea. Info I have read says they like a bit of PM shade for best color.

  12. Gail says:

    Lovely, lovely and lovelier! No frosts yet, but, soon we’ll be saying see you next year to the remaining blooming plants. Happy WW. gail

    • Donna says:

      Well Gail we had the freeze. I will capture pictures of additional freezes this weekend as my work day starts before dawn. The garden remains will be an interesting sight. So glad you enjoyed the wildflowers. Happy WW.

  13. Giga says:

    W swoim ogródku jesienią wolę zdecydowanie jeszcze kwitnące kwiaty, a nie kwiaty “wspomnienia’. Ostatnie zdjęcie – piękne. Pozdrawiam

  14. Tootsie says:

    Your capture of fall is gorgeous!!!
    It does my heart good to tour around the gardens that are linked into my little party…I so wish every one of the people who share lived close enough that I could walk the gardens in person. Thank you so much for sharing with me this week…I hope you will again very soon!
    I am sharing this post on my Facebook page for Tootsie Time
    Hugs and smiles from Alberta Canada to you!
    ¸.•´¸.•*¨) ¸.•*¨)
    (¸.•´ (¸.•´ .•´ ¸¸.•¨¯`•.

    • Donna says:

      Glenda I so love your weekly meme and I especially love your virtual visits. I wish you could visit in person too!! Thx for sharing my blog on FB too!! Hope you had a good weekend!!

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