Bits of Fall Around the Potting Shed


It still feels like summer here in North Carolina, but I’m ready to welcome fall! I’m slowing adding bits of fall around the Potting Shed.


A tricolor pot of mums helps make the transition to fall, blending the colors of both seasons, while summer annuals are still in bloom.


My window boxes are waning after a dry and hot summer, with the exception of the ornamental sweet potato vine that’s still growing by leaps and bounds.


I tucked in some pots of mums and ornamental kale to fill in the holes left from petunias that had expired, until I’m ready to replant the boxes. The sweet potato vine hides the pots that are nestled in the window box.


Sunny ‘Hello Yellow’ milkweed has been blooming all summer and I’ve been on the look out for Monarch butterflies that I saw last summer hoping it would attract them.


I didn’t spot any this summer, but was thrilled to see proof that they stopped by. . .


Monarch eggs and larvae have an estimated survival rate of between 5 – 10%,  but I’m keeping my fingers crossed :)




Limelight hydrangea blooms have taken on burnished hues. . .


And Gulf fritillary butterfly are providing some fall color with wings.


They’re loving the blooms of the lantana, that’s drought and heat tolerant.




Hope you’re enjoying bits of fall where you are!


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  35 comments for “Bits of Fall Around the Potting Shed

  1. Karen
    September 26, 2016 at 6:23 am

    So beautiful, inspires me to rethink my little potting bench! Thanks for the pictures!

  2. dee
    September 26, 2016 at 6:27 am

    So pretty. Are you finding the chrysillis from the Monarchs and Fritillary? Your milkweed looks very healthy. When I lived in San Diego I had great success with both butterflies. It was very rewarding to provide habitat for them.

    • September 26, 2016 at 8:46 am

      Hi Dee, This is the first year I’ve had milkweed so it’s the first I’ve seen of Monarch larvae, no chrysalis seen yet. I have seen and photographed the Fritillary as they emerge:

      • dee
        September 26, 2016 at 6:39 pm

        Nice post on the Fritillary emerging. Have you Googled to see a Monarch chrysalis? Mine usually gravitated to the warmest side of the house or an overhang of my block wall but with a little shade sometime during the day. San Diego gets hot so their instinct kicked in so avoid overheating. The chrysalis will change color when they begin to emerge. Don’t be concerned about milkweed eaten down to twigs if your climate allows time to regrow it will…..that’s part of the cycle. If the Monarchs become established in your garden you will need more milkweed to feed them so they can complete the process. It’s amazing to be part of it. One caution it’s easy to step on the them when they leave the milkweed to find a place to attach….sadly I know this from experience.

  3. Ellen Stillabower
    September 26, 2016 at 6:52 am

    Everything looks very pretty!!! Sweet potato vines are the backbone of a lot of gardens…mine have taken over as has the lantana..the butterflies abound…monarchs have just about devoured my parsley..I managed to save some for cooking…I love the purple among the green of the vine…we are finally going to have some cooling off..can’t wait!! Have a great week at your blog hop!!! 🍁🍂🌾🌻

  4. September 26, 2016 at 6:57 am

    Your window boxes look so lush, Mary, and the pots of mums and kale add to the Fall beauty. I can’t believe how happy your mandevilla vine is! I recently sent my youngest DIL info from your blog on your window box source. The Charleston house that we stayed in had rows of hydrangeas in shades from greenish-pinkish, to blue. Mine are looking pretty sad, in comparison to your pretty ones. Thanks for your Fall inspiration!

  5. Kathi Layfield
    September 26, 2016 at 7:18 am

    Oh, I love how you are transitioning from summer to fall…the color mix is beautiful. An amazing post once again, Mary. Thank you for all your hard work!

  6. September 26, 2016 at 7:33 am

    Mary, your additions of autumn to your potting shed are so perfect. The array of colorful mums are favorites of mine! My garden looks sad, no rain, lots of wind, and high temps have parched our landscape. Sprinklers cannot replace good rain…it looks more desert like than NE Alabama! Even my sweet potato vines gave up! Have a wonderful week!

  7. Linda L
    September 26, 2016 at 8:13 am

    Just a spectacular and inspiring post! Thanks.

  8. Ellen
    September 26, 2016 at 8:33 am

    Your Potting Shed looks beautiful as you transition from summer to Fall. I absolutely love that sweet potato vine, I had never seen it before you posted the photos. I am so taken with your butterfly and caterpillar photos. I am impressed with how close you can get and the clarity, you are a talented photographer with an eye for natural beauty. I always enjoy your posts because you give so much information along with the gorgeous photos. I always learn something new, just proves that you are never to old to learn! Thank-you for another lovely post.

    • September 26, 2016 at 8:39 am

      Thanks so much for your kind and generous comment Ellen!

  9. September 26, 2016 at 9:07 am

    Beautiful photography!

  10. Paula
    September 26, 2016 at 9:07 am

    What a lovely morning post you have to share, its a gloomy morning here. I so enjoyed all your beautiful pictures the up close, and colors of mother nature perfect! I have thought about Fall decorating, but I am not there yet hopefully this week :) !
    Mary~ I know you have said, but where did you find your window boxes?
    Looking forward to !

    • September 26, 2016 at 10:01 am

      Thanks Paula! My window boxes came from They have all different kinds. I went with a Presidential/vinyl box so it wouldn’t fade like wood since they have a western exposure. They also have a sub-irrigation feature for root growth and so they don’t dry out as quickly :)

  11. Virginia
    September 26, 2016 at 9:57 am

    Good morning Mary. So very impressed with how you are transitioning your window boxes and garden around your potting shed. Thanks for sharing your photos of the butterflies and caterpillars. We have had lots of rain in Northeastern North Carolina thanks to tropical storm Julia. Today is a beautiful day and I plan to clean up my gardens from a dry hot summer followed by lots of rain because the remainder of this week looks to be wet. Your post has inspired me to head to the garden center and plant for fall.

    • Carolyn
      September 26, 2016 at 10:25 am

      Mary, I swear both of your Thumbs are as green as that lush Sweet Potato Vine. Beautiful photos!

  12. September 26, 2016 at 10:01 am

    Everything looks so fresh and lush Mary! I love how your bench looks purple in some of the photos as it absorbs color from the window boxes and shade…you do work magic, and the butterflies, oh my! We had a gang of caterpillers wipeout the remaining cherry tomato plants in a matter of hours, it was awful! I am hoping for a bounty of butterflies to make up for it! I’m going to buy some mums as soon as the temps break, yours look so pretty!!

  13. Sue Bingeman
    September 26, 2016 at 10:04 am

    All of your plants look so fresh and healthy! You must do a great job keeping them watered. I struggle to keep my plantings looking that good! Thanks for sharing so many beautiful and inspirational posts.

  14. September 26, 2016 at 10:23 am

    How beautiful! I love the color combo you are using! I am ALWAYS inspired when I see your posts. Have a beautiful day. Our temps ARE “Falling” this week, 70’s all week!!!!

  15. September 26, 2016 at 10:38 am

    Such beautiful photography! I would enjoy spending time in your garden near your potting shed! Your bench is beautiful, and in the photos, sometimes it appears as if the back is purple and the barn red is the seat color. Of course it is all the red, but it would be pretty in the contrasting colors, too! Thanks for inviting me into your garden!

  16. September 26, 2016 at 2:31 pm

    your garden is absolutely gorgeous! We tore up our landscape this past weekend(previous owners had planted mondo grass that had taken over). We planted a few things…2 limelight hydrangeas that I see you have. I welcome any suggestions for the area…easy plants!

  17. Joan
    September 26, 2016 at 2:33 pm

    Thank You for sharing. Everything is beautiful.

  18. September 26, 2016 at 3:12 pm

    As always every thing is beautiful. The mums and pumpkins are great. MY sweet potato vine is going crazy here in my So CA garden.

    Enjoy the week,

  19. September 26, 2016 at 3:52 pm

    That bench & the container full of mums & mini pumpkins just makes me swoon!! Soooo lovely!
    Our whole town is planting the milkweed in hopes of helping the butterflies. Yay YOU!!

  20. September 26, 2016 at 6:03 pm

    I love the mums with the sweet potato vine Mary, it looks very pretty:@)

  21. September 26, 2016 at 6:33 pm

    You would never know how hot it’s been by the looks of your containers. Amazing. Mine died while on vacation for three weeks in August (except the purple queen, and it looked lonely, so out they all went). You have many weeks of joy to look at with all that going on. Nice.

  22. Marilyn
    September 26, 2016 at 6:34 pm

    Your posts are always beautiful and full of great ideas for decorating.

  23. September 27, 2016 at 10:07 am

    Your garden and potting shed are wonderful, I enjoyed my stroll through this post and would love to have you share on my Oh My Heartsie Girls Wordless Wednesday
    Hope you have a great week! :)

  24. Linda K.
    September 27, 2016 at 12:01 pm

    I love the way the sweet potato vines look…reminds me of my mom.

  25. Ingrid
    September 27, 2016 at 1:16 pm

    really beautiful, i wonder how were you able to take pictures of the butterfly, good job!

  26. Loretto
    September 28, 2016 at 11:56 am

    Beautiful -even the “caterpillar”. You inspire me! Thanks.

  27. September 28, 2016 at 5:33 pm

    I love the pretty caterpillar photos! You really have a wonderful photographic eye, My Friend!

  28. Rattlebridge Farm
    September 29, 2016 at 10:37 pm

    Mary, I drank in the colors and beauty as if I were a thirsty petunia. Love your bench, the stones on the path, the limelights, the vine and watering can. I finally had a few lovely hours to play in my garden and shed, and it has made such a difference in my spirit (though the flowers have struggled all summer). You are such an inspiration.

  29. September 30, 2016 at 10:34 am

    I love love your potting shed! I am in the process of working on mine. This weekend I will build the outside window boxes. It is housed in a 40×60 detached building on our property. Potting shed and workshop in one big room and a Margaritaville Bar in the other 1/8th! Photos on my blog.

  30. October 4, 2016 at 9:09 pm

    Awesome with the deep wine and lime green. Our potato vine is still thriving too. Once it cools in the evenings, it will be on the way out. I can’t find ornamental cabbage yet, but when I do will use it abundantly. ‘-)
    Happy Fall, Mary!

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