Autumn 2013 – My Gardens “Last Stand”

Orange Chrysanthemums nestle next to the barn door. Due to some minor health problems this summer, I didn’t cut them down a bit in July. And that’s the reason they’ve become “top heavy”. But that’s OK – they look rather “rustic”!

Lots of people absolutely love autumn…. me… not so much… But I am truly enjoying autumn this year. The temperatures have been lovely – warm during the day, with just a hint of cold at night. As usual, one of my bedroom windows is opened a crack all night – even in winter.

Watching my beautiful flowers wither and die always makes me feel just a bit sad. Sure, my chrysanthemums are happy but most of my perennials have stopped blooming. The annuals are still “chugging along” though! Next spring (you always have to think of next spring!) I’m gonna plant a lot more annuals. This year I planted several different types of annual seeds, without bothering to start the plants inside. Many did very well…. not all… but many. As always, I take notes at the end of every growing season – writing down what did well and what is just begging to be moved somewhere else, where it will be happier.

Later today I plan to post recipes for two different types of Snackin’ Cake but, at this moment, I want to share some photos with you of what I think of as My Gardens Last Stand !

These daisy blooms were a surprise – my daisies hadn’t bloomed in weeks ! Several years ago my friend gave me a few small plants and those grew like CRAZY. I’ve given so many daisy plants away and I still have too many. Come spring, they’re gonna be divided BIG TIME and put somewhere where they can spread out as much as they want. (Like right next to the Perennial Sunflowers below.)

Last of the Daises

I brought back a small bit of these Perennial Sunflowers from our farm in Quebec, Canada. Perennial Sunflowers grow to about 5 feet and get HUGE within a few years.  I’ve had to divide them several times already. Next spring… they’re getting moved to a more suitable spot…perhaps at the far end of my property where they can grow as big as they like!

Perennial Sunflowers

I’m in love with Dahlias! (They’re the red flowers on tall stalks.) You dig up the tubers in fall and store them away until spring. They can be planted pretty early, although it takes them awhile to bloom. But once they do bloom, they bloom until frost.  And aren’t the pink flowers pretty? They’re called Double Click Cosmos and I planted the seeds directly in the ground. The white Cosmos were also sown outside. They’re just regular Cosmos but they’re still lovely.

porch and flowers

A friend of mine gave me a few dahlia bulbs several years ago. Guess what? Dahlias have “babies”, meaning that in autumn, when you dig up the tubers, you find more than what you originally planted. Which means you can give Dahlia tubers to friends and family, which makes them very happy! Just remember, when you re-plant them in the spring, only the tubers which show little sprouts (like potatoes do) will grow a new plant. (I learned this the hard way….)

Red Dahlias

I also love Marigolds. Not the orange ones – the yellow ones. In fact, my husband used to call me “Marigold” to tease me. When I was younger, I don’t think they had the fabulous, tall marigolds we can buy today. I bought these plants at a local grower… one of the few who actually still starts their own plants from seed and not plugs purchased elsewhere.

Yellow Marigolds and Deck

Zinnias can be a bit temperamental. They sometimes get “rusty” but they’re worth the effort because they’re hardy and bloom profusely. These plants, too, were begun by planting seeds directly into ground. And what a terrific surprise they were. They’re almost 3 feet tall.


I wasn’t going to bother sharing photos of my Cleome but it’s just such a wonderful annual. The plants grow really tall and lush, and look more like a perennial than an annual. And you can save the seeds from your plants to plant the following spring.  Actually, very often Cleome reseeds itself!!


I hope you’ve enjoyed your little “tour” of some of the flowers in my gardens. If, during the upcoming winter months, you miss summer/autumn – you can return to this page and it’ll remind you that planting season will return sooner than we think!

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My Yellow Farmhouse - Cooking with Love!

Sure, it's necessary to eat to survive - but that's not any fun!! The fun comes from cooking, serving and eating with lots of love, I began this blog to share some of the delicious recipes I've gathered over the years. Thanks for dropping by & sharing the love!

5 thoughts on “Autumn 2013 – My Gardens “Last Stand”

  1. I know what you mean when you say ‘watching my plants wither and die” I am always so sad at the end of the growing season. Everything falls off and all the beauty drops to the ground. I always look forward to the next growing season. I love those perennial sunflowers from Quebec, Canada. All those flowers are beautiful and now I know your special name “Marigold” The cleome is spectacular. I love cleome flowers. Have a great day, Cecile. I am heading back to Ontario. Bisous!


  2. We’ve missed you John! I hope you had a wonderful couple of weeks. About my garden, there certainly are lots of areas where there’s nothing left but dried perennial stalks…. Luckily there were enough annuals which still looked “mighty fine” for me to photograph. And now – I’m going to look at your latest recipe!!


  3. I very much enjoyed this tour of your garden, Cecile. Thank you. Everything still looks so fresh and vibrant. My recent absence left its toll on my garden and it really does look like it’s ready for Fall to get here. In fact, I was considering pulling the tomato plants and storing their post for next Spring. Time marches on …


  4. Thanks Pamela. You’re going to chuckle. I just got home from going to the store – for Nutella!! (Of course, while there I ended up throwing other things in the carriage to the tune of $86.00 !) The first time I remember seeing Nutella was when we living in Quebec. So I checked the label and – sure enough – it’s made in Canada but imported by a company in New Jersey. I haven’t bought Nuttella since I sold the farm but I told you I was gonna include the Nutella – and I am! I also bought some English Toffee Bits – so the Snackin’ Cake is getting “kicked up by two notches”!!


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