Garden Photo of the Day

Kielian’s garden in Montana, in Autumn

Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Kielian DeWitt
Today we’re revisiting Kielian DeWitt’s garden in Montana. While we’ve seen Kielian’s garden in winter, spring, and summer, this is our first look at her garden in fall. Kielian says, “These photos show the varying colors of my late September garden in Montana. These are scenes of what I designed in conjunction with mother nature. The last three photos are mother nature’s creations alone.” Spectacular, as always, Kielian. Thanks for sharing the fourth season with us.


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  1. trashywoman62 10/16/2012

    Kielian, your garden is fabulous!! I love the abundance of color and texture, especially against the stones on the house. The morning glory on the wall is so nice. I see some other annuals like zinnias; do you sow the seeds in the ground in the spring or start them inside to get a head start? I am not familiar with your growing season.

    I have some plant identity questions.

    4th photo down on left, what is the purple flower? How about the pinkish red one just behind it?

    6th photo down on left, what are the orange flowers? And the varigated dome behind them with what appears to be yellow flowers? And last but not least, is that a lilac bush in the background? It looks like there are some blue blooms in the shadows on the left. Possibly morning glories growing on it? It's a good idea if that is what is going on. I have started a couple purple clematis growing throughout my weeping bald cypress.

    Thanks for sharing!

  2. User avater
    Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 10/16/2012

    well, I was ready for a fall visit to Montana until I saw the icicles in the last photo! Really beautiful! Especially love the birch? trees.

  3. User avater
    meander_michaele 10/16/2012

    Kielian, I had the refrain of a James Taylor song tickling my brain as I gazed admiringly at your photos..."winter, spring, summer or fall" (ha, I'll have to do a google search to get the rest of the lyrics). But, anyway, if the song was about your garden, the line "never a disappointment no matter what the season" would have to be worked in.
    Everything you have created is a wonderful complement to the natural beauty supplied by Mother Nature. But, brrr, that magical line of late Sept. icicles is a reality check!

  4. davsav 10/16/2012

    As a neighbor NoDak I can't tell you how lonesome it makes me to see your beautiful pictures! What a lovely garden you have and the fall colors are stunning. Thank you so much for sharing. I love them all.

  5. tractor1 10/16/2012

    Great fall color! I like the third photo down on the right, good composition and the only one showing a bit of that big sky country. The watery scene below it would have been postcard perfect had it been shot up from the ground to include some sky. Often to get good photos one much get into some uncomfortable positions. Most of the shots of individual plantings would turn out far better if one were to take the picture while prone down on the ground, even better using one of those small inexpensive tripods. When I go on a photo walk about I carry one of those gardener's kneeling cushions, especially useful when the ground is wet. Thank you for sharing your Montana, Kielian.

  6. wittyone 10/16/2012

    Beautiful flowers and so many for so late in the year! Like trashywoman62 I would like to know what the purple flower is. Almost looks like a zinnia but is so full and what a luscious color!

    Do you ever get a chance to actually use that hammock?

  7. greengrowler 10/16/2012

    I'm pretty sure the purple flowers are annual asters... I've grown them from seed for many years; the seeds drop and if they are happy, will colonize nicely. I also had them in a lovely dark pink color. My favorite aspect of your garden is how it melds in harmony with the natural landscape - Kielian, you have a stunning property!

  8. sheila_schultz 10/16/2012

    You are one lucky woman, Kielian! No matter the season, your gardens are spectacular. Mother Nature must be so pleased to have you as a partner!

  9. annek 10/16/2012

    Thanks everyone, for all your wonderful comments and thoughts. It's so helpful to receive feedback from fellow gardeners.

    @ trashywoman62: To answer your questions, I started some of the zinnias inside starting in April, but also sprinkled a few seeds in the garden, just to see how they'd do. As you would anticipate, the plants that were started inside flowered 3 weeks earlier than the plants seeded outside. (Our growing season isn't too bad, starting the first week of June till the first frost sometime around the middle of October).

    Plant ID: 4th photo down, the purple flower is an annual aster (Callistephus chinensis). I tried them out last summer in my garden, thinking they were perennials, and quite disappointed to find out they were annuals....until this summer when I found that they had reseeded themselves. Yay!

    The pinkish red flower behind it is Jupiter's Beard, (Centranthus ruber var. roseus) a perennial and self sower. Mid-summer, I trim them 1/3 of the way down for a flush of new blooms in the fall.

    6th photo: the almost fluorescent orange flowers are Pot Marigolds (Calendula officinalis). They are an annual that flower and seed prolifically.

    The variegated dome bush behind them is a Red Twig Variegated Dogwood bush. What appears to be 'yellow flowers' are just parts of the variegation. It is one bush that the whitetail deer just love, so it's dome shape is compliments of deer munching.

    You have a good eye for plants! The bush behind the dogwood, is indeed, a lilac bush. And the blue blooms are from an errant delphinium. I had to laugh as I read your guess that the bloom was a clematis, as there is a clematis growing on the other side of the lilac bush! We are definitely on the same page.

    And a question for you: In what zone do weeping bald cypress thrive? I just planted two bald cypress as an experiment to see if they work in our zone 5 climate.

  10. annek 10/16/2012

    @ Vojt and meander1: Well, come on up to Montana despite the icicles...they were a product of a field sprinkler left on during our first 28 degree those freezing stalagtites are man-made! (I forgot to add a clarifying caption on that photo). And vojt, yes, good call, the delicate yellow leaves belong to River Birch.

    @ davsav: where do you live now, that these photos make you lonesome?

    @ tractor1: thanks for your tips on photography! I actually did get on my belly for a couple of the photos, but should have done so more frequently. And I really, truly do need a tripod. Any suggestions?

    @ wittyone: I am ashamed to say I've used the hammock only twice this summer. Sigh.... And GreenGrowler nailed it...the purple flower IS an annual aster

  11. annek 10/16/2012

    @ GreenGrowler and Sheila: Thank you both for your generous comments! I am very spoiled to live in this gorgeous Valley on a piece of property that is outstanding without any gardening input from me. The creek that runs past the house is wild with riparian vegetation on either side and I continuously marvel at its complexity and 'natural order'.

  12. tractor1 10/16/2012

    Annek: One of the flexible tripods works well. fits in a handbag.

    That log cabin is located on 54 acres on the western shore of Spoon Lake (aka 9 Mile Lake) in Colombia Falls, MT... built by and belonged to President Roosevelt. It was listed for sale and I tried to buy it from his grand daughter, Patricia, but in the end she wouldn't part with it... she passed on some ten years ago and I don't know what happened to that property but apparently many very expensive homes have been built by that lake, when I last visited (~1988) it was total wilderness, only that cabin was on the lake... I still have some letters from Patricia.

  13. annek 10/17/2012

    @ Tractor1: I just ordered the flexible tripod on Amazon. Thanks! Wonderful cabin photo...too bad Patricia couldn't part with it. It looks like a gem.

  14. Formandfoliage 10/17/2012


  15. cwheat000 10/17/2012

    Hard to beat the beauty of mother nature. You have done an excellent job of working alongside her.

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