Garden Photo of the Day

The Garden in Transition to Fall

Enjoying the changing seasons

Today we’re visiting with Kathy Witt in Nashville.

I plant, therefore, I photograph! It helps me find joy in the little things. September is a month of transitional warm and cool nights here in Nashville. So before the warm colors of autumn emerge, let’s celebrate the flowers and plants in transition.

impatiens apple blossomThis fading beauty is hanging on nestled in my wall planter with big, heart-shaped leaves of pink, white, and green caladiums (Caladium hybrid, Zones 10–11 or as annual or tender bulb). A warm bed of mosses will preserve caladium bulbs until spring, but a cool 47°F morning ushers in the last days at the garden gala for this double impatiens ‘Apple Blossom’ (Impatiens walleriana ‘Apple Blossom’, annual).

caladiumsBig hearts—caladiums are kindness by the bucketful, thriving anywhere summers are warm.

I love planting caladiums, growing them alongside taro (Colocasia esculenta, Zones 8–10 or as an annual or tender bulb) and coleus, and then allowing them to grow huge into the late summer and early fall.

coleusMore coleus with dark leaves contrast to the bright caladiums.

cosmosThe last of the cosmos (Cosmos bipinnatus, annual) blooming as fall arrives.

coneflowersThe blossoms of these sunlit coneflowers (Echinacea purpurea, Zones 3–8) are still beautiful even as they fade and begin producing seed, which is beloved by goldfinches and other birds.


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View Comments


  1. arboretum 10/09/2020

    you might like the effects of the VERY dark Purple Perilla, which keeps its dark purple through Fall and, while an annual for us in Z5/6, it seeds itself prolifically[and is easy to remove,]
    If you'd like seeds, email your address to me @ [email protected]

    1. dragonfly5 10/09/2020

      @arboretum, Thank you! Yes! The fifth picture is actually Magilla perilla. It is very hardy here and perfect in my bigger patio pots. It’s wonderful planted with purple sage and trailing purple lantana.

  2. Rebeccazone7 10/09/2020

    The lone impatien caught my eye. I have a tub full that are looking less than stellar, but I haven't had the heart to pull them yet. One of the joys of fall is watching the gold finches hanging on to the branches. I didn't grow cosmos this year, but sorely missed them. Thank you for sharing.

    1. dragonfly5 10/09/2020

      Hi Rebecca, The single flower has a few bud friends left. Just a few... hanging in there. I haven’t the heart to pull them yet, either. Love their fading colors and they stand out in close photography. This weekend is the swansong for them.

  3. coastalgardener 10/09/2020

    Lovely plants, lovely photography!

    1. dragonfly5 10/09/2020

      Thank you, coastalgardener! They are both a labor of love.

  4. kadidoo 10/09/2020

    Absolutely beautiful! This lovely lady was my neighbor for more than 10 years and her yard was always magnificent! Her photography was even more beautiful! So wonderful to see her talents recognized!

    1. dragonfly5 10/09/2020

      Thank you, kadidoo! So happy to share it. We share a love of planting, cooking, & photography; and of course, magnolia and hydrangea of all kinds!

  5. User avater
    treasuresmom 10/09/2020

    All so pretty.

    1. dragonfly5 10/09/2020

      Thank you, treasuresmom. Growing joy in small spaces.

  6. User avater
    simplesue 10/09/2020

    Your photography is just AMAZING! The way you captured the glowing light coming through the Cone Flowers and the moisture on the Caladiums! I felt like I was actually in your garden looking at your plants!

    1. dragonfly5 10/09/2020

      Thank you for your kind comments, SimpleSue! So happy you are enjoying them. My mission is complete, then. Happy to share with you. There is beauty in every season.

  7. User avater
    meander_michaele 10/09/2020

    You are a very persuasive evangelist for adding caladiums to one's garden beds...yours are gorgeous! I was wondering if, when you mentioned your calcium bulbs wintering over in a bed of moss, you tucked them underground outdoors, in a garage or basement. If indoors, should the moss be totally dry? I live in the Knoxville area so we probably share similar weather. Thanks for the inspiration about caladiums.

    1. dragonfly5 10/09/2020

      Ha! You got me, there. On a mission to spread a little joy today meander_michaele. Caladiums are widely available and come in a splash of colors. They were troopers while we were “sweltering in place” this summer in TN. Their beautiful, heart shaped leaves were a constant reminder of goodness. I lined pots & wall planters with mosses this summer (irish, sheet, cushion, & fern) that were grown here locally. The mosses are beautiful dried so I will utilize them dry to warm deeper along with a layer of fabric (burlap) wraps in containers outdoors & hope for the best! You could definitely place them in a garage. As a fellow Tennessean, you know how it can be 36 one day in December & 75 the next. Open to your ideas.

      1. User avater
        meander_michaele 10/09/2020

        Love the sentence from your response below..."The only thing better than a TN sunset is a TN sunrise."
        Thanks for your tips on how you plan to store your calcium bulbs. You're going to give your pots extra protection and leave things outdoors, right?

        1. dragonfly5 10/09/2020

          I’ll remove the caladium bulbs from the wall planters when they begin to droop and yellow to “cure” them for a few weeks before plunging them deep into giant pots lined with moss, burlap, etc. I can always add mulch, too. If temps plunge too cold for long periods, I’ll bring the pots inside. Keep in mind...your area is colder than mine, roughly 200 miles east and higher elevation.

          1. User avater
            meander_michaele 10/09/2020

            Thanks for the extra input.

  8. cheryl_c 10/09/2020

    All of your pictures are beautiful, but I love the one of the coneflowers the very best. Such a golden glow.
    Thank you for sharing what is truly a labor of love.

    1. dragonfly5 10/09/2020

      Thank you! Glad you are enjoying, them cheryl_c. Had to run & grab my camera for this one as the light changes so fast. Coneflowers are TN state flower. The only thing better than a TN sunset is a TN sunrise. They are beautiful even when fading. Great in containers & in a garden.

    2. dragonfly5 10/09/2020

      Well, actually, the iris is our state flower..but this is a celebrated fellow of the same.

  9. Cenepk10 10/09/2020

    Nice ! Beautiful flowers/plants photographed beautifully.

    1. dragonfly5 10/09/2020

      Thank you, Cenepk10.

  10. btucker9675 10/09/2020

    So very pretty! And I'm going to try the caladium tricks here south of Charlotte. I haven't put them in the ground here because I didn't want to dig them every year but maybe the "pot moss and burlap blanket" idea will work for me - I have a 3 car garage and use space to overwinter things in pots that don't like to freeze so it should work! Thanks for sharing your beautiful plants.

    1. dragonfly5 10/09/2020

      Thanks, BTucker9675. My pleasure. Trust what you know works for you. I’m familiar with what grows in TN soil & as a home gardener I am always learning. Overwintering can be tricky so check your zone. I bring some potted plants indoors; especially plants from warmer zones (meyer lemon trees, orchids, queen of the night, aloes, etc).

  11. Maggieat11 10/09/2020

    I enjoyed your photos, especially of the coneflowers! I'd love to see more photos from your gardens. Thank you for sharing!

    1. dragonfly5 10/10/2020

      Thank you, Maggieat11. Will do! Glad you are enjoying them.

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