Gardens Eye Journal-June 2012


“It is the month of June,

The month of leaves and roses

When pleasant sights salute the eyes,

And pleasant scents the noses.”

N.P. Willis

May has been a most amazing month here in the garden.  Starting with the promise of spring and warm temps finally after a freezing cold April.  It quickly turned into a hot summer in no time with temps more like July.  Some flowers never bloomed, others bolted and still others are weeks ahead blooming at odd times and leaving big holes in the garden.  But so much has happened this month, I am anxious to share this Journal entry.

first daylily

Once again I will be joining in with the many memes that are happening this time of the month:  Walk in Garden@This Grandmother’s GardenFirst View@Town Mouse & Country MouseGarden Bloggers Harvest Day (GBHD)@The Gardening Blog, Best and Worst of My Garden@Bumble Lush,  Salad Days@Veg Plotting on the 4th Friday of the month and End of Month View with Helen@The Patient Gardener’s Weblog.


Weather Report

The weather spanned from mid-spring right to mid-summer with more days in the 80s and 90s with very little rain.  As May ended the weather shifted dramatically to temps in the 60s during the day and 50 at night.  We also received 4 inches of rain in one day (actually within a couple of hours).  June promises to be more May-like as it begins with mid-spring temps in the high 60s.  What I love to call perfect spring weather.


What’s Growing

I will warn you that my flower beds are still just blooming and not at all as they have been in the past… sporadic is more like it now.  Some flowers are ahead and others trying to catch up.  This year the hydrangeas may not catch up and bloom much at all.  They were frozen back so many times in April they are growing from the ground up this year.  This doesn’t bode well.  Then there is the pruning and weeding which is also not getting done.  So take a look at the beds, and know perhaps the after pictures in a month or two will be better.

Front Garden

The robins are nesting in the front yard again so we have not been able to weed much and we have not pruned back the willows.  So they are very overgrown and taking over.

In front of the tree are the twigs which were the hydrangeas.  We pruned them to that height in March as they were growing beautifully;  they died back in April.  The columbines and creeping phlox are done blooming.  The salvia and lavender are just getting going.  Belle of Woking clematis is happy in the left corner.  The hanging planter is new and I love them.  The flowers I planted should take right off.

This is the other side of the walk that is just beginning to bloom with the next wave of flowers.  Phlox, lavender, daylily, echinacea and coreopsis.  A few flowers, like ameria and penstemon, in bloom waiting for the roses that have amazing numbers of buds.  There is the tree the robins call home for now.  We hope to hear babies soon.


Back Garden

 Here is a view looking over the back fence and the pond toward the white garden in the back.  It is so weedy there I can barely see the white blooms of peony, siberian iris and allium.  There were lovely hosta there, but the deer had a field day a few days ago and even with spraying, the torrential rain washed the deer spray all off.  You can see one of several they devoured below.

Poor hosta…it made it through the frost, died back in the freeze and grew again only to be eaten by those devils.

This view is over the same fence just hugging the right side a bit.  The grass is a field of clover with horsetail mixed in.  But we have veggie gardens here surrounded by raspberries, blueberries and perennials.  The newly planted tomatoes are under the white cover.  Again it is overgrown and weedy around these beds.  The meadow can just be seen behind the gazebo.



Many natives are blooming.  Here are a few.

 Native honeysuckle that the hummers are loving.



 Viburnum flowers will soon become berries that the birds will devour in later summer.



Tiarella growing amongst the weedy tree bed.  I hope to plant more in various spots.  I love their delicate flowers.





I love the early morning sun as it just peeks through the trees and begins to brighten the pond.  The waterlilies are still closed but you can see they are just beginning to open with the sun.  Native iris have not bloomed except for one.  Tradescantia that seeded themselves on the left near the giant reed grass were a surpise as they are blooming along the edge of the pond.


Veg Garden

Well I am almost done with this phase of the veg gardens.  Those seedlings that did not fit into the raised beds are now in containers.  Starting at the top left is a container variety of zucchini from Renee’s Garden called ‘Astia’.  They are compact and easily grow in a small space.  Next moving clockwise are the cherry tomatoes (green tubs) and potatoes/sweet potatoes in the orange bags.  We covered them because we saw cat prints in the dirt.  These are not a litter box; darn cat.  Then we see one of about 16 Green Chile peppers, my favorite.  There are hot peppers in other containers too.  Bottom right is the large veg bed which had radishes that are now finished.  The heat had them bolting so I had to harvest them.  In between the garlic in the back of the bed are some of the tomatoes seedlings.  Carrots, collards and sweet peppers are also planted here in the front of the bed.  The garlic scapes pictured here show how fast the garlic is growing.  They are a month ahead and I expect to harvest them in June.  The fresh hillock of dirt is the pumpkin patch we are trying.  It is in front of the strawberry bed that is weedy again.    The last bed is the newest one with peas, pole and bush beans, okra, dill, nasturtiums and eggplant.  I am keeping my fingers crossed for bigger, better producing veg beds than we have had so far.  The shady bed in the back (not pictured here) is still growing a few radishes and lettuces.



This was how the seed station looked before last weekend.  Now it is empty.  All flowers and veggies were planted or given away.  But that is not the end to the seed growing.  I have decided to grow many different native plants from seed to plant out in fall.  More on that in a later post, but I can tell you I am excited to see how this next phase in seed growing works out.




 As you can see (top left) the frogs have been busy laying eggs all over the pond.  And we were visited by an Eastern Black Swallowtail butterfly looking for some nectar and I hope a host plant.  I have Golden Alexander, Queen Anne’s Lace and dill just starting so I hope to see some caterpillars perhaps this year.  Papa bluebird has been busy.  If there are babies they are quiet, but we think they have hatched because the parents are frantically going back and forth with what appears to be insects.  Lastly, the Orioles are back and enjoying the pond most evenings.



Gardens Eye Verse

The meadow is delightful right now.  So much changes with each day.  I couldn’t resist showing you some more pictures of the lupines.  The other plants are the remnants of the cattails that will soon be blooming again.  I hope you enjoy my poem about the meadow!

Meadow Delights

Perfumed air moves lazily past my windowpane,

Refreshing my soul in shadows.

As a kaleidoscope of colors delights my eyes,

Joy abounding-senses fulfilled.

Donna Donabella


Please join me for the next 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 (summer up N and Winter 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 June 1 and the 20th, and on the 20th we will reveal those lessons and celebrations.


Next up on the blog:  Next Monday will be GBBD combined with Garden lessons Learned.  Then it will be time for another Garden Book Review.

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.


    • Donna says:

      Thanks so much Janet. It has helped me keep track of the goings on in my garden…many poor little hostas…bad deer…bad, bad deer!

    • Donna says:

      I hope to trim the trees and weed a bit more, but the hubby has been weeding the front. I had planned for a welcoming front and glad it has been achieved. Thx Tina.

  1. Sharon says:

    Your garden is very lovely. I think it’s funny you call it weedy and overgrown. If mine looked that good, I probably wouldn’t even do any gardening for a while, just sit around with a latte or a lemonade and enjoy it.

    • Donna says:

      Thx Sharon…of course I can see every weed and flaw or so I think. I will take you advice and not worry about the weeds…

    • Donna says:

      So glad you like it. The robins are doing fine…they hatched are growing. We will keep our fingers crossed for some fledglings in about another week.

  2. Andrea says:

    Hi Donna! Your garden areas are looking good! They are so lush, even if everything is not blooming the way you are used to. My favorites are the pond area and back garden. Looks as if you will have many fresh veggies to enjoy later this summer too. What variety of green chile do you grow? Is it hot like a jalapeño?

    • Donna says:

      Actually Andrea I am growing several hot peppers but the chiles are medium heat Hatch green chiles that you find in NM. They had quite a kick but just enough heat. I am addicted to them and roast them. I hope to post about them in July.

  3. PlantPostings says:

    Wow, your pond is really coming along, Donna! And the veggie garden is very impressive. I didn’t realize you had so many perennial beds near the house–they’re spectacular! One of these days we’ll have to visit each other’s gardens in person! 🙂

    • Donna says:

      Beth, that would be fun…I would love to visit your gardens and you are welcome anytime….I have beds along the entire perimeter of the house, along the entire inside of the fence and in a couple of areas outside the fence…and then there is the meadow behind the fence. Keeps me busy 🙂

  4. Kate says:

    The photo of Tiarella is so lovely with the light hitting the petals and the leaves. All of your photos have such pretty natural light. It’s like I’m right there!

  5. ramblingwoods says:

    I can see all the possibilities that I have to swap some non-native for native reading this post. I thought my hydrangeas looked twig-like but I have only had them for the past 2 seasons. The cold weather did take a toll. My hosta look decent though and I have not had deer eat them, but I think there is so much else to eat this time of year around here that I don’t see them in the yard. The cold, wet weather now is not helping….Nice to be able to get here at last….Michelle

    • Donna says:

      Don’t be fooled by the deer…they have not found your hosta…there is so much around here for the deer too but they choose my garden and their favs: hosta, lilies, phlox, daylilies are a few. Hydrangeas are barely a foot tall with some growth…looks like I will be adding them to the barely growing list this year. They will recover though I am sure.

    • Donna says:

      Thx Christine…I enjoy your harvest meme. This year I am growing more with the new veg bed and containers…it is fun and I am already planning for next year and how I can get more room…growing your own food is so much more yummy!!

  6. b-a-g says:

    Donna – Reading your journal makes me feel guilty that I should be doing more gardening.
    I started sowing seeds indoors in March, thinking that I would get ahead of the game. However, the seeds I sowed in May seem to have progressed better.

    • Donna says:

      I had a similar experience…later seeds did much better…we all garden at our own pace and obsession. For me it keeps me sane even if physically I am limited this year.

  7. Alberto says:

    Donna, your pond looks fantastic, I really love it! I am working on a pond and I hope it will resemble yours one day! Did you bring those big stones from elsewhere? I fear it would cost me a lot of money to call someone with a truck full of big stones like those… And they might drive over my garden… Oh my God!!!!
    That honeysuckle is wonderful, I was at the verge of buying a similar one, but then I wasn’t sure about scent and hardiness, could you tell me something more?

    • Donna says:

      Alberto, yes we brought in all the stones. It wasn’t as expensive as I thought it would be. I can’t wait to see your pond. The honey suckle is a native variety called Lonicera sempervirens or coral/trumpet honeysuckle. It is hardy down to zone 4 so it takes quite a bit of cold weather. It is actually non-fragrant and in the back of the garden in a part shady area. It is a hummingbird magnet and it flowers all season and is so easy to care for…grows to about 20 feet and will take quite a pruning and still grow profusely…I love it.

  8. Gaia gardener says:

    Your gardens look absolutely lovely! I have to laugh – you confirmed something I’ve suspected for quite a while: when we, as gardeners, look at our own gardens, all we seem to see are the flaws and the work that needs to be done. However, when we, as gardeners, look at someone else’s garden, we tend to see the beauty that is there and not even notice the flaws unless or until they are pointed out!

    Your frog eggs, birds, and nestlings are inspiring. Hope you do get to see some swallowtail caterpillars this year! (I have good luck tucking in parsley plants as filler between my perennials.)

    • Donna says:

      Great idea with the parsley. I need to start it just in late April or May and plant it out in key spots. You are so right about what we see in our gardens…it is a lesson I am learning…thx for your words of inspiration!

  9. Carolyn says:

    Your gardens are beautiful, Donna, and isn’t that what we all love about gardening… that they are forever changing? Love your little creatures and they must love your gardens as well. Thank you for linking in with my “Walk in the Gardens” Challenge. I’ve surely enjoyed my walk with you.

    • Donna says:

      Thx Carolyn….my milkweed patch is expanding and I hope to see some monarchs soon….the creatures are such a blessing and I feel so honored.

  10. Carolyn @ Carolyns Shade Gardens says:

    The photos of your front walk and of the pond are especially gorgeous. Even though you say not it seems like there is a lot going on in your garden. You need a deer spray that doesn’t wash off. We use Repellex which is now called Natura.

    • Donna says:

      Carolyn I will look into Repellex. You are right and I know there is more going on, I just have been a bit disappointed by the weather and the crazy bloom times…thx for keeping me focused!

  11. Eileen says:

    Donna, your gardens are beautiful. And I love your pond. The birds must love your yard. Cute shot of the Poppa Bluebird. Lovely photos and post.

  12. joey says:

    Lovely, lovely, lovely, Donna … all is lovely 🙂 A beautiful post that must have taken ages to compose. Am in awe of all … thank you for sharing.

    • Donna says:

      Thanks so much Joey. I am enjoying keeping the monthly journal even though it does take quite a bit of work to compose. It has focused me more and improved what is going on in the garden….glad you enjoyed the visit!

  13. GirlSprout says:

    Your front garden looks gorgeous. I did the same thing to my lavenders last year that you did to your hydrangeas. I’m giving them one more year and hoping they’ll come back.

    • Donna says:

      Lavenders are tricky here so I give them a little trim to stimulate growth in the spring…the hydrangeas are Endless Summer and thankfully grow on new and old wood….but with this spring not sure they will bloom at all…I continue to revamp the front gardens a little at a time…I am still working on the long strip…glad you liked them!

    • Donna says:

      How nice of you to say so….the yellow water lilies are beginning to bloom too as are the iris…I hope to capture some good shots this weekend to post later.

  14. Barbie says:

    Just lovely!! I am certain the veggie planting will produce amazing rewards! I hope mine will be as good!
    Thank you for your post. Very inspiring!!!

    • Donna says:

      Oh Barbie your gardens are always so wonderful especially your veggies…you are inspiring to me and I think my veggies just might do OK this year!

  15. Libby says:

    So much going on!

    Your gardens are just beautiful! I also love the pond. That’s great the frogs are laying eggs 🙂

    The native honeysuckle is pretty – I did not know they had orange flowers.

    I will be excited to see the progress of the veggie garden! 😀

    • Donna says:

      Thx Libby…the native honeysuckle is actually a coral honeysuckle and the flowers are a red with yellow ao they appear more orange many times…I am keeping my fingers and toes crossed for a good harvest…early spring was OK…I think summer and fall will be better ;0

  16. Carole Sevilla Brown says:

    Donna, I have gazebo envy! That’s gorgeous. I love your Tiarella. It’s such a beautiful little flower. Also I’m amazed and thrilled for you that you’ve got both Bluebirds and Orioles! How exciting.

    • Donna says:

      Carole so nice to have you visit…yes that gazebo was a huge must when I designed the garden…with the mosquitoes in the area we needed a spot in the shade to watch the critters…I am so happy this year to see both in the garden and that the bluebirds have nested here…they seem to be frequent guests and I hope permanent residents now.

    • Donna says:

      Sorry to hear that Karen…seems I will have to bid them adieu this year and wait until next year to see them bloom.

  17. Donna says:

    A very nice tour of the garden, Donna. It is very comprehensive too. You have so much going on all the time in the garden, keeping much interest all season long.

    • Donna says:

      Thx Donna…I sometimes wonder if I do a bit too much but it is my obsession and inquisitive mind that fuels it all…glad you enjoyed the visit…

  18. HolleyGarden says:

    Your front garden is just lovely. So inviting. And the pond!!! Oh, I would spend all my time there. Water is such a magical addition to a garden. FYI: The other day I could read your Seasonal Celebrations post, but didn’t comment because I knew I would be joining in soon. Which I wanted to do today, but for some reason I could not access that post now! I could access every other post, but this one I could not reach, through email, google, or even through your own website (other posts were fine, but that link would not come up). I know this is frustrating for you.

    I didn’t want to wait any longer to join in as I am leaving town for a few days, so I am joining in with my post here:

    Thanks for hosting!

    • Donna says:

      Holley thank you for visiting and your comment…so sorry it has been difficult getting to the blog and I appreciate your diligence through all this…and what a great post for seasonal celebrations!! Thx for joining in!

  19. Liz says:

    Hi Donna,

    Can I come and live with you please??!! You garden is far too gorgeous 🙂

    I hope the weather gets better for us both soon – today has been thoroughly miserable!

    For the past couple of years I’ve been tempted to re-pave our front, but half feel it’s a bit of a waste as I plan on moving in the next year or so depending on work and what not. But at the same time, it really would look much nicer.

    • Donna says:

      Liz I have plenty of room and you are welcome any time…I know I am a bit critical of my garden but it is nice to hear others really like it!!

  20. Beth says:

    Love the tiarella, the pond, the front beds and your back yard. I know you are disappointed by some things going on (weather issues, deer), but your gardens have great bones and all will be well in time!

    • Donna says:

      Beth thank you for those inspiring words…I sometimes wonder about the bones but glad to hear they are there…I know each day there is something new and wonderful to see….thx for visiting as always Beth!!

  21. Foxglove Lane says:

    Weedy and overgrown!! I dont think you really understand those terms! Donna you are a wonderful and passionate gardener, and I am simply in awe of all that you do and how beautiful it all is. Thank you for caring for the wild things and appreciating the importance of life. And thank you for your kind kind words X:~)

    • Donna says:

      You are too kind and wise in saying I do not understand…I think I am being too critical. I need to adjust and look for where changes are needed…I already have a few ideas….it is that perfect gene that rears its ugly head every so often and I wish to have a magazine perfect garden…but I am forever improving the garden and that is OK…gardens don’t like to stand still. I hope if I ever get back to Ireland we can meet and I may see your lovely lake, woods and fields where you take those magnificent pictures.

  22. debsgarden says:

    Your garden is looking lush and beautiful, despite the difficulties! Working with nature through the seasons is what makes gardening so challenging and so rewarding, but those critters that share our gardens certainly can be frustrating! I did not weed my herb bed at all this spring because bluebirds nested in the birdhouse I put there only for decorative purposes. It is so close to the house I didn’t think birds would actually use it. But it made for easy viewing of bluebird activity!

    • Donna says:

      Thx Deb…How incredible that the bluebirds nested there…they like your garden….I am seeing a slow move of the garden to summer blooms as the flowers are budding…now if I can get to those weeds we can see more flowers 🙂

    • Donna says:

      Oh Elaine how wonderful of you to say so…this rose was actually pulled out because it died or so we thought. Some part of the plant plus roots did not get pulled and it has grown in 2 years to be the most amazing climber.

    • Donna says:

      Great to hear Dee…I do love the memes…perhaps you might find a time in that crazy busy schedule of yours to link into Seasonal Celebrations. Summer is the latest and I will be getting that post up on the 20th so you still have time 🙂

  23. Jean says:

    Ah, yes, that deer-browsed hosta is a familiar sight. The first time I got up in the morning and found my hostas eaten like that, I didn’t know what had hit them — and then I noticed those dainty cloven hoof-prints on the ground next to them! Now that I am out and leaving my scent around the garden every day, the deer are staying away; I wish I could intimidate the woodchuck that easily! -Jean

    • Donna says:

      Wow, the deer could care less about our scent here…they are brazen and you have to actually approach them to get them to leave. We had to trap the woodchuck and move it. Too brazen as well near kids.

  24. Wife, Mother, Gardener says:

    Your gardens are beautiful, Donna. I love the views that you have and those willow by your front walk. Your pond took my breath away! I love the white waterlilies with the white variegated grass beside them. Great combination! Happy June!

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