In love with fall, garden bloggers’ bloom day

The front of my log cabin and one border this morning. With a little rain added to the three-times-a-week watering, Crossfire Fescue is back and green. I overseeded it yesterday.

Easy on the eyes with a cool, come hither attitude, it’s easy to fall for fall.

Symphyotrichum oblongifolium 'October Skies' I took this photo in partial shade, but did nothing to enhance it.

October is one of the best months of the year in Oklahoma, and this year, we welcome the cooler weather with open arms and hearts.

In my bare spots, I also placed terra cotta pots with blooming plants. When it gets very cold, I'll replace the salvias with mums or big, purple kale. I'll overwinter the salvias in my garage and put them in the garden in spring.

Fall is friendly with pumpkins, mums and ghosties calling “Boo” in the night. I suggest placing pumpkins, gourds, or winter squash where you have bare spots, and it will instantly brighten your fall border.

Three gorgeous pumpkins with violas all around them.

As you can see, three is thrice as nice. So, just go do it. If you live in Guthrie, try Terra Cotta–on the main drag into town–for all things fallish, and try not to think about the cost. In Edmond, I suggest the little corner market at 5th and Broadway. They will load your pumpkins into your car with a smile. Spray the bottoms of the pumpkins with some type of clear sealer, and they will last through the entire season. Go ahead, add a mum or a couple of ornamental kale too, and they will help you forget the summer from hell.

Cinderella pumpkin in a bird bath

When you’re at your local nursery, also request good, garden mums and native asters, which are different from florist mums perfectly sheared for fall. These hard-working plants will return year after year, and they are excellent pollinator food for those insects hanging about the last, few, warm days.

Symphyotrichum drummondii var. drummondii (Lindl.), Drummond’s aster (synonyms: Aster drummondii, Aster sagittifolius var. drummondii), one very long name for a sweet native.

So many flowers are showing off for Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day that I may need two posts to cover even a third of them. The salvias just needed a bit cooler weather to really shine for fall. I have both Salvia ‘Wendy’s Wish’ which looks like nothing in a photo, but is so beautiful in the garden, along with ‘Van Houtte’s’, a much more unusual and intense shade of red. Helen Weis talked me into buying ‘Van Houtte’s’ when we were at Bustani. Although in summer, I griped about its performance, it now is beginning to display the kind of glamor she talked about.

Salvia splendens 'Van Houttei.' Bought three plants from Bustani Plant Farm at my friend, Helen's, urging. They languished all summer, but look at them now.

A little rain, a lot of sunshine and milder temperatures have the birds, animals and even people in a swoon over fall. In town, I saw people walking to lunch and talking while birds serenade sweetly from the trees. It was just like Seattle, and the new Whole Foods which opened this week helped too.

Solenostemon scutellarioides, sun coleus with Symphyotrichum lateriflorum 'Lady in Black' aster. I think I accidentally told visitors it was 'Lady in Red,' but now I'm not sure.

Yes, it’s easy to fall for fall.

Conoclinium (Eupatorium) coelestinum, ageratum or mistflower

Many thanks to Carol from May Dreams Gardens who got me outside with my camera to shoot some photos for Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day held on the 15th day of each month. Lately, all I’ve had in my hands are trowels and hoes as I attempt to repair last summer’s brutality. I must say the work has been pure joy.


  1. Gail says:

    What a relief October has been after the summer we’ve all had. The pumpkins are the perfect side dish to the asters. Happy Days! xoxogail

  2. Stephen says:

    May I get some of those seeds from those pumpkins in the ‘three is thrice as nice picture?’ Oh, and don’t post this!!! Seee you Friday night.

  3. Scott Weber says:

    Beautiful post, I’m such a fan of the Cinderella pumpkins…wish I had the room to grow them myself! Love the Mistflower (I feel like I’m seeing it on everyone else’s blog this month, taunting me!)

  4. LOVE these photos of your October garden. The blues jump off the screen. Wonderful, wonderful, and thank you for sharing and inspiring.



  5. Very inspiring Dee! Seeing your pumpkins in bare spots has inspired me to get some to keep the squirrels from digging in my newish perennial bed where plants are still small. I tried ‘Van Houttei’ one year and agree that it was slow at first. But the blooms are lovely and it really gets going in fall.

  6. Kimberley says:

    I join the hordes in admiring the pumpkins strewn about your gardens! What a great way to add a fall feel to a garden that’s still sporting its summer colors, or to a blank space! I’m glad you’re enjoying some milder weather.

  7. pretty vignettes in your photos! garden blogging (the photography part) has made me so much more aware of the need for those in every garden. the “three gorgeous pumpkins with violas” is my fave. i’m relieved for you that the miserable summer of 2011 is past!

  8. Rose says:

    Your patience and perseverance through the long, hot summer have paid off, Dee–your garden is absolutely gorgeous! I love the way you’ve added pumpkins to bare spots in the garden–the perfect touch.

  9. CurtissAnn says:

    How beautiful your photos and your words. Surely fall is one of my favorite seasons. Great relief down here, too. Hugs~

  10. Leslie says:

    Your garden is looking lovely…it has overflowed in joy at the end of those terrible temperatures! I’m so glad for it, and more importantly, you.

  11. Your garden is looking spectacular! I particularly love the coleus/aster combo. I often buy late ornamental cabbages for the garden but I like the idea of adding pumpkins — they look terrific.

  12. After the tough and distressing summer you’ve been through – you must be drinking all this in like the water you’ve been without. Autumn is my favourite season and, of all the photos you have shown of your garden, these, to me, are the loveliest. I find it an interesting and cheerful approach too – that you are sort of using indoor decorating skills to enhance the outdoors. Pumpkins arranged like this look good – and I’m wishing I had space to copy you. (I don’t so I won’t!)

    I hope the rest of the year is as gentle and refreshing and lovely.


  13. Lisa at Greenbow says:

    Your entrance garden makes me want to walk right in and sit right down. Amazing what a little cool weather and rain will do for the spirit and garden. Happy GBBD.

  14. Holleygarden says:

    Oh, I loved this post. Not only are your flowers just gorgeous, but I love that you gave little pointers – like putting pumpkins where bare spots are. They look so festive, who would ever guess? Happy BGGD!

  15. Greggo says:

    It is a pleasure to get back into the garden isn’t it? Thanks for sharing your passion and pleasure. Greggo.

  16. So lovely. I am glad to see someone advocating for hardy mums rather than the garish florist mums. Lots of blue in your garden. Happy GBBD.

  17. Nancy says:

    Beautiful plants and wonderful photography, Dee. Isn’t it heaven outside now? What a huge relief. I love fall too.


  18. Carol says:

    What a great idea to put a sealer on the bottom of pumpkins to make them last longer. Your garden looks wonderful. Hard to imagine now how bad it was during the drought. Yes, fall for Fall and fall in love with gardening and plants all over again. Thank you for joining in for bloom day!

  19. I fall for your garden all the time! But it looks especially splendid after what you’ve (and we’ve) been through. LOVE your idea to include pumpkins. In my case, a perfect way to hide some really bare spots. Happy Bloom Day!

  20. Dear Dee, Your October garden is amazing and obviously you put a lot of work into it. I always get wonderful ideas from your postings, and this is no exception — look for a pumpkin in my birdbath next fall. Happy Bloom Day! P. x

  21. Cindy, MCOK says:

    Dee, it all looks so inviting. I don’t remember seeing a straight-on view of your front door before and I love how welcoming the entrance is!

  22. Frances says:

    I am in love with fall in your garden, Dee! The asters are wonderful and thanks for the pumpkin in the beds idea. That will really brighten things up. Your color choices are superb.

  23. Donna says:

    Dee, I love all the asters in your garden. I have cut mine back already due to all our rain. I bet you are thrilled with the cooler temperatures after the summer that you had. The gardens certainly recovered wonderfully, looking refreshed and vibrant. I love how much blue your garden has, it looks HOT with all those orange pumpkins.

  24. rock rose says:

    The rain has worked its magic. Summer is forgiven as we enjoy these gorgeous fall days. Pumpkins and asters really say fall.

  25. Helen says:

    I like your idea with the terracota pots, I think I might try that next year. I also love the way you decorate your garden with pumpkins

  26. Such a gorgeous autumn garden you have! The blue “October Skies” shot is beautiful. And you salvia are so lovely too. I want to just take a stroll through it all.

    1. Dee Nash says:

      Thank you so much Cindy. I wish you could come with me. Maybe we could pull a few weeds while we’re out there too. Ha!

  27. noel says:


    wow, fall is really lovely in your world, the pumpkins are beautiful in your gardens 🙂

    1. Dee Nash says:

      Noel, I do love pumpkins. Had another idea for them, and I may do it. 🙂 Aloha to you too.

  28. Even though my summer was nothing compared with yours, I too appreciate the cooler days of fall, as does my garden. I love how you scatter and group pumpkins throughout your garden. I may have to steal that idea.

    1. Dee Nash says:

      Oh Sweetie, it’s not stealing. It’s just being inspired. I am so often inspired by your more northern garden. All those prairie beauties. Happy GBBD.~~Dee

  29. Your fall looks amazing, Dee – the asters have me sighing!

    Last year I grew the same salvia – sold as Salvia vanhoutteii, I think. Diana – it came from Barton Springs Nursery here in Austin. But it’s not winter hardy so I took a few cuttings to keep inside over the winter, I now have one small plant limping along, alive but not blooming. Last year it was a 5-foot circle of hummingbird heaven so lush I took a 17-second video of it.

    But the hummers had to find other flowers this year!

    Happy GBBD, Dee~

    Annie at the Transplantable Rose

    1. Dee Nash says:

      Hi Annie, thanks so for sharing your video about this wonderful salvia. It’s worth growing even if we don’t get another season from it I think. Happy GBBD!

  30. Rhonda says:

    A testament to your gardening guts, after such a horrendous summer that it looks so great.

    1. Dee Nash says:

      Thank you Rhonda. It was a terrible summer.

  31. Loving the pumpkin in your birdbath! Believe it or not, I finally had to throw away a gorgeous Cinderella pumpkin that I bought LAST YEAR! It’s been sitting in my vegetable garden all year, and I was so hoping it would make it to the 31st. Almost…but not quite. I’m thrilled to see your garden bouncing back after such a brutal summer. Three cheers for fall!!

    1. Dee Nash says:

      Wow, Rebecca! I can’t believe it lasted so long. I love those Cinderellas. I may have to buy a couple more pumpkins. I was inspired by a designer on Pinterest.

  32. Gorgeous photos! Looks like you survived the summer drought and heat very nicely!

    1. Dee Nash says:

      Oh Karen, I lost a lot of plants, but I just covered up the offensive bits. :))

  33. Rebecca says:

    What a great post and beautiful photos! You’ve inspired me.–I love how you have pumpkins scattered throughout your garden–and in the bird bath! Happy GBBD 🙂

    1. Dee Nash says:

      Thank you so much Rebecca. We do what we can. Happy GBBD to you too.

  34. Nell Jean says:

    I love the blue and purple haze of fall. Marvelous photos.

    1. Dee Nash says:

      Hi Nell Jean, I am just like you. I love the purple haze accented with oranges and yellows.

  35. Diana says:

    Boy, your blooms are just beautiful and your photos are spectacular with that light. I love your idea of potted plants in holes (which now won’t require quite as much watering) and then putting Kale in them later for winter. I love Kale, but never can quite figure out where I want it in my garden. And I have to find that Salvia – I’ve never seen it in a nursery here – I’ll have to check it’s hardiness because it’s calling to me. Glad your temps are cooler too, makes me want to garden and blog againg. Happy GBBD!

    1. Dee Nash says:

      Diana, thank you so much. Early morning light is that golden hour Fairegarden is always touting. I also took some in very late afternoon. Otherwise, it would be so much more washed out. I’m pretty sure ‘Van Houtte’s’ salvia is hardy in your part of Texas. It isn’t hardy here, but not very expensive either. As for the pots, I got the idea last year. I like terra cotta, but of course, we can’t use it in summer. So, I just save these until they don’t need much watering like you said. Happy GBBD.

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