Autumn’s Blooms


What I understand only poorly but trust the garden to teach me is how my vision of beauty itself is part of the process, no less natural than a bee or a bud.  ~Nancy Ross Hugo 



As autumn takes hold and October moves along, the garden continues to bloom.  But not as profusely as before.  Each new bloom is a gift while those that linger are a miracle.  So what has been reblooming and what is still blooming?  I wanted to highlight some special blooms in this Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day (GBBD) post as they are bravely facing frosts and not stopping.

Garden Bloggers Bloom Day is hosted by Carol@May Dreams Gardens on the 15th of each month. I am also linking in with Judith@Lavender Cottage who hosts Mosaic Monday.





I adore my fall crocus or Colchicum.  It looks stunning in the first rays of the morning sun with just a bit of dew still lingering on the petals.




fall crocus

I have several different ones all un-named now as I lost the tags, but still quite lovely.  Some are almost covered over by an encroaching garden so I may need to find better spots for them.





Still blooming long are the native Helianthus.  I have a late flowering variety that was coveted by lingering monarchs as they made their way South.  My last monarch left a week ago.  I bid it safe travels.





And when the monarchs aren’t hanging on to these blooms, the bees cover them.





Native asters, now renamed Symphyotrichum, are a big favorite in my fall garden with both pollinators and me.  And monarchs gravitate to my New England asters first (pictured lower left), when they visit on their travels south.  I have many varieties and cultivars.  Some dwarf and some tall.  Some light purple and pink (top of the post), white, darker purple and deep pink.  They seem to surprise me every year by taking up new spots in the garden although I am going to try and divide some clumps and move them to grace other areas of the garden too.  They are all over the meadow but I always want more there.





And the hardy geranium cultivars are blooming again….they will bloom right up until the first freeze which I hope is a long way off.




With the great shifts in the colors of the foliage in the garden, I wanted to highlight some of the standouts.  I am linking in with Pam@Digging for her Foliage Follow Up on the 16th, and Christina@Creating my own garden of the Hesperides for her Garden Bloggers Foliage Day on the 22nd. 



While many look to trees in the garden for colors, I love the foliage of shrubs and perennials.  This is a native red twig dogwood showing off.




DSCN4694 One of my favorite ornamental grasses that is also un-named possibly a switchgrass or Panicum.





I love when the plumes bloom and then the foliage changes into stunning autumn colors.  I leave it up all winter as it is blown by wind and whipped by snow.





In A Vase On Monday

One of the best ways to show off your current blooms and foliage is by picking them and putting them in vases.  As I do every Monday, I am taking flowers from my garden inside with me to savor all week.  These vases have proved to be a wonderful, creative endeavor that I look forward to weekly.  I am joining Cathy@Rambling in the Garden for her meme, In a Vase on Monday.  And I am also linking in with Today’s Flowers hosted by Denise@An English Girl Rambles.  


Even in fall I am finding things growing in the garden to create a lovely arrangement.  This week ….


DSCN5933 ….when I went searching for something different besides helianthus and asters, I encountered a multitude of blooms especially in my front garden.  Some I have used in other vases recently, but I couldn’t resist them again.  This is a perfect vase to show what else is blooming in my garden right now.




oct 2nd wk vase

I shot this vase in shade, indirect light inside, sunlight, and dappled shade.  It looks stunning no matter the light.  You can see 2 blooms of the dark burgundy dahlia that changes color in different light.  And a couple of red knockout roses that have softened with a bit of pink.  A coral pink fairy rose also was blooming profusely so I had to have that in the vase.  And the Japanese anemones were still calling to me with their dusky pink color.DSCN6104

What was different this week was the monkshood that I thought would look too purple and clash in this vase….and boy was I wrong.  I love the colors together.  And so I also added some fading agastache with a similar purple color to the monkshood.  Rounding out the vase was the incredible smelling Salvia Plumosa.  The plume-like, deep rosy-lilac flowers are so big they flop over in the garden.  I wondered how it would look with all the red, pink and purple colors, but it worked well in the vase as a base upon which the other blooms rested.

I thought when I started collecting flowers for this vase the colors might not work well together so I would probably make 2 vases.  But after the first vase was finished, I was so pleased with it I didn’t need to make another.  Although there are enough flowers and foliage in the garden now to make many vases which is amazing given our very cool weather.  


What’s blooming in your garden that you are loving in mid October?  Any surprise blooms?




Watching the growth and development of the plants is a constant source of joy and delight.  You forget the cares and worries, and gather the new courage for the morrow.  ~Benjamin Franklin Albaugh


Next up on the blog:  

Monday I hope to have another Vase post.  And next Wednesday I will be highlighting another native plant.

sharetheloveI am also joining in I Heart Macro with Laura@Shine The Divine that happens every Saturday.  

And I am linking in with Michelle@Rambling Woods for her Nature Notes meme.  It is a great way to see what is happening in nature around the world every Tuesday.


  1. Christina says:

    Love the close-up of the Panicum, it is a beautiful colour. Asters (I’m refusing to use the new name for now) are lovely too and perfect for the pollinators in the autumn garden. So much to enjoy before the frosts arrive in earnest. Your vase is a lovely representation of your garden this week.

    • Laura @ Raise Your Garden says:

      I loved the vase too, I try to do the same when I get time. But life can get so busy. Love the pollinators too and how you seemed to attract some monarchs this year. So sad that your last one left!! My daughters and I raised our own monarchs from an egg this year and it was an amazing experience. Blew us away. Will be planting tons of milkweed in the spring to try to attract them to our yard =)

  2. Cathy Thompson says:

    Enjoyed your superb pictures, as ever, Donna – and those dahlias are so luscious you could eat them. But the grasses are really special – hey are superb in autumn, aren’t they?

  3. Cathy says:

    Some gorgeous photos again Donna, and your vase is stunning – so much colour! I really love the heart in the centre of your mosaic of pictures.

  4. Linda aka Crafty Gardener says:

    You still have a lovely variety of blooms for mid October. We’ve had frost the past couple of nights and the annuals that were left are all droopy now. Thank goodness for the photo memories till next gardening season rolls around again.

  5. Cathy says:

    You are quite right about all the colours as they work so well together, and when you are nearing the end of summer blooms it is good to use what you can. Such bounty! I really must think about salvias after recent posts from various bloggers – and a blue aconitum too. My white one (which I cannot remember buying) was over ages ago… As always, the collage format you use is brilliant!

    • Donna says:

      Thanks Cathy. I was shocked to see the aconitum in the front garden so it must be a volunteer gift that I will see again next fall.

  6. Tina says:

    It’s hard for me to imagine imminent frost in mid-October–we’re just beginning to cool down! I see one or two monarchs in my gardens daily, though not hordes of them like I’d hoped. But, they are travel’n butterflies! Your photos, as always, are lovely! I especially love the mosaic of plumes and grass blades.

    • Donna says:

      So glad you enjoyed the post Tina. It seems we will be having some very cold weather this coming week which is typical as we get past mid-October.

  7. debsgarden says:

    Your fall crocus is wonderful! I hope your first frost is a long way off, too, so that you can share more of your beautiful flowers with us. I love the photo with the bright blooms superimposed on a black and white background; I may have to steal that idea for my own blog!

    • Donna says:

      Steal away Deb…I fear we are due for a freeze soon and the sweet little blooms will be no more….but I still have so much clean up to do before the snow flies, falls and piles up.

  8. Maggie says:

    Donna, thank you for visiting Normandy Life today. It has been such a treat to discover your blog your photographs and mosaics are marvellous as are the flowers and leaves featured in them. My particular favourites are the crocuses. Thanks also for the many links to other blogs and meme’s which I plan on visiting soon.

  9. Judith says:

    if you hadn’t left me a comment I would not have found your stunning blog, so a double thank you from me.
    I love the autumn crocus so much too and have just planted a little patch of my own. In the meantime I am happy to enjoy yours.and the same applies to the asters/Michaelmas daisies. I’m hoping to expand the area mine cover too and enjoyed seeing your different varieties.
    Your vase is as richly coloured as the season. Just gorgeous.

    • Donna says:

      Oh the fall crocus is so worth it. When the foliage comes up in spring it reminds me that in a few months a surprise bloom will be coming. So glad you enjoyed my blog and I hope we will be visiting each other often through the blog world.

  10. S. Leinbach says:

    Nicely done photo shoot. It is always nice to find other people in the north country who love to garden. This land is rich with nutrients and makes for healthy gardening in a perfectly beautiful setting. i love New York gardening even though i have done Pennsylvania gardening most of my lifetime. Nothing like cooler weather to bring out hardier, sturdier plants that survive the winters and thrive in the summer’s not so hot temps, compared to the high temps found in much of south eastern Pennsylvania.

    • Donna says:

      Thanks so much…it is a beautiful place to garden and sometimes quite difficult because of the weather. I think that is why I love native plants because they are so sturdy.

  11. Alistair says:

    Donna, as much as i like the Colchicum, (you have some beauties there) I always have difficulty placing them as invariably I plant them where they will be overgrown by other plants. I think the October surprise blooms in our garden is the Brunnera which caught your attention.

    • Donna says:

      I agree about the Colchicum. The fall crocus are hard for me to place Alistair as the foliage comes up in spring and then fades like other bulbs but no bloom until a few months later. So I either have to endure the fading foliage in plain sight or try and hide it and miss the flowers as they are hidden by other plants.

  12. Angie says:

    I think it’s wonderful that you have so much colour, both foliage and flowers are doing so well there mid October. Colchicum here are long gone and a mere memory now!
    Like you, I don’t think our first frost are far away. It has turned awfully cold today.
    Your vase is perfect in my eyes – each colour compliments the others. I was almost tempted by a similar coloured Aconitum in the GC yesterday but I decided it was too blue and not purple enough for what I needed it for.

  13. susan troccolo says:

    That photograph of the purple crocus with the first rays of the sun is extraordinary, a professional photograph. You should be very proud of that photo. Love your flowers too! I picked a very large bouquet for my mother-in-law’s birthday yesterday and I had the thought as I picked: this may be the last really big bouquet this year….

  14. Kris P says:

    Your garden still looks spectacular in fall, Donna, even with the colder weather closing in. Seeing the beauty of your autumn crocus made me think I must look into the prospect of using some in my own garden but I fear that may need more water than I have to offer. I love all the diverse elements in your fall vase and, as always, your various photo collages are cleverly constructed.

    • Donna says:

      I think the fall crocus may need a bit more moisture Kris as you say. But I hope you can grow them. And so glad you enjoyed the vase….getting close to no more flowers…I wonder how long my vases will continue.

  15. Julie says:

    Hi Donna, our internet speed is so slow today I cannot see your photos, but I thoroughly enjoyed imagining Monarch Butterflies on your Helianthus, that must be a spectacular sight. We have had non stop fierce rain here today and I am hoping they are ok, but my roses have been a late October joy.

    • Donna says:

      Oh I hope you can stop by later…I did not include monarch pictures but will with helianthus on my new blog soon and on my End of the Month Review just for you Julie.

  16. Susie says:

    Donna, your vase is spectacular. Your flowers looks so fresh and work well together. I’m envious of your monkshood–that’s something I haven’t been able to establish here. Must remember to try again. All your photos are so well done too.

  17. Eileen says:

    I love the pretty purple or lilac blooms.. So many pretty flowers, you do have the green thumb.. Lovely images and post.. Enjoy your new week ahead!

  18. Judith @ Lavender Cottage says:

    Love seeing your colchicums Donna, they really are a treat when they emerge. Many of mine have had maturing shrubs cover them over and I’ve had to dig a few up and move them.
    Thank you for linking to Mosaic Monday.

  19. Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti says:

    I never knew there was a fall crocus! Your collages are all very pretty–I’d love to know what photo collage program you use? The heart image was very special!

    I know upstate NY is very beautiful this time of the year –I miss autumn in NY!

    • Donna says:

      It is beautiful here in NY Pat. I use for many collages now and that is what I used for the heart collage. Glad you enjoyed the post and collages.

  20. Hannah says:

    Your fall flowers are lovely, it seems a lot of them are different from mine. Your collage and arrangement are great colors together, the purple monkshood is so cute and goes great with all the red and pink.

  21. Life Images by Jill says:

    beautiful autumn blooms. I love the idea of picking a vase of flowers every Monday. I think I should do that too. I always have a small vase of flowers next to my Mum and Dad’s photo.
    Have a lovely week – enjoy your autumn blooms – and thank you for stopping by my blog this week.

  22. Beth says:

    Lovely! Both in the garden and in the vase. You still have so many beautiful flowers blooming there — thanks for sharing them with us. -Beth

  23. Jane Strong says:

    I haven’t seen any mosaics I like better than yours especially the colors of the lines and different shapes of the cells. What software do you use to create them? Thanks.

  24. Lee@A Guide to Northeastern Gardening says:

    Your fall garden is still abundant with blooms Donna with so much color as well as being photographed and presented so beautifully…especially the black and white of your native Helianthus. Your hardy geranium and fall crocus are also a welcomed sight. I enjoyed my visit to your wonderful gardens!

    • Donna says:

      I am so pleased Lee…the cold weather is putting the blooms to sleep so it is the beautiful fall foliage that stands out in the garden now.

    • Donna says:

      Oh Diane I wish my garden still thought it was summer but cold fall weather is here and the flowers are saying goodbye. Have a great week ahead!

  25. Penny Hommeyer says:

    Hi Donna.. This is my first trip to your blog but it won’t be the last. My husband went to Colgate and I went to Skidmore so I love seeing what your neck of the woods is offering. I really liked your idea of “in a vase Monday” .. I think I’ll borrow it if that’s ok…

    • Donna says:

      Welcome Penny…the idea for the vase on Monday is not mine but I referenced Cathy@Rambling In The Garden who does this every Monday and we all join in…feel free to use it or join in…it is lots of fun!! And I hope to visit your garden often!

  26. Layanee says:

    I love those collages. You have quite a bit in bloom. I also agree that foliage is pretty fine at this time of year. Trees, shrubs or perennials.

  27. Nadezda says:

    Donna, I love your bouquets, such picturesque they are. Asters are in flower in my garden as well and I call them ‘resistant soldier’, because after first frost some tender flowers died but asters did not. I see your geranium bloom till now and mine were cut last week. Happy GBBD!

    • Donna says:

      Thank you! I was surprised to see my geraniums blooms so much Nadezda. The rain and cold have ended most asters now too…not many flowers left here.

  28. Elizabeth says:

    I so enjoyed your beautifully illustrated post, Donna, gorgeous photos – and your flower arrangement is delightful. I’m finding it amazing too just what is still in flower at this time of the year.

  29. Janet/Plantaliscious says:

    I’m afraid I’m rebelling against the aster renaming too Donna, but aren’t they beautiful flowers. I am gradually building up my collection, though I have a way to go before I can compete with yours! Beautiful photos of the foliage too, aren’t grasses magical at this time of year?

  30. Dorothy says:

    Your fall crocus are so pretty. I’ve never seen them around here. It’s probably just too hot. Your vase arrangement is beautiful. What a bright spot of color for you to enjoy inside!

  31. Donna says:

    Actually Dorothy the fall crocus grow in zones 4-9 and are like other spring bulbs they just flower in fall. I don’t see them around here either, but I love them in my garden. Love to add more.

  32. Hari@Yang Saya Suka says:

    Dear Donna,

    It is glad to see your garden, the flowers are all beautiful. I love autumn colors represented on your picts, and your flower arrangement: so stunning!
    Thanks for sharing and stopping by my blog. 🙂

    Greetings from Indonesia,

  33. Helene says:

    What a lovely post Donna, your vase is absolutely beautiful, so colourful. Every year I kick myself for not having planted autumn crocuses, and tell myself that I have to remember to buy some next spring – and when spring comes there are so many other things I get drawn to that I forget about them. I must remember next spring, yours are so pretty, loved the pink colour. And by the way, I bought an aster last week, it was still called ‘Aster’ by the nursery so we are not the only one rebelling….

  34. Laura Bloomsbury says:

    had me drooling over this post Donna as your garden is evidently still so colourful and your images better than ever it seems. I do love Autumn crocus though they need good weather to look their best – easily battered by the winds and rain we’ve been having. p.s. your mention of Monarchs made me wonder if you’d seen the film ‘flight of the butterflies’ & if so what you thought

  35. Marisa says:

    Such gorgeous colours in your autumn garden. I have only seen the simplest single crocuses, so your wonderful double forms have blown me away. Absolutely stunning!

    • Donna says:

      Oh shucks Pam I am blushing. It pleases me that folks enjoy the pictures and vases. My gifts are turning to more foliage as the blooms fade now.

  36. Peter/Outlaw says:

    Beautiful blooms! I love your photo collages! Very creative. I’m also in education (26 years and still in the trenches.) I love my job but am more passionate about gardening and look forward to doing more of that in retirement (ten years but who’s counting?)

  37. Ray says:

    Why, yes, there are some surprise blooms this fall. I have tradescantia blooming, and the tall phlox continues to bloom well past summer with no mildew. And the coleus are out of control.

  38. Rose says:

    Your collages are all so stunning, Donna! My asters are also appearing all over the garden, but their blooms are so welcome in the fall–not only by me, but by the bees and butterflies–that I let them wander wherever they want:) I agree about the foliage of shrubs; they often rival the color of the trees. And the grasses really come into their own in the fall. Beautiful arrangement! Red and purple is a surprising, but great combo.

  39. Dee Nash says:

    Donna, that was a breath of fresh fall air. Lovely. I especially enjoyed your vases. I need to cut more flowers to bring in. There are a few roses still blooming here and lots of dahlias. I think I’ll cut a bouquet today. Thanks for the reminder to enjoy our flowers inside. Also, thanks for the links to bloggers I don’t know. Blogging is such a wide universe anymore. ~~Dee

    • Donna says:

      Dee blogging is a wide universe now. That is why I join in the memes. I love to find new blogs and new creative ways to express myself. Glad you enjoyed the vases. It is amazing what some cut flowers can do for our living space. And it is fun cutting your own. How lucky do I feel….Have a great weekend and thanks for visiting!

      Oh I will probably have a final veg garden post in November to wrap it up for this year although the planning will commence right away for next year so I will add a few posts about the plan while winter takes hold.

    • Donna says:

      Thanks for stopping by Pam!! Our fall colors are fading fast here with the cold weather we have been having so I am glad I could share a bit.

  40. Jean says:

    “Each new bloom is a gift while those that linger are a miracle” exactly expresses my feelings about flowers in October. Several mornings recently, I have looked out my kitchen window in the morning to see a spot of intense blue provided by a morning glory blooming in the fence. What a delight!

    • Donna says:

      Oh I wish I could get Morning Glories to grow…what a gorgeous sight you must have….I am not dissuaded to keep trying though.

  41. Kathy from Cold Climate Gardening says:

    You have a lot blooming and I was especially glad to see your colchicums. I could probably make a guess as to the names if you are interested. In early summer when the leaves turn yellow you can dig them up and divide them and make a bigger patch.

    • Donna says:

      Oh Kathy I would love to know the names…and thank you so much for letting me know when and how to divide and move them. It is on my list for next year. Have a great week.

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