A green space for urban gardeners

Blossoms fight the good fight as one season fades into the next

An epic battle is raging in the garden. As the seasons vie for dominance, witness some flowers continue to boldly blossom while others dry up and wither around them.

This morning I saw an outstanding bloom on a heavenly blue morning glory vine that has winded its way up from a small pot on my balcony deck to the planters attached above it at the railing’s perimeter.

And even more amazing is the flower at the top of this post! Shown from two angles, it’s amazing first for its magnificence — dig the double blossoms — and second, for the fact that I have no idea what it is and no record of planting it!

I’ve just been through my collection of seed packages used in this summer’s garden, and I can’t find one that matches to this flower. Hopefully, one of you can help me identify it…

Weatherwise here in Chicago, while we’ve definitely put the autumnal equinox in our rearview we are still getting pushback from the season past, with some fairly glorious sunny 80 degree days of late. Today was most definitely one of Mother Nature’s gifts.

Still, fall is intent on getting the last word as the sunny days are followed by chilly nights; so we’re cherishing each remaining  moment spent in the garden and trying to come up with ways in which to extend its time line.

What are you doing to get the most out the waning days in the garden? And if you’re one of my blogging friends with a year-round garden climate, what (if anything) changes when you move into a different season?

Leave a comment to let me know…


  Stephanie wrote @

Oh so magnificent! I am sure these blooms are sizeable. The first one, datura? It’s so lovely. And your morning glory is so pleasing.

We are experiencing inconsistent weather nowadays. Sometimes it will rain for a number of days non-stop and now really hot for three days already. The plants that I have out in the open, they will have to be very adaptable.

I hope autumn is not going to be too cold for you and your plants 😀

  linda wrote @

I concur with Stephanie – your mystery bloom is a datura Avis. They look pretty similar to the brugmansia (Angel’s trumpet) in my blog header. They’re often mistaken for one another since they’re really similar. Brugmansias are large tropical shrubs, while daturas are annual (sometimes they’ll last more than one season if they’re overwintered indoors.) Another difference is brugmansia blooms are pendulous, while datura blooms face upwards. If your datura bloom gets pollinated it will develop a nice, fat seed pod. If you decide to bring it in and a seed pod does form, be careful handling it, as they are toxic. Actually both brugmansias and daturas should both be handled carefully, as all parts of them are toxic (and hallucinogenic.)

  City Diggity wrote @

This is really curious, because I did have seeds from years ago for Angel’s Trumpet, but for yellow ones… I may have planted a couple of those, but again, this flower is white and purple, not yellow. I wonder if they may have placed the wrong color seeds in the package… Weird, huh?

  Wendy wrote @

gorgeous blooms! I would also like to know if any changes happen as tropical gardeners move from one season to the next!

  Pam’s English Garden wrote @

Dear Avis, I am glad you still have blooms (and beautiful ones) in your balcony garden. My garden is really winding down now. I deal with fall by planting spring bulbs and doing all I can to prepare for the next garden season. Have a lovely weekend. Pam x

  Amy wrote @

Just stumbled across your fantastic blog! I’ve been growing plants for the first time this year on my three sunny windowsills so great to read about someone else who is cultivating an aerial garden. I’ll definitely be back!

  Carol Nissen wrote @

Hi Avis,
Here in Jersey City I’m getting ready to turn my 6.x8 foot garden box into a coldframe. This year
I have blueberry, blackberry, Lavender, columbine and a few others to go into it. I use heavy gage translucent plastic and drop it at angle for maximum light. It worked very well last winter… I peeked in and the temperature was warm and the condensed moisture was “raining” The chives , mint, peony, columbine, strawberries all came through the winter (they were in pots inside)

  Jo wrote @

How lovely that you’ve still got flowers blooming. My garden is covered in a blanket of snow at the moment, very early for snow here. All my gardening plans have had to be put on hold.

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