These are a few of our favourite things.

September 10, Port Medway

A tangle of bottle brush grass and echinacea in the pollinator garden.


Dear Lynn

Time to go back to the big city for a bit. Things to do, people to see. Lynn, you asked if there were any particular images I would take back with me in my mind’s eye. One is the Jerusalem Artichokes, those beautiful tall  yellow plants which flowered about ten days ago. At six or seven feet tall, they tower over just about everything else. I particularly like how they rise above the grasses on the other side of our Newfoundland fence. 

Jerusalem artichoke, a welcome late bloomer. I planted some a few years ago but tidal surges scuttled those. I “tossed” these closer to the house and lo and behold! I have to thin out the main patch so we can look forward to more by the fence next year.

And then two images that might surprise you… The rejuvenated elderberry in the circular garden gives me great pleasure. I thought the plant was finished when I cut off that large part destroyed by verticillium wilt, but no, I didn’t give it enough credit for resilience.

Elderberry (with our resident and fervent reader not distracted one bit by the rudbeckia and phlox); and below, with Montauk daisy in the background, a lovely colour scheme.

And then the anemones we transplanted from the cottage garden to the roadside, as an experiment. We transplanted two, you will recall, under drought-like conditions. One immediately died, and the other looked very dicey indeed. But, lo and behold, the other one, the dicey one, is alive and struggling to flower! Even in these dark days, life goes on.

The anemone was a trial planting (these are best moved in the springtime) to see how they’d look as replacements for the Cimicifuga and wax bells (Kirengeshoma palmata) which withered when we lost our shade canopy. I’ll give this stalwart survivor some friends next May.

September 22, Beach Meadows
Dear Philip,

There is a soft wind picking up as I write.  We’re expecting “Teddy”, a post tropical storm to move through here soon and boy, you can tell it’s a storm by the way the wind is moving through the trees. Gentle rustlings and then dead calm over and again. This will be followed by great and sustained gusts whipping the trees near prone later. The weather folks are calling for Teddy to hit our coast tomorrow so the house will no doubt be swaying, too. It will be a long night: The winds and rain are starting to kick in. Who knows what havoc Teddy will wreak and what the gardens will look like come Thursday morning (this is a two day event apparently). Good thing I photographed the gardens for our “These are a few of our favourite things” post already.

The second bloom of delphinium, something we both rejoice in every September! Here, as a vibrant backdrop to allium in demise but still beautiful to me.

I waited a couple of days before returning to work in the gardens after you, Cynthia and Misty decamped to Toronto. It’s a sad day for me when you leave and showing up the next day makes your absence feel sudden and the place abruptly empty; I’ve learned to hold off a bit now. It’s not like I stay home “pantsdrunk” or anything but a couple of days to work here at home and let the change sink in is the way to go, a gentler segue in concert with the melancholy of the changing seasons. Autumn; so bittersweet. On my return, I revisited our walk-about where I asked you what your favourite things in the garden are now and I thought I’d chime in with mine, too. I’ll report back with photos and a post-storm report.  Yours, as always. Lynn 

It is no secret that Amsonia hubrichtii, (Hubricht’s Bluestar) is my favourite plant but I love it even more with the late addition to the main seaside garden. I love that the colour of the echinacea’s seed head complements the amsonia’s autumn colours.

Liatris alba with echinops ritro. The seaside garden is complete…

The pollinator garden surprised this year. Despite a drought, flowers continue to flourish well into September. The Russian Sage is in full splendour. The top and bottom photos were taken from the cottage kitchen window: I was organizing the seeds I’d collected (the kitchen is command central for next year’s plans …another blog post!), and happened to glance out at the milkweed seed pods. I love this garden.

14 thoughts on “These are a few of our favourite things.”

  1. Sitting here, on the west coast with fires to the south and floods to the south-east, I sometimes despair of what we have done to the natural world. And then I read this blog. Thank you so much.

    Miss you all.

    Ginny

  2. your gardens continue to amaze…such beautiful colour combos. although our gardens here in ontario start out a couple/few weeks ahead of n.s., currently, they appear to be in sync…interesting. too bad about the kirengeshoma and cimicifuga…2 of my favs this time of year.

    1. Hi Sylvia, I think I cracked the code with the echinops, echinacea alba, liatris alba and that wonderful amsonia (which has offspring so more of that). Next
      year, the Russian sage will really kick in there and then we are DONE (I can see you laughing at that: never done, never done). Hope you and Doug are well.xoL

  3. As each summer disappears and I get older, autumn is more bitter, more sweet – the deeply felt absence of family and friends, framed by the beauty of nature, and of this boldly blooming garden showcased here.
    ps. what is kirengeshoma?

    1. We share sentiments, here Molly. Thank-you for your thoughts and for reading the blog.

      p.s. kirengeshoma palmata = wax bells Perhaps you know these but if not I shall show you.

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