Garden Photo of the Day

Revisiting the End of Summer

A Canadian gardener looks back at her favorite time of year

Today we’re visiting the garden of Lillian O’Rourke from Waterloo, Ontario. She’s taking us back in time a little to enjoy her garden as it transitioned from summer into fall:

I love the transition from summer to fall. I pretty much plant things in summer that take that transition very well, and the only thing I add is a few mums. I’ve been gardening for most of my life, my grandfather being a master gardener back in the 1950s. My garden in fall consists of nasturtiums, morning glories, and a crabapple tree, which puts on a real show with its little decorative apples for the birds to enjoy in winter.

Nasturtiums (Tropaeolum majus, annual) blooms all summer, but like so many annuals, they reach peak flowering at the end of summer. A small garden helper seems to be enjoying these flowers as well.

A sweet little informal bouquet of nasturtium flowers. You can see that the leaves of this variety are variegated, splashed irregularly with white. Several variegated varieties of nasturtium have this trait, which can add a lot of interest to an already beautiful plant.

A tangle of bright blue morning glories (Ipomoea tricolor ‘Heavenly Blue’, annual). Some people think morning glories are a bit too aggressive, but who can say no to that shade of blue?

I mean really—that color is just perfect.

Brilliant orange crabapples (Malus sp.) make a great display at the end of summer, and birds love them. These lucky birds have a house and a feast all in one spot.

The crabapples make a bold splash of color across the green garden.

What is the end of summer and the beginning of fall without some mums? I love the way these different colors are mingling together.


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View Comments


  1. mjensen 01/04/2019

    i love blue morning glories,my Grandpa always had them ,now me too

  2. User avater
    treasuresmom 01/04/2019

    I love those nasturtiums. I am really too far south for them but as a child my mom managed to get them to grow & bloom one time before it got too hot.

  3. User avater
    meander_michaele 01/04/2019

    Hi, Lillian. Your vase/Nasturtium pairing is delightful...they seem made for each other. I don't think I've ever before fully appreciated just how Wowza a crabapple can be in late summer. And, to think...every crabapple represents a bloom so it must have been magical in the spring as well. Love your 4 legged garden companion...such a cutie.

  4. btucker9675 01/04/2019

    Lovely - and your little spaniel is the perfect garden ornament!

  5. [email protected] 01/04/2019

    What a smile-inducing garden! Are those mums in the ground? Great grouping!

  6. sandyprowse 01/05/2019

    Just delightful. I so enjoyed viewing your autumn garden. The Nasturtium is the only plant I can count on growing from seed, and aren’t they fantastic. Your dog in the photo was great. Fellow Ontario gardener.

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