They Never Showed Up For The Dance


“You do not fail in life, you only produce results, and you have the right to learn and grow from any results that you produce.”   ~Wayne Dyer


As I was perusing my garden photos, I noticed many cherished blooms were absent in 2012.  And while that caused some sadness, I remembered that no year is the same in my garden.  It is not failure if the results change from year to year.  In any given year, I may see a bloom, and then not see it again for a year or more or maybe never.  So those blooms must be celebrated in the present when they occur.

IMG_5726But as I look to the new year unfolding, I am thinking about what I will encounter in my garden in the way of plants, flowers and wildlife.  Who will visit again, and who will be but a fond memory.  I consider these visits and memories joyful.  And that joy leads to a time of play in the garden something a blogger friend (thanks Frances@Island Threads) reminded me of recently.

Unfortunately we can let work take over our lives forcing out any playful times and silliness.  And what a shame that is.  For how can we lighten our load and feed our creativeness without play.  It is essential for our health and overall well-being.

Many times I think as we grow up, we are told that being silly or playful is not mature behavior.  But how can we truly be satisfied in life without laughter and imagination created by play and discovery.  One of my greatest joys in teaching was creating fun, creative activities for children that taught them a certain concept.  It sparked their imagination, helped them learn and kept them interested.  And I had fun too.

But to keep play a priority we must turn a deaf ear to the naysayers and above all not fearIMG_5611 how we may look.  I love to sing and dance around the house or doodle and make up silly lyrics.   My blog with its words and pictures is my ultimate foray into creative fun.  And let’s not forget that a garden should be about play.  Without play in my garden it would cease to be.  I must have this ultimate creative outlet where I can get on the ground and look at the tiniest of insects and plants, or take pictures sprawled beneath a tree.  How many adults do you know who chase after bugs and butterflies with a carefree abandon or talk out loud to their garden and the critters who visit.

I no longer worry what my neighbors think.  I am the crazy lady with the big floppy hat who talks to no one, and lays on the ground watching the clouds make pictures…and you know I love it and encourage anyone else to walk barefoot on the grass, and dig in the dirt while talking to a visiting frog.

So in honor of playfulness, creativity and silliness, here are a few flowers I hope to play with again this year….maybe they will oblige, but if they don’t I will not be sad for I have learned that other experiences will come into my garden of life and bring me joy.



Weather played a big role in the absence of these flowers.  The constant, daily, unseasonable freezes of April killed the lilac, rhododendron, azalea and hydrangea buds.  It also stunted the growth of many tulips or just kept them from blooming at all.  And bleeding hearts along with delphiniums refused to come above ground in that frozen environment.  Gladioli and dahlias were too parched to bloom with our severe drought.  And the awful heat of the summer seemed to keep many predators of aphids at bay causing the aphids to wreak havoc on the water lilies (below) in summer.  The foliage recovered in fall but there were few blooms.

I am linking in with Carol@May Dream Gardens for Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day on the 15th as I remember the blooms that never showed up for the spring and summer dance.  And as we had a warm up this past weekend, there was a bit of foliage for Pam@Digging and her Foliage Follow Up on the 16th, and Christina@Creating my own garden of the Hesperides for her Garden Bloggers Foliage Day on the 22nd.







“In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.” 
Albert Einstein




“Grow Your Blog” Party


I have decided to participate in this wonderful event to meet new bloggers from around the world.  The 250 bloggers signed up so far are from a variety of different types of blogs.  I love finding new blogs and welcome new readers as well.

As part of the blog post you are encouraged to do a giveaway.  I have many wonderful garden books that I have decided to part with.  Some new, some gently/barely used and some a little more lovingly used.  So I have decided to give away away 10 garden books.  Look for the post and giveaway on January 19th.  The winners will be announced at the end of January/beginning of February.  It will be open to all readers.

If you want to grow your readership, or meet some new bloggers I invite you to join Vicki@2 Bags Full for this blog party.  You can check out the details here.


Next up on the blog:     I have that a special post coming on the evening of the 18th about the Blog Party and Giveaway.  I hope you will join me.

Next Monday brings another Garden Book Review.  Later in the month will be another post in the Simply the Best series followed by a new series of Wildflower Tales.

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 once a month at Beautiful Wildlife Garden. See my current post now.

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.











  1. tina@inthegarden says:

    Playing in the garden is the best and who cares what others think! Love that kind of philosophy! I hope the lilacs come back this year for you and all the others you missed last year.

    • Donna says:

      I agree and gave up caring so long ago Tina. I look forward to the warm spring breezes laced with the smell of lilacs in May 🙂

  2. Foxglove Lane says:

    I now have the perfect picture of you Donna, playing in your garden with your floppy hat and lying on your back to look at the sky!! It’s a wonderful picture and makes me very happy to think of you there in your absolute element!! All that playful joy comes through in your beautiful photos and your healthy happy plants. x

  3. Donna says:

    Play is a cornerstone of creative endeavor and a tool of most artists. Outwardly artists may give the impression of anything but, yet the successful ones have the sense of play guiding their work. Resting the mind with frivolity opens it to creative thoughts. It is something very much part of my work and without it there would only be mediocrity, the bane of creativity. Keep the fun rolling forward, Donna, it shows in your work.

  4. Cathy says:

    Fortunately our back garden is secluded, and I can only be seen in one area of it from the footpath… Like you, I talk to my garden and all the life forms in it, and can be seen in odd poses with the camera! I’d love to see you lying on the grass, in a floppy hat, with your camera, having a conversation with a frog!
    Lovely post – made me smile! Hope your flowers all do exceedingly well this year Donna! 😀

    • Donna says:

      Smiling does Helen and something I had forgotten. Although when I am getting irritated with someone I tend to make myself smile more and it helps!

  5. Loredana Donovan says:

    Hi Donna, I hope this year more flowers will bloom in your garden that you missed in 2012. Gardening is fun and a creative outlet to be enjoyed–I totally agree! Looking forward to seeing more of your beautiful photographs of pretty flowers soon 🙂

  6. cheryl says:

    Oh! On my half-birthday last August, I invited friends to a garden party. I dressed up as a fairy and had a jar full of granted wishes (like fortune cookies). Everyone drew at least one. A friend drew a granted wish about play. Working 6-days a week, she ruefully declared it would be a while before that could really come true. So, I said OK, draw again! The second one was a quote from George Harrison “the universe at play, deep inside your DNA…” No escape from play for her! ;-]

    • Donna says:

      Oh Cheryl I love it and what a fun party to attend. Upon my retirement I want to throw a garden party for friends. Not sure I will dress as a fairy, but I might sport a pair of wings! ;D

  7. laura@eljaygee says:

    how fun it would be to be your neighbour, Donna. I remain on the quirky side – though I may stray into odd -so your post resonated loud and clear. Gardening is too often a serious enterprise but the plants play tricks on us all the time. Great title and what a wonderful ‘winter white’ tulip

  8. Bernieh says:

    I used to spend lots of time lying on the grass looking up at the clouds when I was a child, and I still do it today. So you’re not alone there! Crazy, I don’t think so!

    What’s a stayer and what’s not is all part of the gardening journey! It’s what keeps the whole interesting. I do so hope those wonderful blooms you showed in your post today do turn up in your garden this year.

    • Donna says:

      I find myself drifting to the clouds often even when riding in the car…keeps my right brain engaged…I will have to note in upcoming posts which flowers make a reappearance this year!

  9. Beth says:

    It makes my heart sing to know that I am not the only “crazy lady” on the block with old straw hat! Our streets are just spaced a little apart.

    • Donna says:

      We are closer in heart and mind Beth…I wish I had a few more avid gardeners in the neighborhood. I am really the only one with the hat but my neighbor across the street is doing more and more gardening and she seems to love it and a neighbor down the street loves to garden.

  10. Liz says:

    Hi Donna,

    It’s always a shame when some plants leave us… Almost feels like a personal insult!

    Ah, I think perhaps you know I’m still a kid at heart… I don’t believe in being boring, I like to have a laugh and a joke and love nothing more than pointless banter with people.
    There’s also a reason I recently bought some Thundercat Converse… Oh and a second pair of Hello Kitty VANS.
    Child? Me? Never.

    My dad is one of those who doesn’t believe adults should behave as children and always tells us we’re too old for advent calendars or Easter Eggs and apparently we’re not allowed to laugh and joke…
    I love laying on the grass – my summer is spent outdoors pretty much every single evening. And the main reason I can’t possibly have a garden without lawn is because I love to sit on grass or walk on it – even better in bare feet 🙂

    • Donna says:

      Oh Liz how fun it is to walk on the grass in bare feet…I have to have lawn paths too just so I can walk in my bare feet. My dad was always a big kid with us. My mom used to say she had 5 kids not 4. He was the biggest kid of all and all the kids in the neighborhood loved to come play at our house. I think that may be why I am such a kid still…it is in my genes!!

  11. b-a-g says:

    Couldn’t agree more. I schedule fun things in my to-do list to remind myself that life isn’t just about renewing house insurance and paying the bills.

  12. debsgarden says:

    I like to play in my garden, though what I call play others may call work! I love lilacs, but most of them will not grow this far south. Nevertheless, I dream of those fragrant blooms. I hope yours do well this year!

  13. Eileen says:

    Having fun is important part of one’s life. I like the way you play around in your garden. Your photos are lovely, thanks for sharing. Have a happy week ahead.

  14. Debbie / GardenofPossibilities says:

    Donna, It’s so true that many of us forget how important play is, no matter how old we are. While I’m not sure that I consider the majority of my garden time as play – I need to do more cloud watching – I do think of my flowering plants as ‘friends’ and love waiting for them to appear each year.

  15. Jennifer@threedogsinagarden says:

    Hi Donna, As I was reading along I thought to myself that I have always been happier working rather than playing. I guess I like the feeling of accomplishment. The “work” involved in gardening is fun though. So is work that is fun “playing”? I think it just might be. Hmm…I guess I like playing after all.

    • Donna says:

      I think I may convert you Jennifer…absolutely work that is fun is play…it is all in your perspective…and if you add in a few fun things during a break it is definitely playtime. I find wandering with my camera from time to time during a break is wonderful play. 🙂

  16. Kalantikan says:

    OMG Donna, i forgot the dates, i don’t have something yet for GBBD. At least in your case even without the flowers at present you were able to gather a lot of them, from your virtual garden!

    On being different than what “mature” people are expected to be, getting out the child in us and letting them surface more in our lives keep us youthful, happier and more contented. And i guess being with nature more brings that out!

  17. Janet, The Queen of Seaford says:

    I love that you are the crazy lady with the big hat in the garden. A year ago Thanksgiving I was outside, looking at who was growing and blooming — talking to the plants… when someone was walking along the shoreline. Hi, I am the crazy lady in SC who is talking to the plants.
    We had some weird weather last spring too, my hollies didn’t bloom, nor did my Fringe tree.

    • Donna says:

      Oh Janet you had me laughing as I am frequently caught talking to my plants and critters as neighbors are out walking….they must think I talk to myself all the time. I should make a sign that says the gardener in the floppy hat is actually talking to her garden….no they will still think I am crazy 😀

    • Donna says:

      Welcome Dave! It is perfectly normal to gardeners. Those who just cut their lawns though do not understand our obsession…at least not in any of my neighborhoods…but they do love my flowers 🙂

  18. Jean says:

    This is a wise attitude, and I’m going to try to adopt it — but, oh, I do get frustrated when flowers I have loved in my garden stop wanting to grow there.

    • Donna says:

      Jean it can be sad, exasperating and downright insulting when they no longer show up! So let’s just play with with those that do show!!

  19. Island Threads says:

    🙂 Donna thanks for the link and reference to play, this is a wonderful post and so different from the post that prompted me to remind you to play,

    I too sometimes look at past photos of my garden and remember plants no longer there, 2 years ago a storm in May killed all the buds on my row of coloured willows, they didn’t revive much last year infact some are dead, I know I will have to find the strength this year to cut down the dead branches and replant the row, I hope your plants regrow and blossom this year, in gardening we win some and loose some,

    I always take being described as weird as a compliment, I would hate to be described as one of the common herd, I celebrate the indiviual (so long as the indiviual is not hurting other people/creatures) Frances x

    • Donna says:

      Well said Frances….I have never liked to be part of the common herd either….I would not be me without my quirks! I am sad to hear about your willows…much like my ash trees that we will continue to remove and replace. I hope you did not lose too many.

  20. HolleyGarden says:

    I couldn’t imagine gardening without talking to the plants, the critters, watching the clouds, and getting down on the ground to inspect the lower blooms. I love that you incorporate play into your daily life. I missed some blooms last year, too, but as you say, the garden is always changing, so we dance with the ones that show up.

    • Donna says:

      It does seem odd not to do those things when one has a garden Holley. I found it is only odd to those who do not garden. Here’s to dancing with many flowers this spring.

  21. Shirley says:

    Beautiful thoughts on your lovely garden. Time for ourselves is so important and the garden is a beautiful place to spend that time.

    Neighbors sometimes introduce me as the one who is “always out in the yard”. Whatever that means I am proud to claim that I truly am out there whenever possible.

  22. RamblingWoods says:

    I will be sure to bring MY floppy big hat when I come to visit so they will think we are taking over. I am so happy to have met you because you have given me confidence in what I am trying to do in my yard… Michelle

    • Donna says:

      Oh Michelle it is a must to wear your floppy hat when you come and visit. Your inspiration to me with wildlife just to name one thing has been life changing…we will get together soon my friend!!

    • Donna says:

      Glad you enjoyed them. I love my red twig dogwood…they are amazing in winter. Pam your wonderful meme has been a wonderful reminder for me not to forget the foliage…and I do appreciate it so much more.

  23. Janet/Plantaliscious says:

    I’m sure we are all healthier when we remember to let our playful side out, and what better way than makin gup lyrics, lying in the grass making cloud pictures, kicking up leaves, or, indeed, talking to the visiting wildlife. My borther-in-law has taught me a lot about staying playful, he can romp around at the drop of a hat, with or without the excuse of a nephew or niece to hand. Thanks for the reminder not to be poe faced, regardeless of what others may think.

    • Donna says:

      Thank you Susie…right now I wish I could go out and play in the snow but it is dangerously cold…but it will pass by weekend and normal temps in the low 30s will come again…the red twig is showing all its glory now with the snow.

  24. Tootsie says:

    thank you so much for linking in this week. I always enjoy having time to get around and look at what everyone shared with us! I hope to see you again soon! I am sharing this post on the tootsie time facebook page as well!
    hugs from Alberta Canada!

    ¸.•´¸.•*¨) ¸.•*¨)
    (¸.•´ (¸.•´ .•´ ¸¸.•¨¯`•.

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