Seasonal Celebrations-Autumn’s Ambition


“The days may not be so bright and balmy—yet the quiet and melancholy that linger around them is fraught with glory. Over everything connected with autumn there lingers some golden spell—some unseen influence that penetrates the soul with its mysterious power.” ~Northern Advocate



Autumn seems a much maligned season coming right on the heels of summer.  Summer, a season, we do not wish to relinquish especially if we know winter will soon be upon us with cold winds and snow.  Many of us wish summer to go on forever, but alas it too has to have time to rest.  So autumn comes in with its changes forcing us to switch gears.  

autumn harvest finalOf course there are many people who love autumn.  I do.  It is a season with amazing splendor.  Cooler days and nights highlighted by stunning changes to foliage, where bright colors makes magic in the trees.  For me autumn does not spell the end of something, but the beginning.  And It comes whether I want it to or not.  Even now the trees and shrubs are shifting and fading their green to wear bright yellow, and even some rust reds.

So I have come to accept its arrival, this season of autumn.  The critters are already preparing.  Many are taking wing to their winter homes or getting ready for the long journey.  It is quiet in the garden come autumn.  A few birds and frogs break the silence.  And all about me insects still nectar and pollinate until the steady cold has them seeking refuge and hibernation.

The garden is not stopping yet.  That will take a series of frosts and freezes which I hope are a long way off.  I have always said autumn is a strange time.  An in-between time.  A time to ready us slowly for the bigger changes winter holds, when here all will be covered in white for many months.

When I get that first whiff of the decaying leaves, something stirs in me.  Bubbles up and brings about a joyousness.  I am renewed in autumn with an energy to see the changes in the landscape on a grander scale.  To let its splendor wash over me.  To rejoice in each bloom still pushing its way to flower.  Each leaf still trying to hang on.DSCN4232

And I feel a connectedness to the earth during this season of change.  Where spring brings renewal and an awakening, autumn brings me a spiritual connection that fires my soul giving me a rush of ambition.  Some have called it a preparation for the restful time in winter, and maybe it is.  But regardless, I am rejuvenated.  There is a fire in my belly to work more in the garden, complete chores and connect with the soil, the bark of the trees.  To see great beauty in the decay….and admire these plants for all they gave me and still give in their decline.

So with autumn coming soon enough it is time to celebrate this change in seasons. 


My autumn mantra:

DSCN5354I found this wonderful quote that has ignited my celebration of autumn:


“October is a fine and dangerous season in America. It is dry and cool and the land is wild with red and gold and crimson, and all the lassitudes of August have seeped out of your blood, and you are full of ambition. It is a wonderful time to begin anything at all.”  – Thomas Merton


Summer’s lazy languishing days are no more when autumn rolls around.  Instead I feel revived by the cooler air and the busyness of the wildlife.  I take my cues from nature, and connect on a deep level to nature at this time.  If my health and body allow me, I plan to do some much needed work in the garden with my hands deep in the soil.  Spend more time outdoors soaking up the sun and misty rain.  To sit in the declining garden and let it penetrate into every pore and through each of my senses.  I hope to garden long into fall, as long as the snow stays at bay.  And we are planning many field trips.  As a student and teacher I always loved field trips.  To get away to a place I have not visited at all or for a long time.  I plan to take many visits and share them here with you.

I hope you will join me in my celebration of autumn (even if you are not a fan of seeing summer go), or whatever season you will be experiencing soon.  Details on how to join in are below.


autumn vase collage

The vase in this post was prepared with autumn in mind.  I went around and found seed heads from Aruncus dioicus, oregano, Queen Anne’s Lace and sunflower.  Then I added some of the dark burgundy foliage from Diablo ninebark also know as Physocarpus opulifolius ‘Monlo’, and a few sprigs of perennial Helianthus pauciflorus ‘Lemon Queen’.  The vase gives me the sense of the harvest of fall, and what the garden is readying for soon.  To take the seeds and scatter them about on the soil, covering them with snow and awaiting the new growing season come spring.


I am joining in with a few memes this week as I prepared the autumn vases you see here:  Cathy@Rambling in the Garden for her wonderful meme, In a Vase on Monday, Today’s Flowers hosted by Denise@An English Girl Rambles and Judith@Lavender Cottage who hosts Mosaic Monday.  Please check out these wonderful blogs and link ups.


Join In The Seasonal Celebration:

As I feel autumn’s call, and celebrate this new season coming soon, I hope you will join in the celebration. I welcome those Down Under who will be celebrating the coming of spring to join in too.  

All you have to do is write a post between now and September 23rd  telling me how you are or will be celebrating the new season.  Then leave a comment on this post with your link so I can include your link in my summary post on September 28th.  

I do hope you will consider joining in the Seasonal Celebrations meme as we celebrate the new season arriving soon to your corner of the world.

And as always, I will be 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 Northern Hemisphere and winter in the Southern Hemisphere.  Write a separate post or combine your Lessons with your Celebrations for one post.


Next up on the blog:  

On Monday, I will have my August garden wrap up.  I hope you will join me. 

I will be 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 Monday.



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

All original content is copyrighted and the sole property of Donna Donabella @ Gardens Eye View, 2010-2015.  Any reprints or use of content or photos is by permission only. 

130 Replies to “Seasonal Celebrations-Autumn’s Ambition”

  1. I am afraid I am one of those who hate to see autumn because it means summer is gone and I feel the cold acutely. Somewhere in my genes there must be a tropical connection! I think looking at it as the beginning, rather than an end, is a good way to cope with it. My work for the remainder of this year will be setting up for the next and I can look forward to seeing the garden develop further as a result.

    1. I completely understand your feelings as I am drawn more to tropical beaches in my dreams knowing long months of cold and snow will descend on us…so I think of my garden not dying but beginning to set down seed and lay down roots for the coming of spring…let’s hope it is a better winter at least better than last year here.

  2. Autumn has become my favorite season. I adore all the colors and the weather is perfect for gardening. It is a time I plan ahead for next spring madly planting and saving seeds. I love the quote you found. I hope the cold and frost will hold off for you so you have a long season to enjoy.

    1. Thanks Karin….I have lots to do and I am only in slow motion these days with chores….so i need all the time I can get this fall.

  3. Hello, I love Autumn too. The colors are lovely. And the birds are already enjoying the seeds on my purple coneflowers. I do not look forward what comes behind Autumn, cold days and snow. Lovely vase and arrangement. Happy Monday, enjoy your new week!

  4. I like very much how you have poised us to ready for the next season and while I enjoy the colours so much, Autumn also brings to me a bit of a huge sigh, for Winter is not so gentle on these old bones and it comes in next. Oh to just remain a while longer in Summer~

    1. I completely understand as my bones think it might be wise to spend more days in warmer places….summer is lingering here with highs in the 90s.

  5. The green vase sets off this fall arrangement nicely Donna. There are signs of autumn everywhere, mostly subtle so far.

    1. Yes the signs are still subtle here too Susie, but by next week we may feel them more as they say we will finally cool off from the 90 degree temps we are having.

  6. It is, indeed, that time of year. August become the back door of summer and September the front door to fall. Your photos of the lake and its beautiful reflection calls this to mind. A lovely post! Thank you and wishing you well!

  7. We just had a touch of autumn over the last few days though the heat has since returned. I take an early morning walk around the neighborhood and every other walker that I met was as invigorated by the crisp cool mornings as I was.

    This is such a lovely post, both in narrative and photos : )

    1. I am sure the vases will become interesting as fall goes on Anca….I love autumn in my garden, but I am sad to say goodbye to summer.

  8. Your Autumn post is great Donna. I do love Autumn. Walks in the evenings and the smell of woodsmoke in the air from people’s chimneys, seeing the leaves change, cooler days with a nip in the air. That is a cause for me to celebrate the season. Have a great week 🙂

  9. Lovely seasonal words Donna, thanks for sharing them as well as your vase. The greens and yellows and browns hint at the turn of the season, lush with rain yet with signs of a spent summer. A very thoughtful post Donna…

    1. Thanks so much Cathy and I am glad you enjoyed the post….we need a bit of rain here as it has been in the 80s and 90s and dry for about almost 2 weeks….still summer here.

  10. I enjoy when Fall arrives. The landscape turns and all new colors appear. The wildlife is busy and many. Time to ready the earth to rest.

  11. Beautiful post. I love Autumn. I can come out of summer hibernation — it gets way too hot here! The colors of Autumn are my favorite, too. Happy Monday!

  12. Here in Central Texas, our autumn connection is slight and fleeting–definitely a change in light and not quite so hot, but our cool and wet is a bit away. Most of us look forward to autumn as summer is our challenging time. Thank you for this lovely post.

  13. Wonderful blog post! I am so excited for fall here in New England. Visions of apple crisp and pumpkin pie already fill my mind and tastebuds with anticipation. I am from MA and I love to travel to NH to take pictures of the beautiful fall foliage! I’m so ready for the fairs and apple picking while transitioning back into my fall wardrobe. Have a great week!

  14. Another autumn-lover here 🙂

    I love summer too, but it can get so hot here in Tennessee, that by July and August, I’m ready for the cooler and more comfortable days of autumn.

    And this year, I have about 40 plants I’m looking to add to the garden in the cool, comfortable, hopefully just-right-for-planting days of late September into October! 🙂

    Some of the leaves are just beginning to turn, some of the perennials have pooped out or gone to seed, but others (Cosmos, Vitex) are going strong and some (asters, goldenrods, Caryopteris, etc.) are just ramping up.

    It’s a beautiful time of year!!

  15. As usual a great post Donna. I don’t normally mind autumn but this year is different. I think because we have had no real summer it’s disappointing to think that autumn is not far away and hope for an Indian Summer fades more and more as the days pass.

  16. Here in the Pacific Northwest we had our first rain (and wind) storm since March! This is very unusual for us. I was thrilled and spent hours on the front porch watching the rain come down in sheets and almost hearing the sound of the parched trees—especially the big leaf maples, who are putting out volumes of seed pods for survival!—sucking in the water. I LOVE Autumn. I was born on September 2nd, a Labor Day baby and this is my season–the transition time between the harvest and the rest.

    Donna, I have a question: you know I have been focusing heavily on my new print version of “The Beet Goes On.” Is a post about that launch appropriate for your seasonal changes? It seems not, but I thought I would ask. (I just ordered 25 books, and have prepared envelopes for you and Elena–they should arrive this week.)

  17. I’m celebrating the beauty of Autumn…the return of crisp air, and golden days…that quote is stunning by the way, and so true.

    We also love Autumn because it means the end of tourist season, of getting back on the highway without waiting forever, less traffic, less people…the birds flying back in, the leaves turning.

    I’m leaving a link to my post The Cold Shoulder, the moment summer turns on us…thanks so much Donna.

  18. I love autumn too Donna. I enjoy seasonal changes and look forward to seeing what’s coming next. This was an interesting article and certainly got me thinking and planning. Thanks for the invite to join in with your Seasonal Celebrations event. Gillian

  19. Autumn has a different feel in the Hill Country of central Texas than in the hills of the Missouri Ozarks. And certainly no winter snows in sight. I saw this quote on a bench in Wisconsin:
    “Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower.” .. Albert Camus

  20. I love autumn and can’t wait for it’s arrival. Here in hot, dry SoCal, autumn not only brings cooler temperatures and the promise of rain but also the hope that comes as we refresh our gardens. Your vase is a wonderful salute to a season I hope to see arrive here soon.

  21. I enjoy reading your seasonal thoughts Donna. I intend to hang on to summer (whatever the weather) until the end of September. Actually my son’s birthday on 28 September always marks the beginning of autumn for me. Gorgeous colours today though.

    1. I love summer too and hope September is warmer than usual as they say it will be…let summer run its course…although temps in the 90s with no rain as we are having is very unusual here….enjoy your summer!

  22. Dry and hot is not my favorite combination, so I would welcome Autumn even were it not such a burnished season. You found some good quotes, but your prose hardly needed any propping up. Happy Autumn!

  23. Like you Donna, I love autumn and the changes it brings. We’re lucky to have the blazing fall colours to look forward to, for others it’s just another month on the calendar closer to winter.
    I never do a spring cleaning, I prefer to do it in fall after the windows are closed and then everything gets a thorough dust and wash. This season brings me energy with the cooler weather and it’s well put to use.
    Thanks for linking to Mosaic Monday.

  24. Your quotes are excellent. When I was growing up in Texas spring and fall were the only comfortable seasons, so I loved crunching the fallen leaves as I walked and the brisk air. So I still get a lift from the cool air but fall means I have to do a serious amount of work getting rid of the summer’s errant blackberry weedy growth and harvesting fruits and vegetables. We had such a hot summer that I don’t think I will miss it as much as last year, though I would like the chance to harvest more eggplants since I have so many nice plants this year.

  25. I do like autumn. I like photographing the leaves changing – catching foliage before it passes is an annual task. I hate the heat, but I will miss my daughter when she goes back to school (and this is only 8th grade – imagine how much I miss her big brothers who are in college and overseas!). I decided to be a little brave and planted some lettuce and kale seeds (they germinated!).

  26. I have to agree that fall is my most favorite season too. I even like winter and pray for snow in the winter because we get so little normally in NC. I am most looking forward to sitting outside on my nearly completed front porch, as long as the season allows! Last year, I thought our leaves would never change and this year, many are already turning color! Every year brings something new and different. Enjoy your week, Donna 🙂

  27. What an absolutely wonderful quote! Fall has always been my favorite season. There is just something about the crisp fall air and the cooler weather. I love planting bulbs and dreaming of what my garden is going to look like next spring.

  28. Summer is hard to let go of…but I do like Autumn, too…and Winter…not Spring as it’s Spring here in West Texas where the wind and sand blows most every day.

  29. You write so beautifully Donna, I could almost smell the Autumn air and hear the birds and insects on their hunt for seeds to feast on before they move on!
    I love Autumn too and it is my favourite season – I enjoy the quiet and the way the garden slowly and carefully prepares itself for the onset of Winter.
    It’s the 1st of September and on my side of the world it signifies the start of Spring.
    I enjoy inspecting my garden every morning, with my mug of tea in hand to welcome any new little plants that have arrived overnight!
    I’ve spent Winter perusing plant catalogues and making plant lists.
    I’m now preparing the beds, digging in compost and waiting for the warmer weather to arrive!
    Enjoy your Autumn days Donna.

  30. Lots to think about. The seasons are wonderful. I like each one, and the fact that they come round and round, and each one when it returns is never quite the same….Autumn in all its glory…..

  31. Beautiful post, Donna!
    For me too autumn means more new beginnings than ends, and much more than the New Year in January does. Nothing is happier than a bright, sunny autumn day and few moments are as suitable for contemplating life as the quiet and gentle autumn days.
    Your photos are beautiful, as always, and full of light. Have a lovely autumn!

  32. While spring is my favorite season, I do enjoy the changing of the colors. Here our urban landscapes are showing more color as more colorful and interesting landscape materials are being added, plants that we did t used to have much of, like the fire red maples. I always enjoy vases very much.

  33. You have expressed so beautifully just how I feel every autumn! Last week’s cooler temperatures invigorated me for a few days, but the heat and humidity are back this week, and I’m feeling unmotivated again. I’m ready for cooler, crisper days and a chance to tidy up the garden before the snow flies. I only wish that spring and fall lasted much longer!

  34. We have such different views of autumn, but we both like it. For me here in Italy it is like a second spring, when autumn rains encourage plants of put on new foliage and flower again. Autumn is showing no signs of arriving quite yet, we are back to scorching sun and temperatures to match late July and early August. This morning at 6.30 am it was already 28°C and it felt as if it reached the high 30’s by mid afternoon. Your climate is so unforgiving, I learn so much from your positive attitude in accepting, even relishing it.

    1. How lovely to have a second spring come autumn Christina. It has not arrived here yet either as the temps are in the 90s, humid and no rain….here’s to celebrating the seasons even when they are bitter cold and snowy….well I will have to work on that one a bit more!

  35. When we were full- time RVers, we always said we were chasing Autumn as we traveled. It was our favorite season! We still enjoy it and are grateful we had a chance to experience it in so many parts of our beautiful country! Your pictures and words are a perfect ode to the season.

  36. Oh I’m a fan of autumn too Donna especially after a decent summer. There’s still time though for some warm days she says hopefully. What an attractive vase. The seed heads reflect the fact that the year is rapidly turning but promise fresh growth in the future.

  37. Hi Donna again!

    Here is my post for your seasonal celebrations:
    It shows how challenging it can be for one woman to manage a farm with six sheep dogs and a large herd going into the cooler season. What have I learned? In a word: GRATITUDE for the efforts and vast kindness of others….

  38. Well said, Donna! One of the things that I look forward to during the fall is pumpkin-flavoured everything!!!

  39. I love this, ” Where spring brings renewal and an awakening, autumn brings me a spiritual connection that fires my soul giving me a rush of ambition.” Yes, that resonates for me, too and also I love the close-up and far-away perspectives in the image right next to that portion.

    A beautiful post, Donna. 🙂

  40. Your photos are a wonderful representation of the coming season. I love autumn! In fact, I call it my “second spring,” because the garden and I both experience a rejuvenation after the dreadful heat and humidity of our summer. All the wonderful colors, a new burst of flowers, cooler, drier air and moderate temperatures, and football! And though our winters may be fickle with 70 degrees one day and then single digit temps the next – and there may be weeks of gloomy rain with not a single snowflake – the good thing about our winters is that they are short! So I can truly say summer is my least favorite season. Everyone around here is SO excited that autumn is coming.

    1. Your fall and winter do sound wonderful….and I can understand why summer can be not a favorite season…in AZ where I used to live, it is a harsh season with temps around 110 daily….I would love winter there too!

  41. I love the smells of autumn. Soil coming back to life, how pecan leaves smell sweet like syrup and the approaching smell of the clean north wind. So good.

  42. Count me as another autumn-lover. I think many of us who made careers in education have a special fondness for this season of new beginnings. The summer heat finally dissipated here today and I am celebrating the cool air of autumn.

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