Gardens Eye Journal-August 2012

“Fairest of the months!
Ripe summer’s queen
The hey-day of the year
With robes that gleam with sunny sheen
Sweet August doth appear.”
–  R. Combe Miller

Can you believe it is August already.  I have barely been in the garden.  On weekends I manage a couple of hours each day before the heat and humidity force us indoors.  Too much heat brings on migraines so I have to be careful.  I have been getting a bit melancholy lately as I know August rushes by too fast, and with it the last of summer.  Soon it will be fall here in the Northern Hemisphere, and time for another Seasonal Celebrations.  I do hope you decide to join me this September 1st to celebrate the coming of another equinox.  There will be more information at the end of this post, and in coming weeks.

And speaking of memes, I am linking again to many 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.  If you get a chance, drop on by and see their wonderful blogs and posts.


Weather Report

Well I think I have had about as much of this weather as I can stand.  We had our 21st day of 90+ degree days.  The last 2 weeks in July were brutal even with the little bit of rain we had.  Many times it didn’t even wet the ground.  Most times clouds passed over with no rain only to dump the buckets of water on down the road.  But with these sunny days at least we are getting some gorgeous sunsets.

In August we usually have a change in our weather pattern.  Sometimes it is early in August, but usually we can rely on a change the last two weeks right before school officially starts here after Labor Day.  And before we know it, winter will show up and I will be wishing for the heat of summer since we are usually socked in for 4-6 months with frigid temps and lots of snow.  Of course we may have another mild winter if the climate is really changing.

And all this horrid weather did give my knee time to heal more.  Can you believe I have not knelt in the garden since last November or was it late February taking pictures.  What I am hoping for is a brilliant August with sun, some needed rain and cooler temps by about 10 degrees.

Since I am showing the garden in July it may appear more lush than it is.  Many blooms faded right after Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day, and I didn’t have the heart to show brown and dying foliage.  But I will in August.


What’s Growing


Front Garden


Not too bad as the hydrangeas put on lots of green growth but alas no flowers.  Maybe a miracle will happen in August, and it will rain enough to give them the refreshment they need. A few day lilies, yellow scabiosa that seeded itself and hyssop in bloom.  Don’t the trees still look neat and trim.  They have actually gotten a bit unruly of late, and need a bit of a trim soon.



Here’s a wider view showing the other side of the walk.  The echinacea and phlox are gorgeous.  Some phlox is still blooming to my amazement.  I have not had a chance to weed or move any of the volunteers.  That will happen in fall.


Back Garden


I love this view over the back fence showing the monarda and echinacea.  Hardy hibiscus had not bloomed yet near the pond.  The flowers here are a welcoming treat for the pollinators as they buzz happily along the fence.  You can just make out some shasta daisies and yellow rudbeckias in the distance.



Here’s part of the white garden after weeding.  It actually has perked up now that it is not fighting with the weeds for nourishment and water.  This is the only hydrangea blooming still, Hydrangea arborescens ‘Annabelle’.  There are white echinacea and Obedient plant flowering as well.



This is the view at the top of the stairs when you walk out the back door, looking down on the shade garden and patio.  There is the miniature hosta container ( thanks to Carolyn’s Shade Garden plants) still growing nicely with the violas I grew from seed.  The other pot has torenia I grew as well.  The little bird bath was blown down with no damage or was it knocked down.  There are a few of the hostas that were spared from the deer but not the slugs.



My crocosmia, ‘Lucifer’ in the back garden bloomed big this year and much to the delight of the hummers.



Big Bloomers

I decided to make a few collages out of all the blooms of lilies and daylilies that graced my garden this summer.  I long ago lost the tags so enjoy the photos and variety.  Daylilies have been incredible bloomers through all the heat and drought.  Lilies were brave but many were a no show.

Many have finished blooming and need to be clipped back, but some are still squeaking out a few blooms now and again.

You can see the all the different types of lilies growing in July.  I still have a few late bloomers who will flower now in August, but I planted them later in June.  The gladiolas and dahlias I planted have all been thwarted by the drought, and I am so sad not to see them blooming.



Native yarrow continues to delight although I think it may be about finished.  I will cut it back in hopes of some later blooms.



While common and swamp milkweed are done blooming, the native Asclepias tuberosa or butterfly weed was blooming into later July.  We see it in the fields and meadows along the roadside too.



Monkshood has also been blooming.  It gets so tall in part shade that it flops over and is supported by the hostas.



My native St. John’s Wort that was planted in spring finally bloomed.  We did water new bushes (well most that weren’t hidden by weeds) so they had a chance.



Finally my very favorite lobelia has bloomed in a couple of areas that are usually wet or stay wet.  I am hoping for a stellar performance from others if we get some rain.





I wanted to highlight a few containers for you.  As you can see I adore torenia (top 2 pictures) which was new to me last year.  I started these from seed as well and couldn’t be happier with them.  They take shade, heat and humidity and just keep on blooming.  The pink blooms are of New Guinea impatiens that hang from a wire basket on my maple tree.

The rest of the blooms are of the marigolds I planted from seed this winter and spring.  I plant the seedlings in late May in the veg beds and containers to help thwart the critters.  They remind me of my mom and her annual flower beds.  She loved to plant marigolds.  I promised B-A-G@Experiments With Plants that I would highlight mine.  B-A-G recently did a post on marigolds.  I grow mainly French marigolds, tagetes patula (smaller flowers) or African marigolds, tagetes erecta (big pom-pom flowers).  French marigolds are said to be best in the veg garden as they kill root nematodes.  I need to remember this for next year and plant more of these.




My precious water lily has been inundated with aphids.  They have destroyed the leaves and the flowers.  Before we knew it they were upon us.  We could spray with an organic compound, but in all this heat I fear they will require more work than we have time.  So they were beautiful in June, but not in July.  I will have to watch for this early next summer.




The meadow has also been overrun with teasel, Queen Anne’s Lace, thistle and various other invasive weeds.  The worst was the teasel, which you can read about in my Beautiful Wildlife Garden’s post.  We do have better control of it, and we will fill in the big open areas the teasel left once we took it out.  Next to be pulled will be the Queen Anne’s Lace which is a bit out of control as well.  I will leave some of it as I know I can’t get rid of it all.



Veg Beds Update

I already gave an update last week about the veg harvest, but there have been a few updates that I felt compelled to tell.  First the hundreds of cherry tomatoes have started to ripen just in time for early tomato blight.  These are in containers on the patio.  One day they were fine, and the next morning they were not.  We have sprayed again with copper spray that is safe for organic gardening.  I hope we can control it and keep it to a few plants.


This is the main bed which has many perennials planted around it ensuring pollinators.  Can you see the roses blooming?  Amazing to see them since in spring they did not grow because of the constant freezes.  We harvested the garlic, and planted tomatoes and peppers.  The bell peppers did not grow, but I planted many rows of carrots amongst the tomatoes as they do love each others company.  You can just see the pumpkin blossoms bottom right.  We only have 3 pumpkins so far, but you can read in my harvest post why that might be.




Lots of critter surprises I wanted to share.


My first miracle was to see this pair of swallowtail caterpillars munching on the dill on the patio.  After a few days they crawled away, and I hope they are snuggled safe in a cocoon somewhere.  I saw the black swallowtail around the dill but never dreamed she laid eggs.



I’ll leave you with this final miracle.  What a delight to see these little ones and yes those are triplets.  15-20% of does will give birth to triplets indicating a very healthy habitat.  These guys were just too much fun to watch.  They enjoyed watching us too and mom wasn’t afraid at all.  We watched them from the middle of our garage as they crossed the street.



Gardens Eye Verse

I hope you enjoy a bit of my poetry, actually more free verse as I contemplated our summer.

Summer Breezes 

A sea of gold set ablaze in the hot sun.

I squint to watch a monarch with a bee,

Adrift on the sultry breezes.

It caresses my skin and sets my soul on fire.

I am lost in the lazy hum of the garden,

All life here has succumbed to this moment-

There is no other as there will never be again.

Donna Donabella


Don’t forget that September 1st marks the next installment of Seasonal Celebrations/Garden Lessons Learned.  Click the link to learn more.  Beth@PlantPostings will be wrapping up this past season with lessons we have learned in our gardens, and I will be setting the stage for next season’s celebrations (fall up N and spring down S of the equator).  What do you love to do in the this upcoming season?  What holidays or rituals make it a wonderful season for you?  How does your garden grow and what favorite plants will be blooming?  I hope you will be joining us.  Just create a post and link in with both or one of us between September 1st and the 20th, and around the 21st we will reveal those lessons and celebrations.


Next up on the blog:  August will be a busy month in the garden and on the blog.   Next Monday will be GBBD followed by a special tree post mid week.  I will have a wonderful garden book to share on the 20th.

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.

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. Diana of Elephant's Eye says:

    Aargh, bit frustrating, but the triplets were a fun surprise. A little sun, a little rain, and kind temperatures is what we all long for. Spent yesterday by the fire and there is snow in Sutherland a little further north. Still need to prune some trees, but the roses look promising.

    • Donna says:

      It sounds like our wishes and work are very similar these days. I do not even want to think about snow even with all the heat right now. Glad you enjoyed the triplet surprise.

  2. Donna says:

    I enjoyed seeing the triplets. It really is rather rare, even at the farm with a perfect environment for them, there was never a doe to produce more than twins. Your garden looks great for August.

    • Donna says:

      Well it was a shock to me that is for sure to see triplets. We had some rain yesterday so maybe the browns will perk up to green. How quickly it went from green to brown in July and now maybe back the other way. Weeding has been easier with the drought, but not the heat. The low at 4am Sunday morning was 81…so no work outside with the heat and humidity on Sunday as I was nursing a migraine from working outside Saturday. Oh well I caught up on my blog reading. The weeds will wait 🙂

  3. Andrea says:

    Hi Donna, your post looks like several posts rolled into one! This is the first time i heard of monkshood, even in blog, but i love it because of my bias with the blue color in flowers! You are not getting rain because most of the rains fell here, giving many places here flooded and many families evacuated in safer grounds. The world is really revolting against us! The prospect of the future is gruesome!

    • Donna says:

      Andrea it certainly is many posts as I wrap up my garden journal for the month. Monkshood is a wonderful plant but also a poisonous one. It has many other names. I should profile it sometime. It seems the earth is giving us extremes in weather. Sorry to hear about the floods. I know weather can be frustrating when there doesn’t appear to be anything we can do about it.

  4. Heather says:

    We just got some relief from the 90+ temps, so some cooler air might be on its way east to you. I worked in the garden all weekend taking advantage of the 70 degree weather and low humidity. Love the views of the areas in your yard!

    • Donna says:

      We got a bit of relief today but alas I was inside at work. We are supposed to cool hopefully by the weekend with a bit more rain. I will be so happy of that happens. Glad to hear you have relief from the heat Heather.

  5. Cathy says:

    Your lilies have been beautiful! Lovely words and views of your garden. And how lucky you are to see those caterpillars. Hope it cools down for you (and us!) in August. We too have been indoors with the blinds down far too often.

  6. Mindy says:

    What beautiful photos you have taken! Your gardens look stunning! I really enjoyed your post, especially seeing the triplets, how neat! Thanks for sharing! Mindy

    • Donna says:

      Thanks Beth. I have more lilies blooming in August. What a surprise and what a little rain will do! Lots of the brown is gone, but we still need rain.

  7. Christina says:

    Although you have been experiences hot weather I can see it isn’t really drought conditions as you have so many lovely blooms. Even my Day Lilies have almost died back completely this year through high temperatures and hot wind! I think my Asclepias tuberosa is dead and most yarrow has also turned brown! Enjoy the beauties you have. Christina

    • Donna says:

      I agree Christina. We are experiencing what is called a moderate drought based on our snow and rainfall amounts and how much below our average we have had. Although it affects many of our plants and flowers, many still survive. We have not experienced the severe drought of last yr in Texas where the trees and plants died and water was restricted nor have we ever experienced what you have. I do try to keep that in mind even though as gardeners we whine here, we have many blooms and are not restricted in use of water….seems more like a minor annoyance than a crisis for us. It is good to be knocked back into the real world and gain some perspective on how bad it really could be and what a real drought is like. Hoping cooler weather and rain finds you soon Christina.

      • Island Threads says:

        forgive me breaking in here but reading both blogs for sometime another difference that comes to mind is soil, Christina has a very free draining soil where as Donna has a clay soil which holds moisture this too will make a difference, wishing you both relief from heat and some refreshing rain soon, it’s gone dry again here, Frances

        • Donna says:

          You are so right Frances…as my soil holds all the water, it allows the flowers to bloom even in drought although after a while it takes its toll as the clay dries…we had a half inch of rain and I was so happy as were the plants and critters.

  8. dianne says:

    I was exclaiming out loud to myself the entire time I scrolled down
    each new photo was a delight
    I love monkshood, such a deep purple
    your gardens are amazing
    so much going on yet they all compliment one another and live together so beautifully
    the deer family is so sweet
    they are so graceful
    and I love that they know you won’t hurt them so they stop a moment for a photo op 🙂

    everything around you is a treasure

    • Donna says:

      Dianne how sweet of you to say so. I do so enjoy the look, smell and feel of the garden and the critters that share it with me.

  9. Danielle says:

    I didn’t get out in the garden much in July either…but I do need to get out and snap some photos for my garden journal and then start plans for some September rearranging. I love your place here! Glad I stopped by.

  10. bumblelush says:

    Oh my goodness! We also saw a doe and 3 fawns in our neighbors’ yard last week. Maybe it was the same group on a cross-country trip. 😉

    How frustrating about the tomato blight and hydrangeas not flowering. Mine flowered but the blooms died off very quickly this year. I think we’d all be happy if we could have a few days’ respite from the heat. Despite this, your front and back gardens look beautiful. There’s plenty of color and the daylilies don’t seem to mind the heat!

    Thanks for linking with me, and thank you for the advice on my ML. I’ll try what you suggested and keep you posted. I feel a little better knowing I’m not the only one who has struggled with them.

    • Donna says:

      I struggle with many heirlooms here due to blight. How funny you had triplets too. I do enjoy your meme and am glad I might be able to help with the ML. I think they like a longer grow season than I have here.

  11. HolleyGarden says:

    I know it’s unusually hot there, but your garden looks absolutely beautiful! However, I’ve never seen aphids devour water lilies like that! I loved seeing all the lilies and daylilies. I’m beginning to appreciate daylilies more and more. I was amazed at the deer! What a wonderful sight! But, I hope she wasn’t showing her babies your garden to eat! 🙂

    • Donna says:

      I think she may have been doing just that with those fawns. I researched issues with water lilies and apparently they can wreak havoc but I need to look for more info. Glad you enjoyed the post.

  12. Christine@The Gardening Blog says:

    Again…WOW Donna! You’ve really outdone yourself this year – I am in awe! Your garden looks spectacular, the ornamentals and the veggie patch looks beautiful too – not just functional! Absolutely gorgeous my friend! You must be very proud of your lovely garden!

    • Donna says:

      Oh Christine you are too kind. I love mixing my veg beds amongst the ornamentals and the pollinators are attracted to them helping the veggies. Plus I have little room so it is functional in many ways as you say 🙂

  13. Alistair says:

    Donna, such an enjoyable and in depth post. I was really pleased to see so many views of your garden and plants. The very high temperatures must be tiresome. I like the look of that Hydrangea Annabelle. I saw it referred to recently as a smooth Hydrangea, new to me.

    • Donna says:

      Alistair I guess I am used to the heat and lack of rain at this point. I am glad you enjoyed the tour of the gardens. Annabelle is a smooth hydrangea that has larger flowers than the species Hydrangea arborescens which is a native here. I like it because it is reliable and grows in so many different conditions.

  14. b-a-g says:

    Donna-Thanks for the link and sharing your marigolds as promised.

    I’ve got hydrangeas bigger than ever, you’ve got lilies galore, caterpillars and deer-I wouldn’t mind swapping.

    • Donna says:

      I think I would love to swap just for a few hydrangeas this year. Oh well…I am glad you enjoyed the marigolds. They are growing so tall they are taller than some tomatoes and shadowing them 🙂

      I plan to grow some smaller varieties next year for my tomato beds and containers.

  15. Eileen says:

    Awesome post, your garden is truly beautiful. I love the trees in the front. And the Echinacea with the white fence is pretty. The deer and triplets are my favorite, they are all so cute. What a sight that must have been. Great photos, thanks for sharing your nature.

    • Donna says:

      Eileen the front trees are dwarf willows that we do love…and yes the triplets were a joyous surprise…I am so glad you enjoyed visiting!

  16. Janet, The Queen of Seaford says:

    Oh Donna, I was enthralled with going through your garden with you. Love the white garden, may make an area of my garden white…white really pops in the garden.

    Love your poem. You have a beautiful creative side.

    • Donna says:

      Janet thank you for your kind words about my poem…it means a lot. I really love my white garden and it has been fun designing it and watching it bloom.

  17. Loredana Donovan says:

    Thank you for a lovely tour of your gardens. Beautiful photos! I enjoyed the narrative, too, and your poem. It’s wonderful to be such a good gardener, photographer, and writer/poet, so many talents! Thanks for sharing it all. 🙂

  18. RamblingWoods says:

    I have been getting a bit melancholy too. If I am out I am watering or filling bird feeders or baths..or feeding a duck.. I had plans and am glad I didn’t plant more than I did..but you are so inspirational and ideas abound..Glad to hear that you knee is better…LOVE your poetry..I have to get that book… We may get some rain to help our severe drought and much of it will roll off and benefit the pond…Michelle

    • Donna says:

      Michelle I hope all those critters keeps your spirit up. I am honored you enjoyed the poem and hope you like the book. Hope you had some nice rain!

  19. debsgarden says:

    Hi Donna, I enjoyed this post! Despite the weather, your garden has lots of blooms! The view over your back fence is a joy. And the deer! I guess they will be munching on someone’s garden soon; I hope not yours! I hope you have a great August. This month is likely to be more of the same for us. We tend to have several months of milder weather through the fall, perfect for gardening, so I look forward to September when things begin to cool a bit.

    • Donna says:

      Thank you Deb. I love wandering around the outside of the fence as the views are so different…those deer I am sure will find my garden with lots more to eat. How nice to have a longer gardening season…as Sept rolls around it means mine is shorter and shorter.

  20. Curbstone Valley Farm says:

    The Monarda and Echinacea make for a perfect mid-summer photograph. Both are so tolerant of the heat at this time of year. The aphids on the water lily shocked me though! I’ve never seen aphids on a water lily. As many aphid species tend to be plant specific, I wonder what species that is. How frustrating though. Although I didn’t have aphids destroying our water lily when we had a pond, we did learn that ducks love to eat the leaves. It’s not good to have a pet duck while growing water lilies 😉 Your triplets are adorable. We have a doe here that gives birth to twins every year, but I haven’t seen triplets. I have learned here though that does will ‘baby sit’ the fawns of other does. I saw one doe one morning with four, but I knew the fawns well enough to know they weren’t all hers!

    • Donna says:

      Clare we thought she might be baby sitting but she has been sighted with the 3 so perhaps she adopted one. I have to do more research on the aphids. Since we have no ducks or turtles I am at a loss as to what is happening to the waterlilies.

  21. Lucy Corrander says:

    A lot of work. A lot of calm. Hope your knee is truly better by spring. (Or before, of course!)

    The deer are delightful. Hope they don’t turn into a regular herd though. They might be less welcome in numbers. Triplets!

    • Donna says:

      Oh Lucy how perceptive that they certainly could turn into a herd…I do enjoy the calm of the garden and hopefully my knee will be healed fully for gardening by spring…fingers crossed!

  22. Sheila says:

    You have lovely garden beds. I hear you about the hot days. I believe we had 28 or 29 days over 90 degrees in July – a record. I pretty much abandon the garden in such weather. Lots and lots of weeding to be done!

    I may be imagining it, but I think the light has been getting softer lately, the first sign of fall. Not much let up in the heat and humidity, though here we don’t usually see that until mid to late September.

    • Donna says:

      Sheila I too have noticed the softening of the light especially at dawn and dusk…not much let up with heat, but fall will be here before we know it….sad to say goodbye to summer even this brutal summer. I think of you and hope your new garden is giving you solace.

  23. Beth says:

    Hi Donna, Loved seeing the deer and the black swallowtail caterpillars! What a joy! Love your meadow, your white garden, and your picket fence by the monarda and echinacea. You live in such lovely surroundings!

  24. Indie says:

    I, too, haven’t been in the garden much with this heat. Thankfully we’ve been getting a decent amount of rain finally (albeit in furious and sometimes bizarre storms), but it’s still muggy and hot out there. Your garden is still looking quite pretty, even with the heat. I enjoyed seeing your wildlife, and I also enjoyed reading your poetry!

    • Donna says:

      Indie glad you liked the poem and we also have had a bit of rain. The muggy weather has eased a bit so gardening has been bearable.

  25. catmint says:

    Hi Donna, I’m so pleased to hear your knee is getting better. Given the heat – even without extreme weather – your garden is looking terrific. The wildflower meadow might have weeds but it looks gorgeous in the photo. I have that yarrow, didn’t know it was your native! I also adore that view over the back fence … cheers, cm

    • Donna says:

      I love our yarrow as it is a brave performer every year spreading its charm. The meadow is weedy with invasives but I shall get it under control in time and as I do I am learning more. I do appreciate your well wishes.

  26. Janet/Plantaliscious says:

    Hi Donna, between the heat and your knee you have been going through it. So many lovely things in your garden though, despite the scarily high and rather enervating temperatures. I too love that view over the fence.

    • Donna says:

      Janet I do love hearing from you and am smitten with your new home and garden. I think these lessons do make us stronger and I appreciate the lessons…I suspect the heat that has allowed for little gardening is not so bad as that is all I could do with my knee…but we are stronger than we know and we persevere don’t we…so glad you enjoyed your visit!

  27. Island Threads says:

    wonderful post Donna, I’m glad your knee is getting better and hope it continues too, re the tomatoes and blight, is the fruit to size but still green only on a recent radio programme where a lady asked what could she do as her tomatoes had blight they suggested if the fruit is grown and just needs to go red then pick the tomatoes and put them on windowsills inside to ripen that way you do not loose them, just a thought, your garden looks lovely even with the failed blooms, wildflower meadows need editing to keep the balance, shame about the waterlilies I hope they will be alright next year, love mum and her triplets, she’s probably pointing out the best feeding places 😉 Frances

    • Donna says:

      Oh Frances you had me laughing…I bet that mother was taking her little ones on a tour of the best places to eat 🙂 Yes some of the fruit is of the right size and with the sun it is ripening fast, but I expect we will pull the fruit from the worst plants as you suggest and let it ripen in the sun. We are still spraying them to help those else affected. The water lilies are just awful and I will leave them until I figure out what is happening.

      Thanks Frances for brightening my day!

    • Donna says:

      Those caterpillars were a surprise. How funny I never saw them munching away as little caterpillars although they blend in beautifully on the dill.

  28. Tootsie says:

    I thank you so much for linking in this week. It is an honor to host Friday’s Flaunt and meet new friends and visit the regulars (who are like old friends) who share. I always feel so privileged to know that inspiration is just a click away when need a bit of a boost for my spirits! It is a pleasure to tour and see all the gorgeous blooms…landscaping and ideas that all the participants share, and I appreciate each and every link and comment! I have shared your post today with my facebook page for Tootsie Time. I hope you will link in again soon!
    ¸.•´¸.•*¨) ¸.•*¨)
    (¸.•´ (¸.•´ .•´ ¸¸.•¨¯`•.

  29. Derek Yarnell says:

    This is my first visit to your blog, but it won’t be my last. You have a lot going on, thanks for sharing and for letting me know about a bunch of new blog hops I’ll look at joining as well.

    • Donna says:

      Derek I always love meeting new visitors so welcome to the garden. I do hope you stop by and visit often. I generally blog once a week, on Mondays, when my life gets busy. I’ll pop over to get to know your blog too!

Comments are closed.