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.

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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.