Sunflower season is here

One of the best things about fall (autumn) is the glorious sunflowers that seem to sprout up so quickly this time of year.  Fall is probably my least favourite season, with spring being favourite, but I do like the cheerful sunflowers.  This past spring I planted a variety of sunflower seeds with my grandchildren.  Some in pots on the back deck and a few in my front garden…



Is September the new July?

Normally fall or autumn is my least favourite season as all the plants in my gardens start to die off in preparation for the winter ahead.  The calendar says September 21st was the first day of  autumn, but Mother Nature is displaying something quite different this year. We have had the most beautiful summer-like weather lately here in Ottawa, more summer-like than June, July, and August.

The gardens I work in are all confused.  Many perennials such as roses, clematis, and weigela have rebloomed.


Others, such as peonies and bleeding hearts, that usually look unsightly around this time of year are still green and lush.   Coneflowers have been in bloom all summer and continue to look great.  The monarch butterflies are loving the lasting blossoms…



Is September the new July?  If this is autumn, I’ll take it, weird or not!





Awesome autumn

The best part of autumn is the awesome display of color in the trees and gardens.  Our weather here in Ottawa has been spectacular, in fact so spectacular that I have put off preparing garden beds for the winter.  All of my clients’ gardens are looking great with their late season displays…

…annuals are still going strong, in containers:

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and in the gardens:


late blooming perennials are still glorious:


and ornamental grasses are at their showiest:


I hope we have a few more weeks of this awesome weather to enjoy the gardens before the cold weather hits.

Autumn Colors: Yellow, Orange and Red, oh My!

The best part of autumn is the colors of the trees; the vibrant yellows, oranges and reds with the dark, majestic background of evergreen trees and the brilliant blue sky are spectacular in this part of the world:

I snapped these beautiful pictures as we travelled to and from our cottage to tend to the necessary end of season chores.  The docks are out, the water is turned off, the pipes are drained of water and refilled with anti-freeze, boats are stored etc.  These activities are part of the reason I dislike autumn; they signify the end of summer.

Travel with me and enjoy the scenery on the long and winding road through rural Ontario:

In my gardens and those I tend to, autumn brings a not so colorful change to the plants.  Annuals wither and die as soon as we get an overnight frost, and perennials put all their energy into hibernating for the winter.  Some perennials die right back to the ground, others get brown, crispy and wispy, blowing in the wind; waiting for Mother Nature to rejuvenate them in the spring.  Some perennials thrive in this cooler weather however, holding off their bloom time until autumn when most other plants in the landscape are dull and dreary:

No matter how vibrant and picturesque the autumn colors are, I always look forward to spring!