Last of Summer’s Blooms


Magic is not confined to the vegetable garden.  We are nourished as well by the visual beauty of flowers and shrubs.  Throughout the year, a garden lavishes its gifts upon our senses.  

Patricia Monaghan 



At this point in mid-September, the weather is usually warm and sunny.  But in staying with the weird weather these past few seasons, summer is now ending with a cooler should I say cold snap.  The warm weather veg garden has ended and the cooler fall veg garden is under way now.

Of course the flowers in my gardens are still blooming away.  Many are still blooming weeks later than usual and I am fine with that.  So what has been blooming here in my Central NY zone 5b garden?  As I profile my blooms (like the Gaura above), I will be linking in with Garden Bloggers Bloom Day hosted by Carol@May Dreams Gardens.  I am also linking in with Judith@Lavender Cottage who is hosting Mosaic Monday.

And as we are closing another season, I am joining in with Beth@PlantPostings for her wonderful Garden Lessons Learned meme. 

Quick Note:   the winners from my blog anniversary giveaway:  Andrea@igardendaily; Michelle@Rambling Woods, Kris@Late To The Garden Party and Jennifer@Three Dogs in a Garden.  Thanks everyone who dropped by and for all your lovely congrats and well wishes.



susans sept

My native Rudbeckias are pumping out the blooms and I have really enjoyed their months of blooms even as they decline.  




obedient And native Obedient plant continues to keep going much to the glee of the hummingbirds that are lingering.





These unmarked petunias were the only annuals I planted that I did not grow from seed myself this year.  And they were rejected by both insects and hummers all summer.  I did ask the grower to let me know if these were sprayed with any chemicals including insecticides, herbicides and chemical fertilizers.  All they would say is that I could use an organic fertilizer when I got home and they would still do fine…which is garden speak for yes we used chemicals.  

What they failed to tell me was that they also used other chemicals that kept the critters away.  I have never been to this grower before, and my lesson is to stick with those that I know are growing flowers responsibly and for pollinators.  I think the first clue for me will be to see if there are any pollinators hanging around the flowers before I purchase them.  If not, be suspicious.





Sunflowers are still going strong…especially my 10 foot plant that is covered now with over 30 flowers….the pollinators are like kids in a candy store.




DSCN3462Native asters are finally starting to bloom which should be covered by butterflies soon…I hope.




DSCN3757And the native perennial Helianthus are going strong covered by bees.





With the subtle changes in the garden, I am starting to see foliage beginning to move toward fall.  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. 




This Lady Fern’s underside was lit up by the morning sun.  I love the completely different look it has.




DSCN3948And grasses are blooming all around the garden.  The ones I planted like this dwarf Pennisetum, and……




DSCN3864the ones I didn’t like this simple lawn grass that grows from my neighbors yard inside my fence.  





In A Vase On Monday

One of the best ways to show off your current blooms are by picking the pretty flowers 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.  


This week I went around the back gardens looking for lovely small blooms that are showing their stuff…namely miniature roses, hardy geraniums reblooming, asters, daisy mums, tall phlox, sedum, burnet, peppermint blooms and a bit of lemon balm.  All I picked would fill one large vase, but these filled three small vases.  The weather has been gray and cool so the pictures of the vases were taken indoors.




 I am really pleased with how they look even as a collection.





Slightly different view….




DSCN4427Here is the taller vase with asters, pink fairy roses, blooming peppermint, lemon balm and ‘Clara Curtis’ chrysanthemum.




DSCN4429In this vase are the same roses, mums, mint with hardy geranium, small asters and Phlox paniculata ‘Sherbet Cocktail’ with its pink and green flowers.





And finally here is my little Polish pottery creamer with another miniature rose, this one coral in color.   I added small flowering sedum, the same mums and miniature asters, some flowering mint and the maroon burnet.




sm vases

A few more views of these little vases.  They certainly don’t look like fall is here….it looks more like late spring in my house, and I love it.


There is still time to join me in celebrating the new season coming soon to your part of the world.  

Just write a post between now and September 21st.   Leave a link with your comment on the kick-off post of Seasonal Celebrations-Autumn’s Blessings.  I will include your link in my summary post on September 22nd.  


I am collaborating with Beth@Plant Postings and her Lessons Learned meme at this same time.  What lessons have you learned this past season of summer here in the North and winter in the South.  Write a separate post or combine your lessons with your celebrations in one post.


Visit my new blog: 

new blog logo

I wanted to thank all the wonderful people who visited me last Thursday and this past Sunday as I continued to post at my new blog, Living From Happiness.  It is a blog to celebrate life, lessons, change, challenges and creativity.

I do hope you will join me there.  

There will be a new post again this Thursday.



Next up on the blog:  

Wednesday I will have another Garden Book review.  And next Monday, I will have my Seasonal Celebrations wrap up post with a few autumn vases.

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



98 Replies to “Last of Summer’s Blooms”

  1. I think small collections of small vases is charming and the flowers you chose are certainly more spring-like than autumnal. I think Petunias are an over bred plant that probably never attract pollinators so probably not due to chemicals but I think your last comment about checking if insect are attracted when you’re at the nursery is a good idea.

    1. Glad you enjoyed my little vases Christina. I agree about Petunias, but I find if I grow my own or buy from a specific grower that some pollinators and hummers actually do come around. But I made the mistake of trying a closer unknown grower this year. I think maybe I need to try some different flowers in those pots perhaps this coming year anyway.

  2. Lovely vase, well done! And I also like your flowers and grasses. Must plant more Asters and certainly have to get Helianthus Lemon Queen again. Have a great week 🙂

  3. We do have many of the same flowers Donna! Except I don’t have those petunias. I bought a few things from Lowe’s for the Park and then realized I was going to ban them. My obedient plants are everywhere! And my hummers are also still hanging around. The Pineapple Sage finally flowered and that’s a surefire hummer attraction. I have tried and tried to add asters to my garden and they usually end up disappearing – all except for the wild little white one which grows everywhere. I think I may pick up a large New England aster at our local nursery – that may stand a chance. Love the mosaic and the vases! Always appreciate grasses.

    1. Kathy I will be doing my annual ripping out of Obedient plant from several areas although they will come back in the spring, but I need to thin them. Absolutely get some species tall asters and give them another try…mine tend to disappear and then show up in new spots. I have to seed some more in the meadow as they fade there with some of the invasive weeds that nudge them out. I don’t have pineapple sage but I think it is a must for the herb garden next year if hummers love it.

  4. Donna, your vases look fabulous. You certainly have an abundance of blooms and quite a variety. They mix well together and I think collecting them into a grouping of smaller vases gives them even more impact. Susie

    1. Thanks Susie…the miniature fairy roses just called to those little vases. Lots still blooming here but I hope the cold weather won’t harm my blooms for upcoming vases.

  5. That is interesting about the petunias grown with chemicals, a lesson learned here. I always monitor my plants for insect/wildlife activity and if there is none and it doesn’t appeal to me either, out it comes.
    Thanks for linking to Mosaic Monday Donna.

    1. Judith I agree that if I have flowers that are not visited by critters, out they come here too. I know the grower of the petunias supplies our local grocery store chain that is huge in the Eastern US and headquartered in Rochester, NY. I plan to write them and ask them to choose growers that do not use chemicals in growing their plants and flowers.

  6. Happy GBBD! I planted Helianthus for the first time this year, a nice big clump that was given to me by a friend, from a division in her own garden. I love it, it’s blooming up quite a storm.

  7. I really like your approach Donna, I try to grow as much as possible from seed too and try to buy plants where I know its provenance. Saving your own seed is quite addictive, even if it doesn’t always get sown the following year. Plants come alive for me when they are pollinator friendly.

    1. I agree Julie about those pollinator friendly plants…I hope to save more of my own seed and I am careful where I get my seed as well.

  8. I love to look at your blog posts. The photos are always exquisite and your arrangements are also. I also feel that I am educating myself by reading them. Thank you so much Donna and have a great week 🙂

  9. Cold snap or not, there’s a lot going on in your end-of-summer garden, Donna. Your vases, as usual are lovely. I’m very envious of the asters!

  10. Wow, your blooms are all gorgeous.. So many pretty colors and blooms.. what a great end to your garden.. The vases and arrangement are lovely too. Beautiful images, thanks for sharing. Have a happy new week!

  11. Wow, Donna, you have an amazing variety of flowers in your garden!! I’m truly impressed and also a tad envious. 🙂 I love the array of bright colors, shapes, and textures. This really has been a wonderful year for growing things — would love to have more summers like this one.

    Thanks so much for your visit and have a wonderful week!



    1. I agree Denise and thanks. In the flower garden this has been a great year definitely and the vases have been a wonderful part of the garden too.

  12. Such beautiful photos, blooms and plumes! Good for you in choosing not to plant from sources that you don’t know about, ensuring that your flowers are appropriate for the pollinators.

  13. Hi Donna,
    What a lovely plethora of plants and flowers! The mosaics are so interesting and filled with colour. I do admire you gardeners! Thanks for sharing and for your visit today. Have a splendid week.

  14. The vases are all lovely Donna. Such delicate shades of pinks and purples. The tall one I think is my favourite, but together they make a bigger statement. Isn’t it wonderful to have enough flowers to fill three vases and not just one!

  15. You have a lovely blog. Your mosaics are really great – a very nice style for showing different views of the same plant. Happy gardening!

  16. What a joy-filled post. Your flowers are stunning, whether in bloom in your garden or perfectly arranged inside your home! I just smiled and smiled more , the further along I got! Thanks for sharing the love!

  17. Beautiful photos, Donna! I really love the Rudbeckias; they certainly brighten up the waning days of summer. And your arrangements–wow! I’m so impressed how you have combined some “simple” blooms I wouldn’t even think to include in an arrangement. I really need to take lessons from you and Beth on flower arranging.

    1. You are too kind Rose….I have learned so much from other bloggers and it is like art…fun playing with paints and in this case plants.

  18. Your collages are a wonderful way of highlighting your flowers. I am slowly seeing more organic flowers, as well as vegetables, coming into the marketplace. As public demand grows, there will be more. Most people don’t realize that chemicals used to raise plants get into their systems and are passed on to the good insects that they love, like butterflies. Sadly, there are some who may know, but they don’t care. Education is the key. So we bloggers must keep on doing our part!

    1. Perfectly said Deb…we just have to keep up the demand and passing on the knowledge. So glad you enjoyed the blooms as summer moves on until next year.

  19. Your blooms are so beautiful! And that fern is incredible! I love the way you captured that Donna! I have to add the Obedient plant next year…I really like its form and a bonus on its bloom time! And your floral arrangements always put a smile on my face! A wonderful week to you!! Nicole

    1. So glad you like Obedient plant Nicole, but I will warn you it will be aggressive so make sure you give it lots of room. And the hummers love it too!!

  20. This post is to die for, Donna! Your collages are just fabulous, full of color and the different faces of each species. And I love what you say about the pollinators…and how to pay attention to places that sell chemically-laden flowers that don’t welcome your special friends. I’m learning a lot from you!

  21. What a good idea this was – but it shows how it helps to begin with one thing (your miniature roses) and allow that to lead you. They look great as a group as well as individually and the closer up photos show details that we might otherwise miss and again your collages have such an impact! Thanks for joining in Donna – I always enjoy reading the rest of your post too.

    1. Thank you Cathy…so glad you enjoyed the vases. I agree that I usually find a bloom or two that I want to highlight and then I go on a hunt for the accompanying blooms. Then it is fun to arrange them all.

    1. I was smitten the first year I grew it too….and I was afraid the voles destroyed all of mine until I found a few blooming. I love watching them dance on the wind.

  22. I’m envious of that ten foot sunflower Donna! Here all of mine bar one were munched by slugs or snails well before they could flower 🙁 What’s your secret? Three beautiful vases!

    1. Anna the sunflower volunteered one year in a raised bed and it just keeps going. It has lots of loose, very fertile soil and natural fertilizer as it continues to grow amongst the veggies in the beds…

    1. It is a big show-off but we love it Karen. I see it all the time as it is right out our main windows…and all the neighbors see it too. Of course the birds are having a field day with it as well.

  23. When I was in a nursery, the bees were all over the Coreopsis and Echinacea. I am concerned about plants grown with neonicotinoids and not knowing if the plants in nurseries have any. It’s an incentive to start my own flowers from seed. Your fall flowers look wonderful, and I like the arrangements in the cute little vases, especially the pink and purple combinations.

    1. Thank you Hannah. I too want to start more flowers from seed and plant more native flowers as those growers are not using the chemicals either.

  24. I scrolled through your stunning photographs twice, but couldn’t pick out a favorite. Well, perhaps the lady fern, or the grasses, or the obedient plant mosaic, or the Polish, pottery creamer bouquet, or …
    P. x

  25. You captured such pretty light in your foliage pics. I especially love that fern. Thanks for joining in with Foliage Follow-Up again this month, Donna.

    1. So glad you enjoyed the morning light in the garden…and I love looking for some of the best foliage each month thanks to you and your wonderful meme Pam.

  26. Beautiful summer blooms! I wish growers were required to label their plants for chemicals. It would make it much easier! At least some of the bigger box stores are going to start labeling for neonicotinoids. One step at a time, right?

    1. I agree Indie. It is one step in the right direction with the big box stores. Now if we could get local smaller growers to disclose.

    1. Sue I adore stopping your garden and blog by as often as I can…you have such beautiful gardens that inspire. And thank you for your lovely comment.

  27. Your vases are lovely, Donna. I especially like the lavender and pink color combination – a garden color palette that I’ll have to call my favorite. I have a lot of the same things blooming in my garden as you do. My tomatoes are ready to be pulled and I do have radishes and herbs still present. A fall garden has its own beauty.

    1. Thanks Beth….the fall veg garden is interesting…I am never sure what will still produce. We will be pulling our tomatoes, melons and cukes but the squash is till going so I am leaving it. I also have some radishes still growing. Last of the potatoes and onions came out this week as well.

  28. Wow..beautiful…I have sunflowers that haven’t even bloomed yet and I don’t think they will with this cold weather… Darn, I only got a few.. Glad you had enough to enjoy in your vases..Michelle

    1. Oh I hope they do Michelle….if you leave the seed heads up they should reseed. Mine do especially around the mailbox where it stays warm due to the tarvia road.

  29. Really pretty vases Donna, and wonderful photos too. I have a helianthus, which I only planted a couple of months ago, and it is now flowering its socks off! I can see it from the door into the study, a welcome dose of sunshine when I am working. And I feel I should thank you for your native asters which have given us in the uk so many wonderful garden plants. Love them all…

    1. Well we are happy you are so pleased with the asters and that sunny helianthus Janet. I have a late blooming one that the monarchs wait for…it is a deep rich yellow color more like a sunflower and oh it draws the monarchs and bees for weeks.

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