Blooms Day: Mid-September in Toronto

Hope you like nasturtiums; hope you like orange; and really hope you like orange nasturtiums. Because you’d see an armload of them in my garden this September of 2009.

The three packages of Tropaeolum majus ‘Paintbox’ planted last May would be appropriately named. If… if… most of the little squares in your paintbox were filled with orange. Then again, this orange is vibrant enough to have its very own dimension. There’s something to be said for that.

A colour that hot and bright, and the autumn palette has so many of those, is nicely balanced by silver or white — like the garlic chives (Allium tuberosum) here.

(Please ignore the weeds. These are at such a level right now, that with better conscience I might write about Garden Bloggers’ Weeds Day.)

So you don’t get the wrong idea when looking at that sweep of orange in the back garden: at left, witness the result of the nasturtium seeds I planted in the front (oh so dry, oh so shady) garden.

Not only did it produce just one measly plant, just one from a whole packet of seeds, but it’s one measly plant.

And it’s… orange.

Thank heaven for foliage at this time of year. Daphne ‘Carol Mackie’ is looking divine after our summerless summer, and even better paired with Hosta ‘Striptease’ – one of my favourite foliage couples.

(Please ignore the filigree in the hosta leaves. This year, all my hostas quickly entered the ABC category: Already Been Chewed.)

Atypically, the morning glories (Ipomoea purpurea) which usually devour my garden by mid-September seem to have gone on a bit of a diet. Big-sister Toronto Gardens garden not on the menu this year, eh?

Oh, but look who’s coming to dinner.

To see what’s blooming in mid-September in gardens around the world, visit May Dreams Gardens, where on the 15th of every month, Carol invites garden bloggers to share their experience.


  1. Hiya Helen,

    You say you want to know what I am thinking –
    Well, I bet those two sisters are now just as mischievous as when they were sitting amongst the lettuces.

    How nice to be still so close.

    BTW, you call that filigree? Your ABC is nothing, but NOTHING compared to mine.
    You can send me some Toronto snails any day, if they are that modest:-)

    The red/white combination is nice and cheery.

  2. I planted a whack of Empress of India nasturtiums (from seed – I got them from Renee's) under my Norway and they've done remarkably well. I think I get more sun than you do though; they pretty much bake in the late afternoon. But perhaps Empress is tougher?


  3. My first time visiting here, thanks to GBBD. I really like the orange and white together. And the lone morning glory bloom…luv that photo. How lucky you are to have a wonderful, fun sister/sister relationship. Enjoy.

  4. The organge nasturtiums are gorgeous! I planted some this year next to my rose bush, and inadvertently found out it makes a great cover for when the rose bush's leaves start to go to crap (I don't care enough to stop that from happening). Going to do it again next year. I was lucky enough to get some yellow and orange-yellow in my "jewel mix." Have to remember to take some pics of it now!

  5. I wish my nasturtiums had turned out half as nice as yours! In my neck of the woods it rained all summer and that wasn't helpful in the blooming department. That lone morning glory is great next to that vibrant orange. Great color choices!

  6. I love everything about nasturtiums; the flowers, the leaves, the fragrance, and their generosity in returning year after year (where they are happy!) My favorite variety is 'Moonlight' a pale yellow climber that is a nice alternative to retina-searing orange. I also love a nice fat border of mixed colors, and have fond memories of the nosegays my daughter would pick for me (a great plant for children!) Thanks Helen!

  7. I love orange, and I think your garden looks great. I'm always thrilled if someone is nibbling at my plants, as long as they don't disappear for good. More food for the birds!

  8. If it makes you feel any better, my ABC 'Striptease' looks worse than yours. You may have only orange Nasturtiums, but at least you've got some (or only 1 in the shade). I forgot to plant my seeds. Sniff, sniff. Your combination of orange Nasturtiums & white garlic chives really pops!

  9. Oh my yes, I love orange, especially at this time of year. And I adore nasturtiums, as much for those pretty leaves as for the flowers. They don't grow well here–too hot–so I'll admire them on your blog instead.

  10. Thanks for posting. I was born in Guelph and I can still picture the wonderful bounty of my Grandmother's garden where the days of high summer are truly to be treasured and the flowers come forth like they know that their days are numbered. Note to self – More Nasturtiums next year…

  11. Oh, Susan – that combo of 'Carol Mackie' and Hosta 'Striptease' is so elegant! I LOVE IT! And who can not smile when confronted with a blooming nasturtium? I dare anyone to try!
    Great bloom day post!

  12. Oh – SARAH is what I meant!!! Boo on me – it's late! Forgive me, dear pal! I do this … if it's any consolation I once posted a huge kudos to the Gardenwiseguy on my blog and called him 'Billy GoodWIN' – boo!
    My bad … when I read what I'd posted i was MORTIFIED!
    Still, Fantastic bloom day post!

  13. The bright nasturtium stands out in your garden – a color to be noticed!

    Love the daphne. I planted one last spring. It's now about 1' tall. Can't wait to see it grow and smell the fragrance of its bloom. I didn't really think about the color of the leaves – Looks great in the fall garden.

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