Faint Memories of My Garden

Apprentice yourself to nature.   Not a day will pass
without her opening a new and wondrous world of
experience to learn from and enjoy.
–   Richard W. Langer


This quote defines my blog completely.  I started to write down my garden lessons as I learned them from my garden and nature.  As I opened my eyes, ears, heart and soul to this adventure, I have never been disappointed or left for something to write about.  This last month in the garden was warmer and drier for the most part, but due to work obligations, I was unable to get out and do much of anything except observe and take pictures.

With the first freeze/frost many flowers were lost, but many were bravely blooming until we had a week of cold weather.  So what has been left are the remnants of the wondrous garden of 2012.  So I thought I would share these memories from the garden that was, as I link in with [email protected]May Dream Gardens for Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day on the 15th; [email protected]Digging for her Foliage Follow Up on the 16th, and [email protected]Creating my own garden of the Hesperides for her Garden Bloggers Foliage Day on the 22nd.  I will also share a few garden lessons from the autumn garden as I join in with [email protected]PlantPostings for her Garden Lessons Learned meme.

Before I begin though, I thought I would look back at my Seasonal Celebrations mantra for autumn.  I find it helpful to see if I was able to stay on track during the last season.


My autumn mantra was:

While work and garden chores will keep me very busy this fall, I must find time to go within and seek that inner peace the fall garden evokes, bask in its warmth and soft glow and find time to slow and enjoy nature and my garden.

Early fall is the perfect time to finish up chores in the NE and then in the latter part of the season you can just kick back and enjoy the garden as it ages and fades beautifully with all its wrinkles.  Please enjoy the images of my aged and wrinkled flowers seen in late November and early December:
 Asters spreading their glory for next season

The remains of my tall rudbeckia tired of blooming.

This non-native Mediterranean plant, Centranthus ruber or red valeria, continues to bloom until multiple freezes stops it cold.

This sunny cheery flower is  a cultivar of the native pontentilla shrub.  It’s called Mango Tango and it loves to keep shooting out blooms now as well as throughout the fall.

 Joe Pye is a great flower especially as it sets up its seeds to send around the garden.  They sparkle in the light as if frosted.

Here is some late fall foliage.  All the leaves are finally gone:

There is no better native fall/winter shrub than red twig dogwood.  It’s bark is a mainstay in my winter garden and the only color I see for months sometimes.  The foliage is an added bonus as it fades in a rainbow of colors.  The birds devoured the berries it produced months ago.

This is a native swamp rose I planted this fall.  I already adore the fall foliage and can’t wait to see it blossom.

 Don’t you just love the native hardy geraniums.  The foliage is so striking and lasts well into late fall.


As I think about the fall season and what I have learned from my garden, I am taken back to spring and summer where nothing seemed normal.  Then I found these wonderful quotes about learning and the garden that spoke volumes for me.  Plants grew sooner and longer than others, others never bloomed and still others acted normally.  But when I stepped back into watching nature and the signs it provided, I found I was more successful with my gardening.


The gardener who imagines that his work can be reduced to a set of rules and formulae, followed and applied according to special days marked on the calendar, is but preparing himself for a double disappointment. Few things are so certain to be uncertain as the seasons and the weather; and these, rather than a set of dates, even for a single locality, form the signs which the real gardener follows. That is the great trouble with much book and magazine gardening.
–   Frederick Frye Rockwell, Around the Year in the Garden, 1917



The more one gardens, the more one learns;  And the more one learns, the more one realizes how little one knows.
– Vita Sackville-West

Great News:

Last year in December, I posted my award winning short story memoir about  The Night I Saw Santa.  Just recently I was contacted by the editors of the website Women’s Memoirs that sponsored the memoir contest.  They are writing an ebook and have asked to include my memoir.  Yes was my immediate answer.  I would love to be included as it is a great honor to be included in anything these ladies do.  My original memoir included a family recipe which I will be illustrating in photos for the ebook.  For all you wonderful supporters, I will let you know when it is available.  What an incredible Christmas gift I have been given.   Thank you Matilda Butler and Kendra Bonnett.  If you have never visited their website, I encourage to do so.


Come Join Us:

Seasonal Celebrations is a time for marking the change of seasons and what is happening in your part of the world during this time.  I hope you will join in by creating a post telling us how you celebrate this time of year whether winter or summer or something else.  Share your traditions, holidays and celebrations in pictures and words.

And it seems so appropriate to collaborate with Beth and her Lessons Learned meme.  What lessons have you learned this past season of autumn here in the North and spring in the South.  Then tell us about your wishes, desires and dreams for this 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 (around the 21st of December).  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.  And if you link in a bit late, never fear we will include it on the special blog page (which I still have to create).  The badges here can be used in your post.   So won’t you join in the celebration!!


Next up on the blog:     Next Monday will be time to share another favorite Garden Book. Seasonal Celebrations will be revealed on the 21st and I will have a special Christmas post on the 24th.  I will have my last native plant for the final installment of Simply The Best  and Dozen for DianaElephant’s Eye on the 26th.

I will be linking in with [email protected]Rambling Woods for her Nature Notes meme.  It is a great way to see what is happening in nature around the world every Wednesday.

I hope you will join me for my posts once a month at Beautiful Wildlife Garden. See my most current post now.

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

Please remember, to comment click on the title of the post and the page will reload with the comments section.

All original content is copyrighted and the sole property of Donna Donabella @ Gardens Eye View, 2010-2012.  Any reprints or use of content or photos is by permission only.

71 Replies to “Faint Memories of My Garden”

  1. Donna, the faint memories of your garden hit a note with me. Great pictures and I love the Autumn shades of your native swamp rose. Congratulations on your story being included in the ebook.

    1. Thank you Alistair. That swamp rose is new to me and I am so pleased with it so far. I am sure I will be posting more about it come later spring.

  2. Donna, I feel much as you do about the joy of watching the garden fade. There is so much beauty in the details. The seeds are a favorite of mine to shoot. The quotes are perfect … they both had me nodding in agreement! We’re expecting our first freeze tonight … so sad, all the flowering perennials will likely not make it :/ The pollinators have been super busy these last weeks.

  3. Congratulations for the inclusion in the ebook; knowing how you write your blog, I’m not surprised and look forward to reading your story. Your garden is slipping very gracefully into winter. Christina

  4. Congratulations for the book inclusion…how exciting. Lovely photos as well and I adore the Swamp Rose~too dry here, but oh it’s lovely.

    1. I was so surprised by the swamp rose Gail and it certainly will be a feature in the potager area I bet come spring and summer. Hopefully a hot spot for pollinators.

  5. Congratulations on having your memoir story included in the book! Wahoo! I also loved the quote from Frederick Rockwell. So true that the garden is different year to year. The red twig dogwood is so pretty. I don’t have this in my garden, but have always been enchanted by its pictures.

    1. I specifically planted the red twig for winter interest and have not been disappointed. Thanks Holley for your enthusiastic congrats!

  6. What an honor your you were asked to have your story included in the e-book. Congrats, you are very deserving. Beautiful words to send a garden to rest. I really like this time of year because the attention is in the details, the color takes second seat.

    1. Thanks Donna…I so agree about the garden at this time…we enjoy seeing those details now that were missed when the color was front and center.

  7. Hi Donna,

    Lovely photos and memoires; still waiting for spring to arrive… Once christmas is gone it’s a race into spring, lighter and warmer days for me. I’m thoroughly tired of the dark mornings and stumbling around blury-eyed now.

    Congrats on the ebook 🙂

  8. Lovely colours and textures – those seedheads are gorgeous! I also love that bright potentilla. Congratulations on your memoir getting in the ebook. That’s the kind of news you can do with in the depths of dark wintry days!

  9. I am thrilled for you first of all that your story will be published and not in the least surprised! How wonderful! You have such an ease with your writing and sharing your heart in the guise of talking about plants for starters! It struck me today how good you are at building community around you and I realise I am not alone in having the pleasure of your company and support, no it’s something that is widely spread and appreciated….Donna what will happen when you actually have TIME…..the world is waiting:~))

    1. Oh Catherine my dear you are too kind and sweet. You brightened my day when I read your comment and it made me know I am on the right path. Thank you from the bottom of my heart!

  10. Congratulations on having your short story published in the e-book! What an honor!

    It is bittersweet to see fall pass away, but I enjoy watching as the bare bones of the garden are revealed. I can imagine how fabulous your red twig dogwood must look against the snow!

    1. The red twig is lovely Deborah and when we get some snow again I will highlight it…we have had little snow so far but I am not sad as long as we have rain.

  11. Such wonderful quotes. I love the one about as you learn more in the garden, you realize you have even that much more to learn – so very true!

    The foliage in the Northeast is unparalleled. I had the opportunity to visit up there this fall, and I enjoyed it so much! Here in North Carolina, the weather is still unpredictable, with spurts of gorgeous 75 degree weather intermingling with frosty mornings. (My plants as well as their gardener always seem to be in a perpetual state of confusion, it seems!)

    Congratulations on the inclusion of your memoir in the ebook! How exciting!

  12. First, congratulations on your writing going into the ebook. I am amazed at all the leaves and a few blooms you still have. I think of Upstate NY as ‘once it is cold it stays cold’. My geraniums (the real ones, not pelargoniums) have been eaten to a nub, so no nice color.

    1. Oh Janet the leaves are pretty much gone although with the warm spells ever now and then and no snow we have new growth on many plants. Funny how the climate change affects us here…but I expect we will see snow again by Christmas.

  13. Oh I LOVED the story as it took me back to the magic I felt as a child. Congrats and well deserved and your post is lovely…I need to adopt that mantra myself.. Michelle

    1. Thanks Diana it was such a surprise..can’t wait to see the book. It will be an iBook first and then available on the Nook. The funny thing is I do not have an eReader except my work iPad.

  14. Congratulations on your imminent e-publication!
    I wish my asters faded as beautifully as yours. Mine were a soggy mess towards the end, pretty sure the seeds were too wet to be viable.

    1. Let’s hope B-A-G that they were able to seed themselves. We usually have a dry spell in autumn but even when it has been wet they seem to just set seed and spread…would love to be able to send some but not sure it is allowed.

  15. Memoir — a good thing. So is passing of the seasons. I have containers of seeds and pods sitting around to assure me Spring will come while I celebrate the tropics under glass.

  16. Congratulations Donna on your award and inclusion in the ebook. I am fascinated with the name of that ‘mango tango’, i wonder if the name came from the color of the flower! About the so many things in the garden, i agree with you, and this blogging craze kept me more attached and attentive to everything in the garden and nature around us. There’s a lot i can write and take photos from, but it’s time that limits me! And somehow also, i wish i write better as you do!

  17. Congratulations Donna, what a wonderful piece of news. I love the quotes you used in this post, particularly the one about gardens never actually following the rules. I find it so liberating to realise this, and wish I took it on board more consistently.

    1. Thanks Janet. If I have learned anything it was the last 2 quotes..our gardens and Mother Nature rule and I have so much more to learn…

    1. Yael thank you…I love playing with the point and shoot to try and get those close ups in fall…the details are so beautiful in fall and winter.

  18. Hi Donna! Even at this time of the year, your garden is so beautiful. These photos are just stunning! You know, I’ve been so busy, I didn’t have a chance to link to your seasonal celebration meme. Is my NYC holiday post OK to link? If you’d like, I’ll update it with a link to your blog and will leave a comment on your post. Let me know. Happy Holidays! 🙂

  19. Congrats on your short story getting selected for the ebook, and thanks for sharing your colorful, New England foliage for those of us in fall-color-challenged regions. Have a wonderful holiday!

  20. Hey, I am looking for the plant Pearly Everlasting. Any suggestions. ? Also , looking for Meadow Blazing Star. Congrats on retirement and very impressed w / your blogs and commitment to native gardening. Never realized your passion for gardening.

      1. Thanks for the reply . Ironically , someone just gave me a PMN magazine. Are they good products ? Have u bought from them b4 ? I usually buy from Amanda’s Gardens. & Plantsmens nursery. Pearly is the only larvae host plant I don’t have . I knew the Meadow Blazing Star wasn’t native to our state but know of others who have. & they r a monarch magnet. Read you have a water element. That is the one thing I need to add. But it’s costly. Who did yours ? Former teacher Pam Rosier contracted Phoenix Flower Farm who did good job but costly. Also, read u have bluebirds live or visit ur habitat. ? I haven’t as of yet & this is a big goal of mine. Orioles as well . Any advice would b appreciated.

        1. PMN is excellent and yes I have bought from them. I am working with the owner of Amanda’s Garden to promote her nursery as it is local and I know she is looking to grow Pearly.

          Do you have milkweed for monarchs. There are 3 varieties that are native to NY… and asters, helianthus, echinacea are favorites of monarchs who visit me. I have not seen them on my liatris.

          The person who built my pond is no longer doing ponds and yes it was costly.

          Bluebirds like lots of insects so I am assuming you do not use chemicals in the garden and they like to be near open meadow areas. They also like to nest in bluebird houses. Orioles can be lured in with special feeders and both love the pond.

          Hope it helps. Feel free to search my archives for any info you find useful!

          1. Yea I have the liatris spicata & nothing hits it. I have lots of asters & goldenrods of all species. They are my favorite. Ellen is great, she is speaking March 30th @ the HGCNY Meeting @ 2. On seed probagation of natives . She just gave me a bunch of seed to plant. I knew the basics of how to attract BB & OR but no luck yet. For my retirement gifts I purchased lots of goodies from Wild Birds. This has helped. I have only been creating my wildlife habitat for a few years but I’m not getting any younger ! Ur right , the water element is key. Hummers love the water too but I have lots of them . They r awesome. I love to exchange cuttings so if you ever want something mayb I have. Been reading your blogs & very informative. This is how I learn. I have butterfly , common , & swamp milkweed. Love milkweed, Janet Allen has 5 or 6 other milkweeds that are native to the Midwest. I would like some of those ! They are beautiful . Insects love them.

            1. Sounds great Chris and congrats on retirement. Can’t beat natives and the wildlife they bring to the garden. Glad you are enjoying the blog.

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