Gardens Eye Journal-July 2013

IMG_2034 And since all this loveliness cannot be heaven, I know in my heart it is June.

Abba Goold Woolson


June was a spectacular month for the garden as everything was growing albeit a bit behind except those pesky weeds.  I resigned myself to the fact that I will not catch up with many of the weeds until midsummer which is OK.  I am planning to have family visiting for the first time since our wedding 15 years ago.  I hope it comes to fruition as the visitor is my mom who is a gardener, but has not had a chance to garden as much as she would like.

Secretly I am hoping she will enjoy the garden, and get her hands a bit dirty.  It will be so healthy for her.  She needs the distraction and time to just be.  I long to spend some quality time with her.  She lives so far away, and I only see her once a year.

So let’s look at what happened here in my central New York garden this June.   The pot above shows off violas and pansies I started from seed.  They have been enjoying the cool temps.  As I wrap up the June garden, I will be checking in with other gardeners and their memes:  Garden Bloggers Harvest Day (GBHD)@The Gardening Blog on the 5th, Salad Days@Veg Plotting on the 4th Friday of the month and End of Month View with Helen@The Patient Gardener’s Weblog.  This is another long post with lots of pictures to capture some of what has been blooming and growing.  Hope you enjoy it!





Of course I would be remiss if I didn’t first touch on the June weather.  We  had very cool days and nights with daytime temps many times in DSCN1103the 50s and 60s and overnight temps in the 40s and sometimes 30s.  The veg garden has been somewhat crabby, and many plants are were waiting all month to bloom and grow.

We have had over 11 inches of rain, and I think that will be our weather for the summer….storms.  I can’t remember such severe storms coming week after week like this.  The picture of the morning sky, yes it is a morning sky, foretells of the storms to come that day.  I know if I see this red sky, I am sure to find it a stormy day.

June ended with the summer solstice, and finally summer weather with highs in the low 90s and lots of humidity.  Oh and lots more rain every day (about 1/2 inch daily).  I am not complaining!




What’s Growing

While there should be a kaleidoscope of color all over the garden, we were still getting smatterings  as the cool weather  postponed many blooms.  Of course not the weeds.  The end of June brought on lots more blooms but I’ll save those for another post.


Front Gardens

 June front

As you can see colors were shifting as flowers came and went in the front from the beginning of June to the third week.  The trees were growing like crazy so I gave them a severe haircut as you can see in the second picture.  The new growth sticking up will grow longer and droop over the tree so in a couple of months we will be cutting them again.  And can you see the hydrangeas to the left.  They are half their size, but chock full of flowers this year.



Here’s the other side of the walk.  I know it needs some weeding and weaning of volunteers.


This scabiosa is growing in the bed above much to the pleasure of the pollinators.


This is penstemon ‘Pike’s Peak Purple’ I think.  It is a dwarf flower about a foot high, in the front walk bed, that loves to seed around the garden and has made some nice drifts.  And the bees adore this one too.




This is a seed pod of an Oriental poppy in the front walk garden surrounded by lavender.  People think it has 2 eyes and a hat or hair….it is cute and unusual which is why I love to take pictures of the seed pods.




And Delphiniums were trying to grow through the crazy trees out front, but were getting caught in the overhanging branches.



Side Garden


This wall garden is growing together nicely with hardy geraniums, spiderworts, peonies, bellflowers, lamium and a few weeds here and there.  It might need a bit of dividing soon.




There is lots of red valerian as it self sows freely.  This fairy lives in the wall garden.




 Here are just a few of the native plants blooming finally.

  • honeysuckle
  • yarrow
  • goatsbeard
  • eastern prickly pear cactus
  • Baptisia





Some other favorite blooms either starting or finishing.

  • roses starting
  • first daylily
  • geum still blooming
  • foxgloves still going
  • Siberian iris ‘Butter and Sugar’
  • Astrantia everywhere




Veg Gardens

 june veg

The veg garden is going despite the cool wet weather of June.  Top left moving clockwise:  first tomato flowers, pea/bean bed were finally producing peas at the end of the month.  The beans are not far behind, blue potatoes in grow bags flowering, okra, garlic with scapes, thyme in flower, Brussel sprouts, peppers in flower, green chiles struggling with cool weather, tomato bed continuing to grow as we covered it for most of June.  Center is our first small harvest of lettuce, scapes, chive flowers and new onions and  the eggplants are still going strong.  I am pleased and surprised with how it is all growing.

We had one mishap as the hanging tomato plants ended up on the ground.  We were lucky there was no damage to the tomatoes or the plants they landed on.  We discovered the shepherds hook holding them up was just not sturdy against the continual rain and wind of June, and it bent over at the base.  That is what saved the tomatoes as they never fell on the ground, but gently bent over and were barely touching the ground.   So we shored up the shepherds hook, and it is holding so far.





DSCN1132The cattails starting to form their cool ‘flowers’ in the pond.





The meadow was spectacular through June with daisies and blue lupines everywhere.  They have really moved around the entire meadow over the last few years.  It will start to shift now as summer comes.  Can’t wait to see what summer flowers show up.





 june critters

Birds are still very busy nesting and feeding.  The robin was serenading us outside our window.  The hummer was resting in the early morning light, and the cute juvenile sparrow is part of the first brood.  We have house and chipping sparrows nesting and the bluebirds are building another nest in a new house.  And we spotted an oriole in the pond….no pictures yet!  Lots of dragon and damselflies around this year.  And the rabbits have returned.  I will have a special post about them at the end of July for Beautiful Wildlife Gardens.




Gardens Eye Verse

As we end June, I am taken back to when school ended and I would start back into my summer schedule.  It took a little getting used to, but we soon became busy with fun things to do morning, noon and night.  I hope you enjoy my tribute to June.  It is a little how I am feeling as I prepare for retirement at the end of this month. Oh and what would June be if we didn’t have a few roses blooming.




Lazy days return with warm, soft breezes.
Regaining my senses, my natural rhythm I wake with the sunrise.
 To go swimming and wading in the creek,
Exploring meadows to pick fresh, fragrant flowers.
There are afternoon naps beneath tall trees,
Gazing at clouds to spy a ship, a dog or a funny clown gliding by.
As the warmth of the day retires with the setting of the sun,
Lightening bugs and street lights beckon us home.
The sounds of the day quiet- only toads and chirping crickets remain,
Sending us off  to sweet dreams ending another glorious June day.
Donna Donabella


Next up on the blog:  I have a Simply The Best post on the 8th and then on the 15th will be Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day.  Will July be a big flowering month?

I am 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.

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’sFertilizer 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, 2010-2013.  Any reprints or use of content or photos is by permission only.



  1. Christina says:

    Your meadow is beautiful, I love the punctuation marks of the lupins. I have wild lupins here too but they are a paler blue and with less or smaller actual blooms. June really is a wonderful month in the garden, let’s hope July isn’t too hot so we can enjoy that too.

    • Donna says:

      Thanks Christina….the meadow is in its turn over stage as the yellows now will dominate for the summer. I too am hopeful the oppressive heat and humidity will not dominate,and I need a bit of dry weather. Too bad we just can’t dial up the weather we want…all part of the challenge I guess.

  2. Karin/Southern Meadows says:

    It is amazing how the weeds grow so quickly! I feel as if I have spent most of June weeding and my hands are tired! Yet there is still so much more to do. Your plants are certainly taking advantage of all the rain and cooler weather. It looks beautiful. The meadow is gorgeous! Love the blue and white combination! Good to see that some hummingbirds made up north too!

    • Donna says:

      Thanks Karin…I believe it will be daily weeding from July through November…our hummers are not visiting as much I think because of the crushing rain…hope to them more and some butterflies…the milkweed is in bloom and there are no monarchs at all 🙁

  3. The Sage Butterfly says:

    The weather does seem to be the topic of conversation. It has begun to get hot, but we have had lots of rain. Your meadow is so lovely, just glowing with color.

    Enjoy your visit with your mother! My mother is a gardener as well, so there is always a tour of the garden when she comes to visit. It seems we could spend hours out there.

    • Donna says:

      Thank you Michelle…so glad you enjoyed the meadow. It will be interesting to see the meadow this summer. I have lots of summer invasive weeds that need to be taken out and I planted lots of new plants.

      Mom is finalizing her plans and I look forward to having her sit and relax in the garden…I am also hoping for some garden talks as she used to have a bountiful veg garden. My husband is worried that we will not have enough planned for her, but I think the less planning the better…we will just let it take shape and see what happens.

  4. Angie says:

    What a super tribute to your June garden Donna.
    It was touching to read your thoughts on your Mother’s impending visit. What a special time you will both have whether you garden or not!
    Your wildflower meadow is a delight – something I could only dream to have the space for. Your whole garden is looking fantastic and the climbing rose in the last picture is gorgeous!

    • Donna says:

      Angie it is very kind of you to say such lovely things about the garden knowing I hide the weed pictures… 🙂 My mom will have a great time in the garden just sitting and watching I think…it will bring her such peace.

  5. bridget says:

    Your garden is looking wonderful.Borders full of colour, lots of produce from the veg garden and that meadow is really lovely. The whole place looks just great. All that and a poet too. Multi talented.

    • Donna says:

      Oh Bridget you make me blush! I thank you kindly, but I do hide the weed pictures for now. I will do some before and after photos as it is quite a mess at the moment.

  6. christina says:

    Hi Donna, your gardens looks so lovely! I really like your penstemon ‘Pike’s Peak Purple’. I should get some more for my garden as well.

    • Donna says:

      Thank you Christina…you won’t need much as it will sow itself around and make nice clumps after a couple of years.

  7. Crafty Gardener says:

    Your gardens are looking spectacular Donna. As June progresses the plants just seem to burst .. lots of foilage and lovely blooms.
    Enjoy your summer routine. It took me awhile to get into a retired routine, now I wonder how I ever had time to work.

    • Donna says:

      I look forward to getting into a new routine…so glad you enjoyed the garden and thanks for the retirement advice 🙂

  8. Jen @ Muddy Boot Dreams says:

    Donna, such beauty, I can only hope that the flooding you mentioned doesn’t do much damage.

    Oh the gardens are beautiful….

    I used to only see my parents once or maybe twice a year, so I understand your heartache…

    Now we are blessed to be so close to them, and I mustn’t forget how wonderful that is.


    • Donna says:

      Jen I am lucky so far. But a bit S and E they are in a bad way with damaging floods and more rain continuing all week….farmers are losing crops now too.

      I do miss seeing family…all are far away.

  9. Cathy says:

    How lush it all looks Donna! That rain has been good for something at least! The meadow looks so pretty in that photo. Blue lupins add dimension to it somehow. Love the final poem too.

    • Donna says:

      Oh thank you Cathy. Glad you enjoyed my retrospective poem. I was so excited to see all the lupines this year. They even jumped the fence and stared growing inside the fence in the back corner of the garden. It was a special surprise.

  10. Beth says:

    Donna, Your gardens are so beautiful. So very colorful! You will surely enjoy your gardens even more than you do now, once you are retired.
    Blessings, Beth

  11. Jason says:

    Your meadow does look fantastic (I love the lupins), as do all your flower beds. Great that you saw an oriole, aren’t they beautiful birds? If your not averse to supplemental feeding, put some grape jelly out in front of a window and they may come closer, giving you more chances for a picture.

    • Donna says:

      Thanks so much Jason. I am not opposed to supplemental feeding and will give it a try. The seed eaters have been going crazy barely waiting for the flowers to fall off before attacking the seed heads. The berry eating birds are going after unripe berries on the dogwood and viburnum. Hummers go after all the nectar flowers so I never find I need to add feeders.

      Usually the oriole comes sooner and they love the pond. I have to clear a bit more vegetation so they can get in the pond which is right outside my window. All this rain is keeping the plants so big and lush I need a machete. 🙂

    • Donna says:

      Charlie how very nice of you to say so. I know I don’t see the garden in the same way as others so it is nice to hear that it brings joy to others as well!

    • Donna says:

      So glad you enjoyed the June blooms. July blooms are already speeding quickly into view and I am racing trying to capture so many of them before the rain drowns them…we are quite water logged and flooded right now.

  12. Leora says:

    So many lovely photos in your garden! Enjoy your mom’s visit. That sounds quite special.

    The valerian is a pretty flower – I should look into growing that one.

    • Donna says:

      Thanks Leora…her visit will be quite special indeed. The red valerian is beautiful but it must be deadheaded before it self seeds too much. Enjoy!

    • Donna says:

      Thank you Carver…the meadow was a real treat for me too this spring. The invasive weeds start now so we will be trying to get those out so our next wave of natives can thrive.

  13. KL says:

    First of all what a lovely poem. i sighed reading it as I always want to do that — lying lazy in the grass or under a tree or watching the meadow and the pond. But, living in this suburban neighborhood, it’s not possible. I already wonder what my neighbors think of me — all the time paddling around in the garden!!

    Then, secondly– your front garden especially with the red tiles — just SPECTACULAR. Wanna a come and design my garden please :-P?

    Third of all, what lovely pictures, blooms, flowers, plants, critters and everything…Do your run around in that meadow?

    • Donna says:

      I stopped wondering about my neighbors…I say put a blanket down in the grass or in the garden somewhere and just enjoy.

      I used real brick for the walk as I wanted it to go with the colonial style of the house. All my neighbors used the easier pavers…my mason who did the work was hoping I would use pavers. I would love to visit and help you anytime…and you are welcome to come up anytime.

      As for the meadow, no we tend to leave the meadow alone except for the weeding of invasives we find…the birds, pollinators and other critters appreciate our leaving it to them…though I should run through it a couple of times and pick some flowers. 🙂

  14. Island Threads says:

    your garden is looking beautiful Donna, I love the meadow with the blue lupin and daisies, your delphiniums must look so beautiful, tall spires of blue, your veggies are doing well too, lots of fresh food to look forward to,

    have a lovely time with your Mum and who knows when you retire you may be able to visit a little more often,

    I have been catching up with your posts and saw one where you say about all the rain you have been having, it sounds like you have had a lot more than we have here, and the monard I mentioned in another comment I think it might not be happy due to lack of sun and heat, it’s in the damp meadow so there is plenty of moisture,

    • Donna says:

      Frances I am so glad you are enjoying my meadow and lupines as much as I enjoy yours. The monarda will grow in part sun and in colder climates. I know Alistair is growing it and it does well for him. Not sure if your hardiness zone is similar but it it is I think it will grow for you…I hope it does.

  15. Andrea says:

    Hi Donna! Wow, so much to share and so many comments I have! First my favorite photo is the meadow…it is gorgeous and am I correct in thinking you have slowly turned this area into a meadow garden? I love it! I also love the photos of the wall garden, the plants are so vivid and healthy. I actually can’t believe Baptisia grows native in your area, I think that is the variety I’m looking for! And finally, I love the Pike’s Peak Purple Penstemon…I’ll look for some of that because Penstemons are supposed to be great in the Rocky Mountains. Thanks for sharing your wonderful June garden!

    • Donna says:

      Yes Andrea it has slowly been growing and evolving with more natives an wildflowers instead of invasive weeds. Yes baptisia is a native although the one I grow is a cultivar. I love the compact nature of Pike’s Peak and I bet it will do great for you! So glad you enjoyed the June Garden.

  16. Donna says:

    Looks really lush and full throughout your gardens. The rain seems to be helping rather than hindering. The meadow is beautiful. I got home only an hour ago and have not even seen what was outside. It will be a surprise in the morning!

    • Donna says:

      Even with the flooding in the garden in spots, I am not losing anything at this point. But I planted plants that like it wet or moist…I hope your gardens are a delightful surprise.

  17. Lea says:

    So much in your gardens!
    I love the Front Garden View, and all the flowers, vegetables, and wildlife – such incredible beauty!
    Happy Gardening!
    Lea’s Menagerie

  18. tina@inthegarden says:

    Your meadow is so pretty! I keep wracking my brain to try to figure out how to grow one too but can’t get it. Not sure if I will as the ticks are rather bad and they would like a meadow. Anyhow, I love your front garden! I didn’t even notice the haircut until you said something.

    • Donna says:

      Thanks Tina…then I wasn’t too severe in my pruning 🙂 The meadow was created using a bit of land that was already wild. I would have created it a bit differently though to get rid of the invasive weeds first and amend the soil a bit. I also did a whole post about it. We have fireflies and skeeters but no ticks in ours…I say plant one but do it slowly.

  19. Kathy Sturr of the Violet Fern says:

    Donna, your gardens are beautiful! I will have to try that red valarian. I miss foxgloves. I had beautiful foxgloves in Maine but can’t seem to find the right spot for them here in NY. The meadow is stunning! Love that cattail “flower.” So interesting!

    • Donna says:

      The valerian will seed if you don’t deadhead it but I like to see where it finds itself in the garden. I have planted foxgloves in sun to part sun where the ground tends to be normal and a bit more amended. I love watching the cattails form…it is one of the most fascinating plants.

  20. Laura Bloomsbury says:

    everything in your garden is beautiful, Donna – the walk up to the front door looks so welcoming, the side borders are bursting and the meadows are wild. p.s. intrigued by the foxgloves ?perennial D. grandiflora

    • Donna says:

      Thanks Laura…as far as the foxglove…I think it is a cross between D. grandiflora, which I have all around the garden, and D. purpurea ‘Apricot Beauty’. I find my foxgloves will cross thanks to the pollinators. It definitely acts like a perennial and comes back more each year.

  21. Jennifer Richardson says:

    afternoon naps beneath tall trees…..swoon.
    I remember so well the slow soothing feel
    of my long ago summers
    and can find it now
    as I lean that way
    in my heart.
    your gardens, your meadow…all so expressive.
    thanks for sharing their songs,

    • Donna says:

      Jennifer I do so appreciate your thoughts on the post….you allow me to see my writing, pictures and garden is such a different light…I thank you so much!!

  22. Carolyn says:

    Your June gardens are glorious, but that luscious meadow stole my heart… maybe it was all the blues? Surely my favorite color in all of nature.

    • Donna says:

      Thanks so much Carolyn. I am like a little kid going on a special trip….I can’t wait to just hug her for hours on end 🙂

  23. commonweeder says:

    I love your very complete Review. I wouldn’t dare show my vegetable garden at this point. It has been terribly neglected while we prepared for the Rose Viewing, but I am going out there right now! Time to weed! Time for the first succession planting.

    • Donna says:

      I am slowing getting space to plant more seeds in the veg garden but everything is growing at once so not much room for any succession planting yet….and you should see the rest of the garden and weeds….oh well i will get to them eventually! Happy Planting.

  24. Loredana Donovan says:

    Hi Donna, what a lovely summery poem! I enjoyed your photos, especially your colorful wall garden and fairy. I love your birdhouse and pansies, too. Hope you’re having a nice holiday weekend. We’re away with family. Enjoy your visit with mom 🙂

    • Donna says:

      Thanks Loredana. So happy to hear you enjoyed the poem….the garden is quite bright as blooms come and go…still lots of rain! Enjoy your family….

  25. b-a-g says:

    Donna – Your poem brings back childhood memories. The lupins are spectacular (especially as my only one was infested with lupin aphids). I try to think of weeds as fillers.

    • Donna says:

      You made my day as I can now not look at the weeds and feel the need to beat myself up because I can’t get to them all right now…Fillers it is!! Sad to hear about your lupin. Glad you could enjoy mine!

  26. Jennifer@threedogsinagarden says:

    I have no complaints about June. We had lots of rain as well. Your front garden looks terrific. I like the elongated shape of the two standards on either side of the front door. It is hard to tell what they are from the image- what are they? The side garden has a lovely peony and the red valerian is pretty. How nice to have a meadow garden with lupins!

    • Donna says:

      The trees in the front are a dwarf willow cultivar that is unusual as it has a vein of red. Can’t remember the name. They keep their shape and are a fav for robins to nest. Glad you enjoyed the garden.

  27. Casa Mariposa says:

    Your garden is incredible! WOW! You must have great drainage to have valerian self seeding around your garden. I have killed that plant so many times. Love your meadow. Just fabulous!

    • Donna says:

      Thanks…It seems to seed in the rocky areas or near the walls…Can’t seem to stop it really and I missed cutting their seed heads before the seeds formed and dispersed…they are quick.

  28. Rebecca says:

    I love the idea of a monthly gardening (online) journal. It’s so helpful to look back on years past – what is in bloom or growing each month. Your photos are beautiful and your gardens outstanding 🙂

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