Gardens Eye Verse-March

“Every gardener knows that under the cloak of winter lies a miracle … a seed waiting to sprout, a bulb opening to the light, a bud straining to unfurl.  And the anticipation nurtures our dream.” ~ Barbara Winkler


I am very excited to join Beth@PlantPostings for her Garden Lessons Learned meme as the winter is changing to spring.  Beth asks us to consider what lessons we have learned in our gardens this past season.  So what lessons have I learned this winter?
 1.  No matter what you think, Mother Nature will always trump you so be prepared.  Just when I thought winter was waning, it came back with a gale force dumping water, snow and ice drowning out my garden.  I am just itching to dig out that rain garden bigger and deeper.  It will have to wait.
2.  Capture vistas when they happen because waiting could mean you have missed the moment.   These crocus were eaten by voles and are still blooming a bit…poor things.  Rabbits also ate some other crocus just before they could open.
3.  Spring doesn’t really arrive or winter leave until the air warms and the soil stays unfrozen for weeks.  And even then winter will stick out his tongue as he covers your garden in frozen water.
4.  Choose your poison as my mother said….cover the flowers so they are protected from deer and rabbit and are insulated so they will grow even under snow, or have them exposed so vole damage is less.  I’ll have to let you know once spring has sprung and I can assess the damage.

5.  A small benefit from a lack of snow is a few more birds show up, but they still can’t find insects when the ground is frozen .  So plant more native fruit bearing trees and shrubs for birds in winter.  I know I am this spring.
And finally…..There is magic in every season even the white of winter that shows itself in so many wondrous ways.




Garden Bloggers Harvest Day

I am quickly joining in with Christine and Barbara@The Gardening Blog for their Garden Bloggers Harvest Day (GBHD).  I have been growing lettuces, herbs and starting some annual flowers in my basement under grow lights and on heat mats.  We certainly did get some wonderful salads but soon we will be done with inside lettuce and be starting lettuces outside.

Lots of viola, pansies, alyssum and petunias germinating in the basement.  Looking forward to seeing them flower.









Walk In Garden Challenge

Carolyn@This Grandmother’s Garden hosts a garden walk meme happening at the beginning of the month.  As I have not been out too much I share this photo of the winter trees and sky in my garden.


I am also doing a bit of Tree Following with Lucy@Loose and Leafy.  These are my ash trees above.  Below is my beloved ash stump.  As you can see, the bark is peeling naturally while the moss and fungus are still going strong through winter.




Gardens Eye Verse

I am celebrating the rise of a few brave crocus in my garden this late February/early March, and a wonderful surprise.  Last Monday as I was gazing at the flock of European starlings, a bird flew to the arbor.  I gasped and shouted, “Oh my God, it’s a red-winged blackbird, where’s my camera”.  Of course he didn’t stick around close enough for me to get a picture, but I will eventually.  These birds are truly a sign of spring here in our area.  And this guy was with a mixed flock of starlings, and a grackle or two.  I am joining in to a new meme Nature Notes@ Rambling Woods.  I hope you enjoy my two original poems:





Petals unfurl,

with shouts of joy!

A youthful gladness-

finally enjoyed.








Return of the Red Wing

A black silhouette high in a tree

Memories harken to summer

Hush.  No it couldn’t be!


While the snowflakes still fall and the cold wind blows

It must be too soon

Come closer-I must know.


A tell-tale sign, it’s easy to spy

stretch of wing, flash of red

As he quickly flies by.


A harbinger indeed oh have you heard

shout for joy, spring is here

With the return of the red-winged black bird.






 ***Poems written by Donna Donabella and are copyrighted.


Come Join Us:

I hope you will join me for a very special new meme, Seasonal Celebrations.  How do you celebrate the new season?  Are there special flowers or special celebrations you attend or create?  It can be anything you want it to be.  And it seems so appropriate to collaborate with Beth and her Garden Lessons Learned meme.  What lessons have you learned this past season of winter here in the North and summer in the South.  Then tell us about your wishes, desires and dreams for the new season.

The rules are simple.  Just create a post that talks about lessons learned and/or seasonal celebrations.  If you are joining in for both memes please leave a comment on both our blog posts.  Or if you are choosing to join only one meme, leave a comment on that blog post.  Make sure to include a link with your comment.

Beth and I will do a summary post of our respective memes on the solstice or equinox.  And we will keep those posts linked on a page on our blog.  Your post should be linked in the weekend before the solstice to give us enough time to include your post in our summary posts.  And if you link in a bit late, never fear we will include it on the special blog page.

The pictures here can be used in your post, or add the widgets to your blog.  My widget, Seasonal Celebrations, is pictured above.  You can grab the code at the bottom of my sidebar.  Hopefully the code should work.  It is a painting (done digitally) of my pond.  Beth’s widget, pictured here, is available on her blog.  So won’t you join in the celebration!!



Next up on the blog:     This Friday I will highlight another favorite native plant as part of my Simply The Best series with Diana@ Elephant’s Eye.  I will have the last 2 color posts in March in time for GBBD, yellow, and Wildflower Wednesday, green.  I also will be looking at a favorite spring flower as I join Stacy@Microcosm‘s challenge to look at a plant in different ways.  And don’t forget to join Beth@PlantPostings for Garden Lessons Learned and me for Seasonal Celebrations.

Please  join me for my weekly posts, every Tuesday, at Beautiful Wildlife Garden.  I’ll be highlighting Favorite Native Flowering Shrubs.

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. Alistair says:

    It is easy to get fooled at this time of year Donna. The Winter has been so very mild and now when we are looking for early Spring it turns colder. The snow hasn’t arrived though, mind you I have seen it even in April, usually a flash in the pan.

    • Donna says:

      Alistair, I hope you can keep your spring weather without any snow. We have seen snow in mid May here which is why I keep my veg bed covered until late May. 60 degrees here tomorrow..what a treat that will be since it was 10 degrees here this morning..

  2. Elaine says:

    Hi Donna, I really like your Crocus poem…that’s just how I feel! We all got excited this week to see some purple crocus poking through the groundcover, and some of the flowering plums and cherries are just starting to break bud here in the Pacific Northwest!

  3. Bumblelush says:

    You’re so right about Mother Nature trumping us, so it’s best to just go with the flow. Actually, I’m glad that we didn’t get any blizzards this year. Your leafy veggies look very crisp and fresh!

    • Donna says:

      I am gald as well with regard to blizzards and lots of snow. My lettuces were amazing and I can’t wait to get started outdoors under cover. I need the room now to start flowers and late veggies…

  4. Christina says:

    That first image is amazing, Donna, such a blue sky!
    I’ll enjoy following all your new memes but time constraints mean that I’m unlikely to be able to join in.

    • Donna says:

      Christina so glad you enjoyed the post. if you decide to post about spring or the beginning of the new season in the garden before the 21st, feel free to link in…love to have you if you have the time.

  5. Kathy from Cold Climate Gardening says:

    We got another wintry blast ourselves. Right now the windchill is 12F, though I have to say I am enjoying the sunshine from the heated side of the windows. I do think, on the whole, mud season has arrived early. I consider it officially spring when the lawn grass greens up, for that means the soil has thawed. (I didn’t make that up. I got it from A Year at North Hill by Winterrowd and Eck.)

    • Donna says:

      Kathy I will have to check out the book you reference. I also can see the lawn greening as a way of telling the ground has finally thawed…yes I do believe mud season is here since my whole yard is boggy…very cold today but 60 by tomorrow…good to hear from you…hope you have been well. I know you have been busy!!

  6. Stacy says:

    Great list, Donna. And so true that spring doesn’t really come until quite a while after we think it should have. I always think the most unprotected native plants are the ones that really tell you when spring has come–they seem to have an extra-reliable sixth sense of what Mother Nature has up her sleeves.

    • Donna says:

      Stacy I know just what kind of spring I will have by the early natives…if I see activity soon we will have an early spring and warm weather..otherwise it won’t be until April…

    • Donna says:

      It actually is cozier from the house. The gazebo is screened in so a bit cold in there during winter but very beautiful views from there! Our blue skies are one good thing we have in winter.

  7. Sheila says:

    We’ve been having crazy weather swings, too. High 70s for a couple of days last week, now windy and cold. Love the first photo – the blue of the sky is incredible.

    • Donna says:

      Sheila we do get the bluest skies in of the beautiful things I have noticed and what a backdrop to all the winter white…so glad you enjoyed the post!

  8. HolleyGarden says:

    How nice that you have fresh greens to eat! And I love the moss on the trees, and the crocus. Good lessons. So nice that you appreciate the magic of winter, even when you’re looking forward to spring.

    • Donna says:

      I have finally learned not to fight winter but enjoy its beauty and the rest it gives me from the garden. Time to pursue other things. So glad you enjoyed the post!

  9. Barbie says:

    Thank you for your post – we are so lucky here in Africa to not have to grow things under lights and heat mats. But the crocus blooms under the ice is just a wonderful sight to behold. I do miss that (lived in the USA as a child)

    • Donna says:

      Barbie what wonderful memories you have. You are lucky and I am so jealous every time I see your incredible vegetable garden. Happy to join in!

  10. Foxglove Lane says:

    Thank you for being such a sweetheart! It’s funny because I am always in awe of your output! Talents get shared out and you got a an awful lot of them. The sheer energy, enthusiasm and passion you have for nature comes through everything. My favourite here is the crocus poem. How perfect, a youthful gladness indeed:~)

    • Donna says:

      Aren’t you wonderful for saying so!! I do love the little crocus poem as well. Your comments mean a lot and I learn so much from your words and photos!!

    • Donna says:

      Wow that would be so unusual for the ground to not freeze here…if we had more snow the plants would have been happier..glad you enjoyed the post!

  11. Eileen says:

    Lovely poem and post. The crocus are pretty even with the snow. I have a big Vole problem in my yard.

    I enjoyed reading all your tips and lesson learned. Wonderful photos. I hope the rest of your week is a happy one!

    • Donna says:

      Eileen thank you for visiting the garden an I am glad you had an enjoyable visit. I too have a vole problem and in winter with lots of snow it is worse. We are due for a warm up this week so it should be a wonderful time in the garden. I hope to visit your blog soon.

  12. Donna says:

    This is really an action packed post, so much from top to bottom. How do you keep up with so many memes? Sorry I got back here a little late, but one thing I need to learn is how to get more time. Your poems are always so fun to read, always enjoyable. And you have many nice images, especially your mosaic.

    • Donna says:

      Donna your kind comments always mean so much especially regarding my poems. I also find your posts so chock full of information and I know how much work went into them. I use my Google calendar to keep all the memes scheduled and I keep notes in my post drafts. When you learn to get more time, let me know…I could use it too. That is why I combine so many memes into one post, and look for more ways to get more out of a post.

  13. Michelle@RamblingWoods says:

    Well this was a surprise..thank you so much for joining into Nature Notes and I see there are other things that I can participate in. I love the poems and wish I could write them, but I have only experimented a little in haiku. It seems that I am always trying something that leads to something else.. Birdwatching to Butterflies and then to gardening. I guess it is a natural progression, but I should have started sooner.

    Thank you for the suggestions for my milkweed patch. I want so badly to try to get people to leave their sections of pond edge wild and maybe if mine looks prettier, people will be more receptive. Now they regard me warily, sometimes with hostility that I am not keeping with the cleanly mowed program. That and being called a ‘tree hugger’ as if it was a bad thing. But that will be my project this year to try to make the patch look more colorful.

    This year I will try to take some of the monarch eggs and monarchs to more people as people seem to respond to them well and I can use them as ambassadors..maybe….Michelle

    • Donna says:

      Michelle I want to thank you for finding me on FB which has led me to your wonderful blog and you another NY blogger. It seems so much does lead to something else which is how I came to writing poems and blogs. I am excited to join in your Nature Notes as much as possible. Coming into gardening is never to late no matter when you start…I am happy to help you with that milkweed patch and any other questions you have. Keep me posted…I love that you are using monarchs as ambassadors…you should do a guest post about it on Beautiful Wildlife Gardens.

      • Michelle says:

        I would love to do a guest post even though I feel foolish sometimes. I found my blog post from 3 years ago with a photo asking “Is This Milkweed”..LOL.. yes and common milkweed at that. I was going to have a new garden put in the front yard, but I may have to wait as a new garden needs work and my health has not been the best this winter so I think that working on the milkweed patch may be as much as I can accomplish. I say I wish I had done it sooner before my ms symptoms really started to interfere with my life. Of course if I was well, I would still be in my special education classroom, so I have to look at what I have gained..time to appreciate…I also have to consider the deer on that patch. Last year I over heard a neighbor calling me a ‘butterfly hag’ because I wouldn’t mow it done. So..maybe making it prettier would help. Gotta love some people. But any suggestion are greatly appreciated.. Thank you so much..Michelle

        • Donna says:

          I think folks would love to read a post by the “butterfly hag”…some people are just ignorant…I know how it goes with health. I was a special educator and moved to administration…I hope to retire next year. The flowers I suggested should be deer resistant so no fear. I may have extra seed and could send some if you email me your contact info. Happy to do it.

  14. Leora says:

    Love seeing the purple crocuses pushing through the ice. Also, I’m enjoying watching your seedlings grow. I gave up growing seedlings inside after some grow lights got smashed (I have three kids, and they have friends…).

    • Donna says:

      Leora so glad to have you visit…I actually have some herbs and lots of annuals sprouting right now and will feature them soon in a post….viola, pansy and petunia to name a few…crossing my fingers they survive and flower outside soon…this is my first time growing these flowers from seed…

  15. Rose says:

    Lovely poems and images to celebrate the seasons! And so appropriate, too–this winter has definitely been a tease. One day it will feel like spring and the next we’ll have a cover of snow. I hope the voles leave the rest of your crocuses alone!

    • Donna says:

      Thank you so much Rose!! We are warming up for almost a week so I have a feeling the bulbs are going to go into hyper-drive…and hundreds of geese are returning today…I may have to plant more crocus in some strategic spots to keep the voles away.

  16. The Sage Butterfly says:

    Donna, your garden is still very beautiful cloaked in the cover of snow. I have a section of my garden that is draped in moss, and I enjoy having a small piece to enjoy. Sometimes I take pieces of it and spread it around the base of plants. The crocus look so beautiful peeking through the snow…colors are amazing. I like the idea of your season celebration meme, and I will be back to offer something that works with your theme.

    • Donna says:

      Michelle I am so happy you will be joining in. We are getting a warm up this week and I think we actually will see blooms in March…I love the idea of spreading moss…I have a few spots it is naturally spreading and like to help it along!

  17. EG Wow, Canada says:

    For sure, winter has a habit of returning many times this time of year. Growing salad greens under grow lights sounds like a great way to keep your spirits up though!

    • Donna says:

      You are so right….we can and many times do have snow through mid May…so we adjust and plan for it…growing the greens definitely helped me enjoy winter more!! So glad you enjoyed the post.

    • Donna says:

      Your pond is thawed and springing to life…so nice…mine still has some ice…let’s hope we have a few crocus left…

  18. Liz says:

    Hi Donna,

    Beautiful photos, snow is just so peaceful and magical – although I do appreciate that it soon becomes boring! 😀
    It looks to me like spring is creeping into your garden now with the beautiful crocuses.

    Indeed, as much as we may be tricked into thinking spring is here, I’ve been holding off doing too much in the garden because I do not want to risk anything being damaged or killed off by a late frost or snow.

    • Donna says:

      Liz so glad you enjoyed the post…indeed snow can be boring…there are a few crocus, aconite and snowdrops…hoping to see some more soon….

  19. PlantPostings says:

    That is one interesting Crocus, Donna! I’m trying to imagine what it looks like without vole damage–maybe not much different? Very interesting colors! I apologize for my delayed comment. I’m losing track of which posts go with which link. Thanks for joining in “Lessons Learned”! These are great lessons!

    • Donna says:

      I’ll post some crocus not vole or rabbit nibbled…little less purple and scalloped edges are the real differences…glad you enjoyed the post!

  20. Grace says:

    Hi Donna, Wonderful post, as usual. I’m sorry I’ve been away so long. i love your sweet spring poems. Aren’t you just SO ready for spring? We had a bit of snow and ice on Monday and today it was sunny and 62 degrees. Weather is so fickle. But your little bird visitor couldn’t be wrong. Spring is coming! Cheers.

    • Donna says:

      Wonderful to hear from you Grace and no apologies…so glad you enjoyed your visit. We had snow again but starting Sunday we are supposed to get a week of temps in the 60s near 70…very strange for March!

    • Donna says:

      Carolyn I am glad you have some warmth…we are warming again starting tomorrow…spring is right around the corner…hard to believe it!

  21. Casa Mariposa says:

    Wise words! I have a patch of thornless blackberries that manage to thrive in partial shade. I leave all the berries for the birds, who hop along the fence waiting for them to ripen. I added smilacina racemosa (False Solomon’s Seal) to my garden last fall. They add more winter fruit for the birds. :o)

    • Donna says:

      The birds must love you…I have some berries but not nearly enough especially for the birds that stay…planting more this year…so glad you enjoyed the post!

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