Gardens Eye Journal-October 2014


“Autumn seemed to arrive suddenly that year. The morning of the first September was crisp and golden as an apple.”
― J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows



So here we are again.  Another month gone in the garden and not many left.  And the end of this month has particular significance as it marks the changing of the season from summer to fall here in New York.  We are one month closer to the time when all work in the garden will stop.  So this can be a mournful time for me.  Each day bringing me closer to saying adieu to the garden.

But I am determined to think ahead.  To think of more warm days with blooms and time…time I need to get out in the garden.  Our weather was wet, my back was keeping me out of the garden and then I slipped and fell on the same knee I fell on about 18 months ago.  I am still going to get out there as we have loads to do, and only so much can get done.  And my knee is fine.

So what happened in September in my garden.  Not much but a slow stroll to fall with foliage now dressing up for the autumn dance.  And as I look at my September garden, I am joining Helen@The Patient Gardener’s Weblog for her End of Month View.  

And I am linking in with Judith@Lavender Cottage who is hosting Mosaic Monday.  I love including mosaics or collages so this is a great link up to connect with others around the globe.

This month I am also linking in with Floral Fridays.  Floral Friday is a monthly photography project with different themes each month.  Trishie@Under Lock And Key  decides on the monthly theme, and this month’s theme is “garden flowers”.  To play along, email her for next month’s theme. 






The sunrises and sunsets have been getting more colorful with the shortening of days.  Early September was colder than I can remember with our first light frost on the 19th, lots of rain and many days barely 60 and nights in the low 40s.  Then the last 10 or so days at the end of September was blissful and really quite perfect with highs reaching the low 80s and high 70s and the nights in the low to mid 50s.

The veg garden did not like the early September weather we had, but the flowers did although flowers were still blooming weeks later than usual.  I do hope our October weather is better.  The long range forecast is not very promising though. 




Garden Views

As I follow my gardens, I am joining in with Xericstyle who hosts The Wide Shot meme the first of every month.  This time I am showing my back gardens from a distance.



sept begin endOn the left is the back garden at the beginning of September, and on the right is the end of September.  You can see the subtle changes as the green takes on a yellow cast in the trees, grass and foliage of the garden.  The rudbeckias, Obedient plant and Joe Pye on the left are ending and the asters and helianthus come into bloom on the right.  

The veg garden, for the most part, also ended by the time October rolled around.




What’s Growing


Here are some flowers and plants I thought were a stand out in my September garden.




 DSCN4104One of my Weigela bloomed again much to the delight of the hummingbirds who were here until our frost.





This red daylily was still blooming most of September.  I plan to move it to the red garden.




DSCN4942And my prostrate rosemary was blooming.  I have never had rosemary bloom.  All my rosemary potted plants will be coming in soon as they are not hardy here in winter.





Lavender in the front garden is blooming again too.  What a surprise and it is as if summer has not ended.






pearly collage

I love native Pearly.  It is a staple in my white garden, but I need to spread it around a bit more.  This mosaic was created with a great fun collage making website.




DSCN4421Ironweed or Vernonia fasciculata is a new native plant in my garden.  I was thrilled to see it blooming.  I can’t wait to see it clumping and spreading with asters, Joe Pye, goldenrod and rudbeckias next year.





This is white turtlehead.  I have it in a few spots, but I need to uncover it as taller more spreading plants are hiding its beauty.

The seeds are starting to spread in the garden especially the Swamp milkweed by the pond, shown at the top of the post.  The picture was taken early in the first morning light.





sept meadowThe meadow is aglow with goldenrod and naturally occurring tall pink asters, echinacea still blooming and helianthus just beginning to grow there.





The pond has done an about-face, and is now sporting lovely fall colors instead of pink waterlilies.  The frogs are still having a ball lounging in the clear water.  Later in the coming months, we will see the waterfall stop as we remove the pump.  The pond will also start to freeze as colder weather sets in.





 sept 14 critters

We have had another bumper crop of critters.  On the top row, we have found several tree frogs hanging about on the fence during the day.  They are so cute.  Monarchs visited every sunny day in September.  Sometimes 3 at a time.  While this doesn’t sound like much, it is better than the few stragglers we saw last year.  And the toads were out.  This one will be burying himself soon near the pond.


On the bottom row are some critters that will be part of some upcoming critter stories.  We have had a Great Blue Heron hunting in the meadow.  Yes that’s right the meadow, not the pond.  And the bunny is our baby Beatrix who was born in the garden.   And finally the twin fawns are getting bigger losing their spots.  I am sure we will see them in the back garden in winter with momma as they will be big enough to jump the fence by then, and find whatever bark or plants they can to sustain them in winter.




In A Vase On Monday

Lastly I am joining Cathy@Rambling in the Garden for her meme, In a Vase on Monday.  I am also linking in with Today’s Flowers hosted by Denise@An English Girl Rambles.  

So what flowers are catching my eye now in our first week of October…. 



Vase one is sporting the rest of the dahlias and Japanese anemones before the rain and cold make them mush.  And the dried flowers of a burgundy sedum make a great base.




autumn vase

Of course I added a white aster, foamy grass flowers, peony foliage showing off its autumn colors and my autumn flowering chocolate Joe Pye (Eupatorium rugosum). 





For vase two, I could not resist picking the fairy roses.  I have both the single and double ones blooming profusely again.  And of course phlox is still flowering away with lavender so I had to add both of them with a bit of lady’s mantle foliage around the edges. 




autumn vase2

Pinky-purple aster with ‘Full Moon’ coreopsis round out the vase that looks more like summer than fall.  But the recent weather has been more summer than fall-like so this vase is perfect.


So there you have my 2 vases as autumn continues into October.  I cannot believe how many flowers, foliage, grasses and berries are left to choose from.




Visit my new blog: 

new blog logo

I wanted to thank all the wonderful people who have been visiting me at my new blog, Living From Happiness.  It is a blog that celebrates life, lessons, change, challenges and creativity.

I have been posting for two months now on Sundays and Thursdays.  I do hope you will join me there to read my musings about life, some original poetry and photography.

There will be a new post again this Thursday.



Next up on the blog:  Wednesday I will have another Tree Following post.  And next Monday brings another Garden Bloggers Bloom Day post.sharethelove

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.





    • Donna says:

      He was catching voles and I think a rabbit…pretty brutal killer though. I love cutting the flowers for a vase but I still like to leave some blooming as fall goes on…

  1. Christina says:

    I’m sorry you have had such cold weather, I can hardly believe you had a frost so early, we often don’t have any frost before Christmas although in the UK it can easily happen in September too, so I do know you have to be prepared.
    I hope October is kind to you. Do take care of your knee, they are very vulnerable joints. Love your mosaics, I must do one again, I was told the site I used before wasn’t very safe, do you have problems with the one you use?

    • Donna says:

      And we just had another frost Christina. It seems October will be cold and rainy so I will adjust and be careful of my knee. The site I am using seems safe and I have heard nothing adverse or had any bad experiences. I also use a Mac app that is great too.

  2. Linda aka Crafty Gardener says:

    The seasons are changing her too Donna. Cooler weather moved in over the weekend with plenty of rain. We had some wonderful sunsets and views of the moon last week, but clouds have been the norm all weekend. You can see the subtle changes in your garden areas. I’ve just got a couple more jobs in the garden to do before the weather gets really cold. Enjoy the day.

    • Donna says:

      Oh I have so much to do in the garden, but I will be limited and just do the basics. It seems the cooler weather is staying and with cold nights and cool days fall is racing through the garden. This week with lows at night in the 30s will stop a lot of the garden in its tracks.

  3. Julie says:

    I know that mournful feeling Donna, I can really relate to that dread of the winter ahead, I hope the season is kind this year. Your wide shots are wonderful, you have a garden to be truly proud of.

    • Donna says:

      Thank you so much Julie…the structure is solid but I need to redesign some areas, clean them out, move plants, divide, edge, widen…it has been 5 years of gradual neglect the poor garden. And it is amazing how nice it still looks.

  4. Judith @ Lavender Cottage says:

    So much to see of your garden with plants and critters. I am envious that you can take an overview of the garden to share and do like how it turns from a hue of greens to gold in autumn.
    Thanks for linking to Mosaic Monday Donna.

    • Donna says:

      Judith, it is amazing the view from my bedroom looking out at the back gardens…my design was a good one but we are always tweaking aren’t we…lots of work needs to be done in the coming year.

  5. Kathy Sturr of the Violet Fern says:

    What beauty in your garden! My (pink) Turtlehead is done blooming. What is that Heron hunting? Voles, moles, mice, toads? Curious as we have them all along the River – such majestic birds! We had wonderful weather here, too, but now cooler and lots of rain, and still so much to do in the garden! Oh, I envy the pond … how I would love to watch a pond freeze over. Do you keep it aerated during the winter for the frogs? Maybe next year I will be brave enough to dig my pond – I guess I am just “pondering” (ha ha) where to put it, exactly!

    • Donna says:

      I was surprised my pink turtlehead is just getting going but I have loads of late bloomers this year Kathy. The heron is hunting mostly voles, rabbits, squirrels and chipmunks in the meadow.

      You had my husband and me laughing at “pondering”…we love play on words. It is amazing to watch the pond freeze. We do not keep it aerated as it is a natural pond and nature freezes so the frogs bury themselves and adjust. I hope you get your pond dug next year.

  6. Alison says:

    Lovely pictures of your garden in September! We’re currently having a very strange string of warm, dry days, unusual for the PNW in October. The return of the rain usually means I can give up on trying to keep the garden going. I’m definitely in the mood lately to take a break from gardening.

    • Donna says:

      Even though I have not been able to garden, I am not looking forward to all the work that piled up…but I will get the minimum done and hope for better…enjoy that great weather Alison.

  7. susan troccolo says:

    Lovely, lovely post as usual. I wish I could get a lesson in creating those wonderful collages. We have unusual heat here in Portland–it has been in the mid-80s! I tried to put my garden to bed this past weekend and I heard a tiny voice: No no I’m not through yet! Dahlias still blooming like mad, roses too. Global warming is making its mark.

    • Donna says:

      The collages are actually pretty easy with the app I use or the website. Absolutely your garden is not ready to stop yet. So those dahlias will just keep blooming for more vases Susie!!

  8. Cathy says:

    I always enjoy reading your varied posts, Donna – and it was intriguing to see your wide views today. Your photos are always so colourful – as of course are your vases. Just shows that despite the vagaries of the weather bringing a few things together in a vase shows them to their best advantage – the second one in particular is stunning. You wouldn’t think it was the ‘end’ of summer with these blooms – lovely!

    • Donna says:

      And too think the second vase was an afterthought when I saw all the fairy roses blooming again Cathy. Glad you enjoyed the garden and vases. it is going to get creatively challenging soon to fill a vase but I am up for it!

  9. Kris P says:

    I love the photo of the frog in the pond! I always feel a bit of a disconnect when gardeners from other areas speak of putting their gardens to bed for the winter – on the one hand, I envy the break you have to sit back and plan next year’s garden but, on the other hand, I expect I’d miss the opportunity to putter in the garden for a portion of the year. You need a greenhouse!

    Your wide shots provide a wonderful view of what is a beautiful back garden and your vases, as usual, are very pretty. Although I inherited Japanese anemones with the house, those here most often fry in the September and October heat and wind before I ever see a bloom.

    • Donna says:

      I do need a greenhouse Kris. I am not sure if I would want my garden going all year but a couple months more would be nice. Too bad about your poor anemones.

  10. DeniseinVA says:

    Donna, when I look at your blog posts you make my day. Thank you so very much for including Today’s Flowers. Your September garden is breathtaking. Have a great week 🙂

  11. LINDA from EACH LITTLE WORLD says:

    Love the views from above showing the changes from the same location. And both bouquets are gorgeous. Aren’t sedums the best for anchoring arrangements? And thanks for reminding me I have that chocolate Eupatorium hiding in the garden.

  12. Angie says:

    First frosts…..brrrrrrrr! I don’t think we’ll be too far behind you Donna, it’s got very cold here this last couple of days.
    As usual a veritable delight of gardenness. Your vases are just lovely and it’s good to read you still have so much too choose from for those lovely displays.

    • Donna says:

      I hope the flowers last a bit longer given our cold weather that keeps coming Angie…I hope your cold weather waits a while longer.

  13. Elizabeth says:

    Another lovely post, Donna, and two beautiful vases – both so different but so beautiful. Your chocolate Joe Pye is looking a lot healthier than mine. I have a white one which is looking so sad … the leaves have been shredded by the army of slugs/slaves that have taken up residence in my garden. I’m now keeping them at bay with organic slug bait so hopefully the plant will recover for next year.

  14. Trishie says:

    Such beautiful blooms! I love your photography too. The images are all so vibrant and crisp. So glad you could join in on Floral Friday!

  15. Susie says:

    Your garden looks so plush and inviting. Your red dahlias are magnificent. The second arrangement seems springlike in color. Both are very lovely Donna. Take care of your knee and back and enjoy your garden as long as you can before winter.

  16. Eileen says:

    It is always a treat to the eyes to visit your blog.. Your flowers and gardens are beautiful. I love the cute frog , pretty Monarch, heron and the bunny.. I hope the deer are not eating your plants. Lovely images and mosaics.. Have a happy week!

    • Donna says:

      So far the deer are staying away but they will be inside the fence in winter…they always are. The frog was great to catch lounging…thank you for your wonderful comment Eileen.

  17. Beth @ PlantPostings says:

    I always enjoy your overhead shots, Donna–to see the progression over time. I noticed some Pearly Everlasting blooming up at the cottage. It’s such an interesting plant. I love the pastel colors of that second bouquet!

    • Donna says:

      Pearly is such an unusual plant that I love Beth and how lucky you are to have it blooming at the cottage. Those overhead shots do show so much don’t they.

  18. Janet/Plantaliscious says:

    I love that opening photo Donna, really spectacular! Crazy weather, isn’t it, my lavendar is still flowering, I’m not sure when I will be cutting it back, I think I may just have to put the flowers I remove in doing so in a posy vase and just get on with it. I really like the way your two arrangements mirror the contradictory nature of this period, still so like summer in some respects, and yet so definitely autumn as the colours gradually turn tawny and light grows softer.

    • Donna says:

      Janet I usually leave cutting my lavender to spring when I give it a slight haircut which seems to revive it. I had not thought of making 2 vases that were so different but nature is funny in what she provides.

  19. Cathy says:

    That second vase is gorgeous! It really does look like summer, and so romantic too!
    Despite your early cold snap you still have some lovely blooms – I also have a few lavender flowers. So unusual for September! Hope October is mild and flowerful! 😉

    • Donna says:

      I hope October will shift to warmer but the long range forecast is cool to cold so I will have to accept it….amazing how our flowers are not stopping Cathy.

  20. Deb @ Frugal Little Bungalow says:

    Such a lovely post. You had me at the first photo…immediately transported back to when I was a kid traipsing the fields and playing with those and cattails as well. 🙂

    Adorable little frog…all the critters are but that one photo is just so cute : )

  21. Laura Bloomsbury says:

    the look on the frogs face sums up the exuberance of this post. Our plants are not ready for the retirment of Autumn!!! Pretty vases- especially like the packed out with pink, purple and yellow one.

    • Donna says:

      I think the frogs are so animated Laura…and I just noticed his coloring is changing to match the vegetation of the pond…I am glad the garden continues to bloom away….now I can still make pretty vases.

  22. Cindy Cousineau says:

    I know the feeling, getting ready, saying good bye to another season, having to give in to not spending a lot of time in the garden. Wonderful post, colourful pictures and best your knee is better, take care

  23. Cindy Cousineau says:

    Forgot to mention – milkweed, brings back a million memories of being young and throwing the seed pods at each other watching them explode and spreading the love for monarch – innocent children we were and to think if we knew better we would have played harder, thanks

    • Donna says:

      Oh how fun to throw the pods and spread the seeds…I remember we would open them and scatter them too…great memories Cindy!

  24. Alexa T says:

    Your garden in autumn is a magical place for shades, colors, blooms, critters… First: I hope you’re well! Nature is on its way, the same process, not matter how slowly or fast is happening the changing of seasons… September’s details so well captured in your garden just proved it.. So, al the best to you in the new season till the next greenery of spring will come back. Have a sunny october filled with joy and good health!

    • Donna says:

      I am much better Alexa as long as I remember not to over do it. And I am glad you liked the post….until spring when we do it all over again seeing new and familiar wonders in the garden.

  25. Chloris says:

    I always enjoy your posts with so much of interest. I love the views of your garden and all your creatures, specially the tree frogs. Your flower arrangements are so pretty too.

  26. Beth says:

    I really enjoyed this post, Donna! The heron with the (?) mouse is a great shot. Amazing to have herons in your meadow garden! The change from early to late September is profound – nature moves on and on, time marches on. I have lots of work to do in the garden still and winter will be a peaceful time of rest (not that I like cold!!!) Yet a respite from garden work is ok with me, since I spend many hours working there in spring, summer, and fall. Enjoy your autumn and yes, winter too.
    Be blessed. Beth

    • Donna says:

      Beth the heron had a big vole in that picture. I will need a respite as well after doing lots of work I couldn’t get to all year….wishing you a wonderful autumn!!

  27. Jennifer says:

    Your pictures in this post are quite stunning Donna. I love the milkweed opener and the swimming frog in particular. I feel a tinge of sadness as we ink closer to winter and the end of gardening for the year. Your garden is looking fantastic in those long views. The layout of your garden is really nice.

    • Donna says:

      Thanks Jennifer…The structure still works although the garden needs lots of maintenance. And wow what a nice comment about my photos …I am humbled….

  28. Pam's English Garden says:

    Love your fall garden, Donna. It seems much tidier than mine which is blanketed in fallen leaves — we’ve already had one major session removing them. We’ve been away on vacation, so the work has really piled up. Like you, I’m going to do the minimum. While I’m sad the gardening season is ending, I think both you and I will benefit from taking a rest. Another lovely posting! P. x

    • Donna says:

      I think you are right Pam…time to put the garden to bed and then everyone rest for a while. Glad to hear you got away and enjoyed some time away.

  29. Julie says:

    I always love your posts Donna – so much to look at and take in. Your garden is doing so well for the time of year and well done for capturing the ‘critters’ on camera. Both vases are lovely and the second in particular speaks of summer. It will be interesting to see what we all put together over the coming lean months.

    • Donna says:

      Thanks Heather. That is an interesting noticing about the airy plants and movement especially for fall. Glad you enjoyed the post.

  30. Ramblingwoods says:

    I love the milkweed seed photo… But all are lovely. Some plants do seem behind here too. The geese will not tolerate a heron on the pond at all. But a rabbit….geesh…. Take care of your knee… Michelle

    • Donna says:

      I know we were shocked to see the heron in the meadow hunting…glad you enjoyed the post Michelle. I am having problems with both my knees so I am taking it very easy right now.

    • Donna says:

      It is a most unusual gray-green foliage plant Jason. I love it although I have not seen butterflies around it but I think if I had more they might come visit.

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