Gardens Eye Journal-July 2014


“The flowers are nature’s jewels, with whose wealth she decks her summer beauty.”
–  George Croly



So June was much like the end of May, no gardening per se.  A bit of time in the veg garden is all I could muster.  And on June 30th the doctor said, “All healed and all restrictions lifted” so I was all set to get going.  But just a bit more sitting up straight, sleeping on my side and bending and my body said, Wow there missy-what do you think you are doing?Did you not hear the doctor also say, listen to your body-well I am talking to you and I am not liking all this pushing and pulling so just slow yourself down and sit there for a while.

So I am setting a few small goals to start back to doing more.  And working on the laptop is one of those slow down and do not overdo things…so I will still be slow getting around to blogs.  Winner announced:  Kathy Sturr@The Violet Fern won the copy of Grace in the Garden.  Congrats Kathy, you will love it!

So now on to my June garden journal.  It is time to look over the garden to see what has transpired in June as I join in with Helen@The Patient Gardener’s Weblog for her End of Month View.  Be forewarned, again this is a long post so if you do hang in there for the entire post, I thank you.  If you don’t I completely understand!





DSCN8345June was a bit dry until mid month when we had an inch of rain with our first whopper of a thunderstorm.  It brought in warm weather in the low 70s, low humidity and bright wonderful sun for a week.  Then about the third week we received 36 hours of steady rain amounting to 2 more inches that my garden loved.  But most of the really bad thunderstorms passed us by and we remained hot, humid and bone dry for the end of June.

As I was recovering, I wasn’t up early enough to see many sunrises until the end of June.  On this lovely morning the sunrise was painting the clouds such deep wonderful colors.



Garden Views

Since I was unable to garden from mid May to the end of June, the most prolific plants growing in my garden were and are the weeds.  So before you see the views, please excuse the overgrowth and the weeds….some of the gardens are downright unsightly.

late may june

These are pictures of the front beds on either side of the front walk.  The top 3 are from the end of May when the ground covers were blooming along with a few other plants.  As you can see in the third picture, the weeds were beginning to take over in this area where the voles destroyed many plants.

The first 2 pictures in the middle row shows the garden in the beginning of June.  A few more blooms and more weeds especially in the sidewalk. The second picture is of the lawn side of the sidewalk garden where we had begun to edge in early spring and had to stop.  There is a plant that I cannot identify that takes over here that I have to thin still and the bare twigs with the growth on top are my variegated Weigela.  It is now growing again from the base and we will cut the tops off soon.  This is the only Weigela that grew this way due to the cold weather and bunny nibbles.

The third picture in the middle row is of the sidewalk gardens at the end of June.  The sidewalk was barely visible due to weeds.  My sister and brother-in-law took pity on me not being able to garden (as I was still recovering) when they were visiting and weeded the sidewalk and patio (both made of brick) and did a bit of weeding in these beds especially weeding out much of the horsetail.  The trees are out of control and will be cut back soon.  Song sparrows were nesting under them so we had to wait for them to clear out.  You can see lavender and roses growing although the roses are very stunted.  The last picture is a view from the front porch.

I am following these front gardens and joining in with Xericstyle who hosts The Wide Shot meme the first of every month.





This is the other side of the sidewalk garden at the end of the patio.  You can see some of the Allium that bloomed beautifully this year.  Allium christophii is the Allium at the top of the post.   Also growing here are geranium, Spanish bells, catmint, barberry (the only one left) and those Weigela that are sticks with leaves on top.  As you can see there are some weeds and lots of grass has encroached on this garden as it turns and goes down the side of the house..  The almost yellow looking leaves on on my Deutzia, ‘Chardonnay Pearls’ growing in full sun.




June mailbox

Here is the mailbox garden at the end of May and near the end of June.  So much has grown here including more weeds such as vetch.  And you may see the sunflowers growing in front of the mailbox in the second picture.  These have all seeded themselves from last year’s sunflowers that I did not cut down until the end of fall.  The clematis is stunning now too.  They were late this year flowering.




Sorry for the terrible picture of the wall garden on the other side of the house as the sun was directly overhead.  This was early June when the bearded iris were in their glory and along with hybrid lupines, geranium and columbine.  The peonies had not bloomed yet and the monarda and heliopsis that are overtaking this garden now were but mere babes.




june back garden

Here is the back garden in mid June with the veg gardens finally taking off and so many lovely iris, geranium and coreopsis.  It is now growing out of control with tall weeds.  Growing at the bottom of the last picture are the blue potatoes and red onions.  And you can see the pond just beyond the potatoes.  I will be posting about the veg beds in depth on Thursday.





This is a close up of the area to the right of the pond near my big rock.





I love this view late in the day looking out over the pond and toward the gazebo…most of the tall plants are weeds, volunteers and horsetail-oh my!  But it is a lovely green view.





Here is the far side of the shade garden against the house in its bit of sun in morning.  The goat’s beard is stunning almost blocking the gate.  On the other side of the goat’s beard is the wall garden.  The hosta is unknown but it looks like Sum and Substance.  It grows up through the Mayapple.





What’s Growing


DSCN7939Columbines were everywhere by the end of May through early June.  This is ‘Nora Barlow’ growing in the sidewalk garden.




DSCN8498One of the Weigela growing in the back gardens.  I love the flowers.




DSCN9172Here is ‘Crystal Fountain’ clematis growing in the front garden.  This was the one clematis the voles cut to below the soil line and I thought it was a ‘goner’.  But it is just as full as ever and is finally blooming at the end of June.





This is one of my unnamed peonies that bloomed finally in early June.  It is gorgeous.




June grouncover

This is Veronica ‘Waterperry Blue’ that grows along the sidewalk and driveway in front.  It is a great groundcover that takes very cold and hot dry conditions.





Also growing in the front barely a foot above ground is my ‘Endless Summer’ hydrangea that look like dead sticks.  I have to cut them back a bit more but they are growing and blooming a bit.  The cold weather really hit them hard.





And this is also growing in the front sidewalk garden, geranium ‘Bevan’s Variety’.





Surprise, surprise a bleeding heart popped up in the deer and wall garden.  I thought these were long dead as none have bloomed for a few years.







Ninebark was blooming.  I love the flowers.





Yarrows bloomed in many spots but not as much as last year.




DSCN8313Lots of Tradescantia or spiderwort everywhere and still blooming.




June Baptisia

The main Baptisia plant I grow off the patio is ‘Twilight Prairieblues’ (top left).  It has been sending its seeds out to grow new plants that are finally blooming nearby.  The other pictures are the flowers of these volunteers.  Isn’t it cool to see the other colors that come from the hybrid.  I hope to relocate these smaller plants even though Baptisia hates to be moved.





This Baptisia is supposed to be the true native.




june native shrubsThese are the flowers of three native berry producing shrubs.  The birds are waiting for the berries to form.  First is a native species elderberry.  Next is a red-twig dogwood.  And last is the Cranberry viburnum flowering quite a bit finally.






DSCN8170I was surprised to see the meadow in full bloom at the end of May and it lasted right into mid-June with ox-eye daisy and lupines.





Aren’t the lupines just stunning against those daisies.






June crittersHere are the critters that were entertaining us in June.  Many were partaking of the new oriole feeder, and I wrote a post about it at Beautiful Wildlife Gardens.  You can see Downy woodpeckers, orioles and catbirds.  Hummers have been fighting over their feeder.  And the Northern flicker was finding the ants beneath the bricks of the patio.

The wrens had a clutch and were busy feeding them in June.  Isn’t papa wren cute?  And the cedar waxwings wanted a bath in the pond, but the robins wouldn’t share.  The black squirrel and his cousins kept trying to get in the garden, but as the wrens were nesting they promptly ran them off.

We had a few rabbits in June and have a surprise we found in July that I’ll post about later.  We also battled deer, woodchucks and voles who were trying to get at the veg garden.  And the green frogs took the pond.  We also had a surprise visitor on the patio, a blue heron but I missed it as I was napping.





Tree Following



Last week I posted more in depth about my silver maple as it grew through spring.

You can find more Tree Following  posts right now at Lucy’s blog, Loose and Leafy.






Gardens Eye Verse

As spring turned to summer in June, I decided to celebrate the new season in verse.  My echinacea in the sidewalk garden was just about to bloom at the end of June, and I thought it was a perfect flower to represent the changing of the seasons.

Oh and I will have a special announcement next week.  I have been planning this for a while and will finally be able to unveil it then.  It is funny how things work out when you least expect it.




Summer Delights

Spring turns to summer, Night turns to day.
And all about me the garden does play.
Bees fill their pockets, young birds take first flight-
Me, I’m staring up into the sky so bright.
Do I climb, do I soar, or
Do I lay down in the grass once more?
Soft fragrances and bells seem to slow down my day,
As I contemplate the clouds, and rest from my play.
Whether splashing in water, or picking berries ripe-
There is always time for sweet summer delights!

Donna Donabella


Next up on the blog:  Thursday, July 10th, I will have an in-depth Veg Garden post.  And Monday brings another Garden Bloggers Bloom Day.

I am 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 Tuesday.

I hope you will join me for my posts once a month at Beautiful Wildlife Garden.

I can also be found blogging once a month at Vision and Verb.  You can find my most recent post  today.  It will be my last post as the website is closing down at the end of July.

As always, I’ll be joining Tootsie Time’s Fertilizer Friday.


I am also joining in I Heart Macro with Laura@Shine The Divine that happens every Saturday.

All original content is copyrighted and the sole property of Donna Donabella @ Gardens Eye View, 2010-2014.  Any reprints or use of content or photos is by permission only.







  1. Lavender Cottage says:

    Nice tour of your gardens Donna. The only problem with a long post is that I forget everything I want to comment on. I can say however, that I’ve dug up and moved an established baptisia with success.
    You are smart to listen to your body and take one day at a time.

    • Donna says:

      Thanks Judith. I am trying to shorten these posts but so much going on..glad to hear the baptisia should be able to do fine when I move the small plants.

      Luckily my body speaks her mind so you have to listen eventually. I have learned it is less painful to listen as soon as she speaks…it is better that way 🙂

  2. Kathy Sturr of the Violet Fern says:

    Oh Donna, such beautiful gardens all wild and delightful! I actually bought, as in purchased, a young horsetail for my water container garden but I know in TI Park it is a rampant weed. I’ll be sure to be careful where and how I place it in my pond if I ever get that done. Do you run a filter in your pond? I don’t want to as I only want frogs. I am thinking of just having a spitter to move the water around a little. I drew more plans up yesterday for it! I love Baptisia Twilight Prairie Blues but I never have volunteers probably because my beds are so crowded and completely overgrown! I have decided my new routine is to weed for one hour each morning – I can’t seem to get ahead. Of course, this morning it’s raining so I am not. I have been hearing and seeing the Cedar Waxwings around – just glimpses. I am so excited to be the winner of Grace in the Garden! Thank you.

    • Donna says:

      I had a feeling you would love my wild gardens. You are welcome to any baptisia volunteers if you want them…and yes we do run a filter and all we have are frogs….it helps with algae growth.

      I am also trying to work in some weeding every day in the AM. Soon I hope. Enjoy Grace’s book!!

  3. Christina says:

    Love that image with the goat’s beard and Hosta, stunning! Take it easy, don’t rush, the weeds will be waiting when you’re ready. Like the new multi images too.

    • Donna says:

      That imagine appeared before me as I wandered around and looked in all directions…when I see those images I have to try and capture their beauty…so glad you enjoyed it Christina!!

  4. susie@life-change-compost says:

    What a happy garden you have! The field-like beauty of your home and garden always makes me feel positive and happy when I look at it. It must be doing to the same for you, as you are feeling–slow but sure. I have the same clematis, but had lost the name. If you come upon the name of that pale pink peony, could you please let me know? I would like to plant the same one to set off my hot pink and middle pink ones. (I am a huge fan of three color groupings…) Grace’s book lives on with another winner–how cool!

    • Donna says:

      Susie I don’t think the pink peony ever had a name as it was part of three cuttings that were purchased unnamed, but I would love to give you an eye or two this fall if you would like it.

      I was so excited to give away Grace’s book…it is so wonderful to read. i love just opening to any chapter and reading it…it always has a message.

      So happy with the wildness and maybe that is the lesson for me…embrace it with the wildlife…you should see who visits and lives in my wildness…that post will be a surprise.

  5. Sue Link The Northern New York Gardener says:

    Donna, glad you are able to do a little more gardening. And you are wise to listen to your body as well.
    I love the Veronica and have never seen that variety before. Very interesting. And I have Baptista, too (can’t remember the variety), but unfortunately I’ve had to move it a few times. It’s transplanted ok, and it’s doing pretty good this year, but it has never bloomed for me yet. But it’s hanging in there. Maybe next year.
    I’ve enjoyed all your surprises in your gardens!

    • Donna says:

      I hope your baptisia blooms for you soon…it could be due to it being moved I have read. Once it settles for a while it should bloom. Glad you enjoyed the surprises Sue.

  6. Donna says:

    The garden look wonderful Donna, especially all the daisies in the meadow. Around here daisies have gone viral this year. I enjoyed reading your verse. you are very talented.

    • Donna says:

      Thanks Donna…I will be pruning, weeding, mulching, moving to make them even better but for now they are not too bad….I found the daisies were crazy this year too.

      And thank you for your praise of my poem…it means a lot. I have a talent with verse and you have an incredible talent with photos and rich informational, thinking posts….not to mention your design and architecture talents. I do learn so much from you!!

  7. Cathy Thompson says:

    As someone else has said – the only problem with a long post is that there’s so much to comment on. But your baptisias are just beautiful, really enjoyed them. As I did so many of the wide shot pictures of your lovely garden – particularly the gazebo area. Don’t apologise for the weeds, none of us who visit see them – we just enjoy. Hope you’re starting to feel much better.

    • Donna says:

      Thanks Cathy…the baptisia was extra special this year. I love the gazebo too and I do appreciate that folks look beyond the weeds…I enjoy the views as well. I am feeling so much better. I found I do have some limitations but I will work slowly through them as I have been doing. I hope you are enjoying your summer!

  8. Cathy says:

    So many lovely photos Donna, but the yarrow stands out for me. And your lush green view with your gazebo is so refreshing on a warm day. You are right about the lupines looking good against the daisies… take care and enjoy all those gorgeous flowers!

    • Donna says:

      Cathy, the gazebo looks and is refreshing but I find myself indoors too much. I must get out and enjoy it more. I need better seating in it I think. I love taking pictures of yarrow…it is such lovely flower. Happy you enjoyed the post.

  9. debsgarden says:

    Dear Donna, there is so much to comment on! I love the view of your gazebo, your goats beard, your lovely peony, and all your views from the meadow! It is amazing how quickly weeds grow, but your garden is lovely, anyway. It is so frustrating to not be able to work in the garden when there is much to do, but you already know that you must listen to your body. Sometimes I push myself, and then I take days to recover. That doesn’t help the garden. I wish you continued recovery, and I hope you will soon be back 100%. Deb

    • Donna says:

      Deb it is nice to know that the weeds look so nice and I appreciate your understanding how it feels not to be able to garden…you do know how frustrating it can be….it will be 8 weeks this Friday since surgery…I am hopeful I will be at 80% by mid August. So I go slow and enjoy the slow pace!

  10. Jason says:

    Wow, amazing selection of birds! You’ve got many that I’m not seeing at all. Hope you have a complete and speedy recovery (but don’t push it)!

    • Donna says:

      Thanks Jason…I should be fully recovered In another 6 weeks fingers crossed. I have been surprised by all the birds and baby birds this year.

  11. Janice says:

    Lovely, lovely, lovely. The joy of gardening yields beauty for the eyes and soul. Thanks so very much for sharing your lovely garden views.

  12. Karin/Southern Meadows says:

    I think your garden looks magnificent despite the weeds! I know you are anxious to get back to gardening but you are doing the right thing listening to your body. I love all the critters that are visiting (well, except for the voles, deer and rabbits…I feel your pain with those visitors). You are so lucky to have cedar waxwings. Oddly, I’ve never seen them in my garden.

    • Donna says:

      Thanks Karin!! This is the first year the waxwings have continued to frequent the garden and they are fun to watch. We have had more surprises with the deer and rabbits recently…but the joy of the garden is all around the critters as they love the weeds too!

  13. Rambling woods says:

    A lovely read and verse. You write so well that it didn’t seem long. I am learning.. learning..learning from your garden. Mine will not be neat until I learn what is really a weed as I planted seeds last year and some are actually coming up. It is a surprise as it was a mixed native seed assortment for pollinators… healing hugs you way..Michelle

    • Donna says:

      So kind of you to say so Michelle. It does take time to learn those weeds from the wildflowers and I am still learning myself. That is wonderful some of last years seeds are coming up…I am always surprised by my garden and what blooms especially after a long time.

  14. Donna says:

    Thanks Jen…I was so happy to see the blooms in June as they made my recovery so much more pleasant…and the hosta and goat’s beard was a wonderful surprise I hope will repeat itself. I think I need to add more goat’s beard in my gardens as a wonderful accent.

  15. Island Threads says:

    Donna the views of your garden are lovely and you have some beautiful things happening in it, as you have been recovering your body has become used to a slower pace and it will take time to build it back up to your more usual pace, slow and steady for now,
    I know exactly what you mean about ‘the weeds!’ only mine are for different reasons, rain, I just have not been able to garden due to the rain and of course the rain makes the weeds grow, I’m trying to be relaxed about it, I can’t even get to the damp meadow and tweenie as the path has thigh high weeds growing,
    I’m glad the voles didn’t kill that beautiful blue/purple clematis, I love your meadow with the wild blue lupins and oxeye daisies, also the other side of the side walk garden with the alliums, the beautiful contrast of colours from the dark berberis to the golden deutzia, the view of/across the pond is beautiful too,
    I’ve heard some professional gardeners say we often fall into the habit of emphasizing the problems and bad parts of our gardens instead of the good bits, and recently I read, ‘when you show someone your garden don’t point out the weeds as that is what they will see and remember, point out the beautiful flowers, colourful foliage and then that’s what they will remember,’ I’m paraphrasing,
    looking forward to reading your veg garden post, Frances

    • Donna says:

      I know what you mean about the weeds Frances and pointing them out few do see them. Really they are hard to see in many photos but I did not show some gardens as you can barely see the flowers for the high weeds…thank you for all the lovely comments….glad you enjoyed the many views of the June garden!!

  16. Ginnie says:

    You know I am totally gobsmacked, Donna. And you also know I’m having great fun taking pics of all the flowers I’m seeing wherever I go these days. That’s never happened to me before, so there’s something special about this year, 2014, I guess. 🙂 Congratulations on all the beauty you are “creating” and “capturing.” BRAVA BRAVA BRAVA.

    • Donna says:

      You are creating so much beauty yourself sharing all the flowers you see….it is addicting isn’t it. I can’t get enough of looking at and taking pictures of the blooms….can you tell?!

  17. Jean at Jean's Garden says:

    Donna, I love the way that clematis grew to cover the mailbox in one month. I also love the fact that some of your Baptisia volunteers are yellow. (I spent good money for a pale yellow hybrid called ‘Carolina Moonlight.’ I should be less obsessive about weeding in the spring and see if I get some volunteer seedlings!) I still have oxe-eye daisies in bloom in mid-July.

    • Donna says:

      I am continually amazed by my garden Jean…so many surprises. If I find another pale yellow baptisia, I would be happy to send it to you. I was surprised to see ox-eye blooming still too. Strange blooming buddies this year.

    • Donna says:

      Thank you Florence. While I am at about 75% recovered, there are still a few things I have to go slow with especially my stamina. I have no intentions of rushing it as my body revolts even if I try! 🙂

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