Gardens Eye Journal-July 2012

lavender blooming

“No bought potpourri is so pleasant as that made from ones own garden, for the petals of the flowers one has gathered at home hold the sunshine and memories of summer, and of past summers only the sunny days should be remembered.”

Eleanor Sinclair-Rhode

  June has been the perfect month.  Perfect with roses and clematis blooming profusely.  I have never witnessed quite so many blooms especially from my climbing roses which are about 3 years old now.  I do hope they continue to bloom this way for years to come.  I will feature some in the next GBBD. And there were many other blooms throughout the garden.  With the cool start we are a bit behind with some plants, but they are just starting to bloom as  June ends.  So many in fact that I am forced to show them in collages.  I just don’t want to miss their lovely performance for this journal entry.

I am linking in to many wonderful memes again that are happening this time of the month:  Walk in Garden@This Grandmother’s GardenFirst View@Town Mouse & Country Mouse,  Best and Worst of My Garden@Bumble Lush,  and End of Month View with Helen@The Patient Gardener’s Weblog.  I do love supporting fellow bloggers memes because it is a chance for me to see so many other blogs and learn so much more.  And the “eye candy” from the gardens is just amazing!




Weather Report

After the cool start with temps in the 60s, June’s summer furnace blasted us the rest of the month with record temps in the 90s and high 80s.  There was precious little rain many days just over 3 inches this month.  Of course it is all relative since in many parts of the US they would give anything for those 3 inches right now. I have been noticing the sky as we were spinning toward the solstice on the 20th.  The sun lightens the sky before 5 AM here.  It is a bit farther N over the lake and a more subtle pastel color.  It mellows the start to my day giving me pause for quiet reflection.  And oh what it does to the garden as the colors slowly wake with the birds until they fully brighten.





What’s Growing


Front Garden


Here is a different view of the front walk.  This time I am highlighting the planting bed to the right.  You can see we finally gave the trees a much needed hair cut when the robins fledged.  Roses, scabiosa ‘Butterfly Blue’ and lavender are blooming.  Clematis ‘Crystal Fountain’ is still going strong in my white pyramid trellis close to the tree.  The trellis is wooden and falling apart so we will be replacing it next spring.  This bed needs a bit of weeding, edging and cutting back of blooms.  Actually the bed is blooming even more since I took this picture recently.  The pot contains marigolds grown from seed.



 Here’s a bit more foliage for Christina’s GBFD.  It is variegated Weigelia that sports a gorgeous pastel pink flower that the pollinators and hummers love.  This bush is in the front garden just behind the purple clematis and to the right of the tree pictured above.



Back Garden

These are the red lilies (God I have to get better at remembering names) in the red garden as we overlook the back gardens to the right.  What do I see besides the clover and beds that need weeding and edging?  I see the common milkweed on the edge of the pond left, and the tomato supports in one veg garden, right.  To the left of the gazebo is the white garden.  I thought it might be nice to take a look at the white garden below.



 This garden is still coming into its own with shasta daisies, astilbe and hydrangea.  It does need a good cleaning out of spent bulbs and weeds.  But I am pleased to see the white blooms…hoping white phlox will bloom soon.



 I absolutely adore this plant, astrantia.  I have a few pink flowering plants in moist part-shade and one white plant in the white garden; all in the back gardens.






 Many natives are showing their stuff, but I will save many of them for GBBD.  The yarrow, Achillea millefolium, has been gorgeous in June.  It does love to seed itself around a bit in my garden, but I love the gorgeous colors of the cultivars as pictured in the top row.  The pollinators love them too.  If you have never seen the flowers of common milkweed up close, look bottom left.  I think they are gorgeous with their subtle shade of mauve.  The fireflies hang around this plant as do other pollinators until the dreaded Japanese beetles show up about now.  Next is Asclepias tuberosa ‘Hello Yellow’ or Butterfly Weed.  It is growing near a stand of common milkweed both loved by monarchs.  Last is one of my favorite plants particularly because of the foliage, Heliopsis‘Loraine Sunshine’.




 Most of the annuals pictured here were grown from seed, and many are violas.  I was so overwhelmed at how lovely they bloomed so next year I will again grow them from seed, but I will transplant them sooner indoors a second time and deeper so their root system has a good start for early spring.  The snapdragon, top left, and the white alyssum, top right, were also grown from seed.  The container in the middle are plants that I purchased with a gift certificate (lantana and petunia also pictured in the top row).  Once the container grows in more it will really look lovely.  The middle right container is an interesting view of the petunias in my front porch hanging baskets.







 I really loved this view of the pond through the echinacea bordering it.  The frogs are still hanging out and laying eggs.  Lots of dragonflies now too.  The meadow just starting to put on her summer blooms even with the onslaught of the invasive weeds we are trying to eradicate by hand.  Not much to see yet, and definitely a Worst in the garden, but here is a picture of some of the blooms starting including that pesky teasel in the corner.








 My goodness we have been busy with critters in June.  It is like having a hotel keeping vigil over the habitat.  First up is one of the fledgling robins.  They left the nest June 14th and we miss them.  I am hoping the robins will return soon to start another clutch.  The birds nest is in the nesting box which the bluebirds occupied.  As they left to fledge,  they burst the seams and it fell off the tree.  We promptly bought them a new box and they have since built a new nest and are raising another clutch.  You can see momma bluebird below the picture of the nest.  The doe is a brazen thing.  I had to be 20 feet from her before she would leave.  You can see her turn to look at me not happy that I interrupted her as she was choosing her midday meal.

The next 3 pictures are of a few insects that are in the garden.  I am noticing lots of spiders and some very unusual ones.  Next is one of the dragonflies around the pond, and the lady bug was a welcome sight so I know we are staying aphid free except in the pond which is another Worst this year.  The frog was caught out and about in the garden.  They really love the veg garden area, and I welcome them to combat any and all unwanted critters there.  The young bunny has been visiting from time to time.  She seems to be enjoying the peace of the early morning garden.  I spied a number of birds bathing in the waterfall.  This dove was just sitting up against the back of the waterfall and she made for such a cute picture.  Lastly there was a raptor of some kind who was scoping out the birds in the garden.  The birds quickly chased him off.

The 2 center pictures are the local fox who made an appearance.  We do not think this our boy Axl.  The bird house is the wren house.  They are back and making their presence known singing all day from sun up to sundown.  We missed them last year and can’t wait to see the babies.



Gardens Eye Verse

This stand of meadow type flowers is actually just off the patio out back.  It is how the meadow will look soon, I hope.  Rudbeckia, echinaceas, hardy geranium and liatris just sending up spikes.  I hope you enjoy the summer poem.

Summer Memories

Lazy days beneath the leaves,

Soft rain falling, feel the warm breeze.

Shouts of joy, blooms of gold,

Dreams of childhood; tales to be told.

When finally in my older days,

These are the summer memories that never will fade.

Donna Donabella



Next up on the blog:  Thursday I will be doing a separate post about the veg garden for Garden Bloggers Harvest Day.  So much going on it needed its own post.  Next Monday will time for another Garden Book Review.    Then before you know it, it will be GBBD.  I may be adding in a few extra posts here and there as I miss writing my more contemplative type posts.

I will be linking in with Michelle@Rambling Woods for her Nature Notes meme.  It is a great way to see what is happening in nature around the world every Wednesday. As always,

I’ll be joining Tootsie Time’s Fertilizer Friday. I hope you will join me for my posts, every other Tuesday, at Beautiful Wildlife Garden.  My next post will feature a beautiful, unusual critter with eight legs.

Please remember, to comment click on the title of the post and the page will reload with the comments section.

All content is copyrighted and the sole property of Donna Donabella @ Gardens Eye View.  Any reprints or use of content or photos is by permission only.


  1. Gaia gardener says:

    I think the temperatures here went down about 5 degrees when I looked at the beautiful photo of the lavender that opens this post! The photo of the pond through the Echinacea is also a real eye-catcher – a great shot.

    I am amazed at the number of critters that you are having visit your garden – it’s wonderful! I’ve heard it said that spiders are a sign of a healthy garden, so if you’re getting more in both quantity and variety, I’d say that’s a great sign. And is that bird below the fledgling robin a cuckoo? I can’t tell for sure, but it rather looks like one – one of my favorite species. I especially love their odd calls.

    • Donna says:

      How nice of you to say so about the pictures. I have found so many more critters with the use of native plants and less chemicals. Nice to hear about spiders…they are everywhere and there are some very unusual ones. Thanks for asking about the bird below the robin. I forgot to mention him. It was a raptor of some sort. Too hard to see which one and it was gone too soon as the birds chased it away.

  2. Cathy says:

    Phew! So much in flower, so many creatures and so much to do. I love astrantias too, and the photo of your echinacea is wonderful. Take time in July to sit back and enjoy it all, if you can! (I can’t sit still if there’s dead-heading to do!) 😉

    • Donna says:

      Thx Cathy…I am trying to sit in the garden more and take time to enjoy…but my head fills with so many ideas and changes so I write them down…I have to get to deadheading as well this yr…

    • Donna says:

      You made my day…I am still working on getting my garden design business going as I get ready to retire after this school year…it will be focusing more on natives…love to work with you and visit…

      • Rambling Woods says: are the only gardener who gets me and I want to plant with less lawn..have to be raised beds and I am excited..I know it will be a lot of work and getting the plants will be a challenge..but I would love to work with you….Michelle

  3. Bumblelush says:

    Donna, thanks so much for linking up! There’s so much beautiful color in your garden. I’m quite envious of your container garden and pond. I’m fascinated by your garden critters too. We live in the suburbs but I’ve seen deer and foxes roaming the neighborhoods, a couple of time during the day! It’s cool but a little unsettling to see such creatures in broad daylight in a DC suburb! Great pictures, as always!

    • Donna says:

      My container zukes could be better…yours seem to be doing better than mine. I can understand being unsettled by critters roaming in daylight. More than likely their habitat and food are scarce forcing them out in areas they don’t usually go. So glad you enjoyed the post!

  4. PlantPostings says:

    You’re right, Donna. I would give anything for those 3 inches of rain. We’ve had less than 0.5 inches since the middle of May, and I’m very tired of watching plants die and lugging water around. I don’t even know what to blog about. I’m afraid no one will want to hear me complain. I just got back from a vacation in Branson, which was a lot of fun, but I worried about my plants the whole time. OK, I’ll stop crabbing–sorry. It’s payback time for me, since I posted about perfect weather for months on end. Your plants and your photos are beautiful!

    • Donna says:

      So glad you liked the post Beth and that you got away for a while. I know I whine quite a bit when we have lousy weather so no problem…crab away…it does help…hope rain finds you soon.

  5. tina says:

    The fox is a cutie. I bet he or she helps to keep down the rodent population. Your front garden is most pretty! Looking forward to seeing the roses and clematis.

    • Donna says:

      Thx Tina..yes I do like to see the fox. So glad you enjoyed the front gardens…roses and clematis on GBBD although the roses took a turn with the Japanese beetles..yuck!

  6. Foxglove Lane says:

    So much summer leaping off the page today! My favourite has to be the pond/meadow which looks and sounds heavenly. While we have so much damp mist at the moment my heart was lifted by your bright June garden. Many many thanks for your kindest of messages on my blog too, what a sweetie you are:~)

    • Donna says:

      You are so very welcome. I am glad my post lifted your spirits and I hope more sunshine finds you soon. The pond and meadow are a bit of heaven for sure.

  7. igardendaily says:

    Wow, a lot has been growing in your garden in June! Very impressive. I love the red lilies! Could they be ‘Blackout’? I have some and they look similar. I also love the collages and shots of the yarrow in particular. It is a plant that I like but don’t have yet. Also, I’ve heard from other gardeners how much astrantia is liked. I must check it out. My favorite photos are the the pond shot with echinacea and the one with the meadow flowers. Fun to learn about the critters paying you visit as well. You must be very busy enjoying your garden!

    • Donna says:

      It could be Blackout. Thanks for the ID. It means a lot that you really enjoyed the garden and picks. The yarrow was particularly gorgeous this year with so many colors. Do check out astrantia…it is just such a lovely low growing plant…very unassuming yet so pretty and subtle. I am enjoying the garden as each day brings a new surprise.

  8. Donna says:

    So many pretty blooms this June, Donna. Rain has been avoiding us, good to hear you had some. It looks like your plants have been happy and rain certainly makes for happy plants. I too like the little fox. I have never seen one, except at the farm. They must be around the gorge, but there is too many places to remain unseen.

    • Donna says:

      We have a fox at work too that comes out of the woods and hangs out on the ball field…so glad you enjoyed the post Donna. I saw you folks were much drier than us although this month has been hot and dry so far. We could all use a bit of rain.

  9. Town Mouse says:

    Wow, lots going on in your garden. As always, I’m especially taken by the pond – it’s so dry here, and the thought of water is so appealing.

    • Donna says:

      So glad you enjoyed the garden and the pond. It is amazing how dry your gardens can get and we think we are dry…we have no idea.

  10. Cat says:

    Hi Donna, What a thoughtful poem. Summer definitely gives us a little time to think and reflect on this sweet season. I just visited a blog called New England as I See It and there was a tutorial on making a lavender wand. You might pop over if you have the time since you have some lavender in bloom. Happy summer, Donna!

    • Donna says:

      Cat how lovely…I will definitely check out the bog post on lavender. I am so happy you liked the poem. Enjoy your garden and summer!

  11. Skeeter says:

    Your sidewalk to the front door is so inviting! That pond view is just stunning to say the least. As an animal lover, well, I just adore all the critter shots. Looking good….

    • Donna says:

      Thx Skeeter. The pond view was one I saw and had to take and share…the echinacea have been gorgeous and plentiful this year. The critters do bring the most joy!

  12. eileen says:

    Donna what a lovely post. Your flowers and gardens are beautiful. And I love all the critters. Your birds must love the habitat you have created in your yard. I really enjoyed your poem too, you are creative. Thanks for sharing, have a great day and a Happy 4th of July!

  13. Libby says:

    Wow!!!!! So much to enjoy!

    Where to begin… Well, I love the astrantia. And, the whole ‘critters’ collage is wonderful. I WANT your pond. Overall GREAT post!

  14. Andrea says:

    Well i love your collages, their margins unusual, don’t know where to get them, huh! But you have lots of flowers and critters in them. Sometimes i want to post mostly critters too, but i can’t see lots of insects here and my lens cannot give justice to the small spiders! By the way, i am amused with the first photo, i don’t know if you intended us to see that single pot. However, it seems not very flower-filled at all, how is that, hahaha!

    • Donna says:

      Andrea so glad you enjoyed the collages…I use an app on my Mac. The pot of flowers that looks empty is a fun photo. The pot has one plant that has grown big but it has spilled over the edges and not filled the pot.

  15. Laura@PatioPatch says:

    With the temps hitting sizzling I’m amazed at how green and floriferous your garden is. Think you saved the best til last with the pond and meadow shots and the critters. Do love Achilleas though – they make great landing strips for pollinators

    • Donna says:

      Thank you Laura. So glad you enjoyed the post. I think we have had enough rain to keep things going. We are not officially in a drought but easy enough to happen if we don’t get rain soon this month. Achillieas are just an amazing flower and I love that they are a native. The pollinators are busy with them and I found a most unique spider on one that I will be posting about at Beautiful Wildlife Gardens next Tuesday.

  16. b-a-g says:

    It seems just a few weeks ago that your garden was still covered in frost. Glad to see that it’s all turned around for you Donna – your poem sums it up.

  17. Alberto says:

    Hi Donna! Your garden looks really good! I am so envious of your asclepia, I’d like to try and grow it but I always bother between the orange and the pink one and then it looks like a fussy plant to me but it must be rather easy instead, am I wrong? Which you would you suggest me?

    • Donna says:

      Thanks Alberto. Asclepias incarnata is swamp milkweed and is pink. It prefers a moist soil and can seed itself all over but is lovely. I did not show it here. Asclepias syriaca which is the pink one pictured is our common milkweed. It also prefers a moist soil and is aggressive and forms a colony. Asclepias tuberosa which is yellow or orange prefers a sandier soil but I have it in amended clay. As long as the soil is well draining it can tolerate more moisture and it tolerates dry drought conditions. It is fussier for me due to our soil. There are many other types as well so chose one depending on your soil…they are wonderful and loved by butterflies. I usually get seeds from common and swamp milkweed in the fall so i can scatter it around more in the meadow.

  18. Carolyn @ Carolyn's Shade Gardens says:

    Donna, Great post with such a variety of photos. I may have said this before but I actually transplanted common milkweed into my garden from a roadside stand. Not only are the flowers gorgeous but the fragrance is wonderful. I am away trying to use my iPad to read and comment on blogs and it’s not going well. Don’t think I have abandoned you. Carolyn

    • Donna says:

      So glad to hear from you Carolyn. I tried commenting from an ipad a few times too…not so easy at least for me. Happy you enjoyed the post and hope you are enjoying your time away!

  19. Derek Yarnell says:

    I love the meadow-ish spot off your back deck, I am a big fan of natural looking gardens. I’ll have to look for shots of the meadow itself that you mention…

  20. Beth says:

    Hi Donna, I like the meadow flowers, the pond, the critters, and the white garden. You have a lot of loveliness going on!!!
    xo Beth

    • Donna says:

      Thank you Pat…that is quite a compliment from a wonderful photographer like yourself. I try with my point and shot camera…so happy you stopped by and enjoyed yourself!

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