Gardens Eye Journal-October 2013

“By all these lovely tokens
September days are here
With summer’s best of weather
And autumn’s best of cheer.”
–  Author Unknown 


It was hard to say goodbye to September.  The days rushed by, and still little time was spent in the garden.  The light I have begun to chase through autumn is slipping faster into the darkness more and more as each day passes.  I wait each morning with anticipation as the neon orange orb rises a little farther away on the horizon.  It paints the sky in reds and oranges as it stretches higher.  And with each stretch it mellows as it wakens from bright peach to pastel creating more sky art to relish as I travel eastward.

The evenings bring an almost imperceptible peach color as if the blue has taken on a peachy filter as the sun slips gently away whispering of another glorious day done, and the promise of another tomorrow.  No bright colors to send it off.  These autumn encounters with the light become garish only in mid-day when one can barely see  for the sun’s heat burns to red on my retina.

But I savor each rise and fall, each glaring encounter.  I live for the dry, bright autumn days that burn into my memory the colors that are changed as the sun races across the sky.  So join me as I wrap up September in my garden.  I am joining Helen@The Patient Gardener’s Weblog for her End of Month View.





DSCN1891September began chilly and was unseasonably colder.  So much so we had our first frost and I covered my tomato bed.     It rained quite a bit for a couple of weeks and we averaged about 7 inches of wonderful rain.  The garden took on a fall look with the cooler weather, but the veg garden continued to produce under its protective cover.  Even the cukes grew without any cover.  But as fall rolled around the weather turned down right hot and dry for a couple of weeks.  This brought the migrating butterflies to visit and they are still here.

One of our storms produced this wonderful rainbow, the first I saw all year.




What’s Growing


Front Gardens

As you can see I have still not cleaned up the spent flowers in the front beds.  But I loved the low growing asters that have filled in so quickly.  I put in starter plugs last fall, and look at them now.  The pollinators are going crazy over these lovelies.



Back Garden

As you can see I am staying with the far away look so you can’t see the weeds and grass or the lack of edging.  Oh well it is a wildlife garden.  This is the area to the right of the gazebo where there is a rain garden.  Each shot moves to the right as we see the only veg garden still producing under cover with lettuces and carrots.  Lots of roses still in bloom.  We are adding a new veg bed in front of the first picture and getting rid of some lawn.



Favorite September Blooms


 Chelone or Pink Turtlehead


 One of the many sedum flowering




Fabulous roses reblooming


Hardy Geranium blooming again


Radish flowers.  So amazing as they flowered all summer making the bees happy.


Even bright pink tall phlox is flowering well into fall.


Hardy hibiscus were amazing this summer with all the rain.  I am featuring this wildflower at the end of October.





Another volunteer sunflower that sported over 15 flowers.  This is the second huge plant that plant self seeded from last year.





Veg Gardens

We left the tomato/okra/pepper/eggplant bed to itself for a couple of weeks under cover and this is the last harvest.  We had so much growing, it took 2 trips and we almost broke our basket under the weight.





Here are some of the over 50 heads of garlic we grew.  A mix of Tuscan and Siberian which has quite a bite and some heat especially raw.  Yummy!!




Here are 2 of the refrigerator pickles we made.  Actually I made the first with the help of the husband and then he made the rest.  He is becoming quite the veg gardener.  We used Donalyn@The Creekside Cook’s recipe for garlic dill pickles on the left.  These reminded me of the homemade barrel pickles I used to eat as a kid.  We can’t get enough of these.  Fresh home grown dill, garlic and cukes make them even better.   The pickles on the right are Bread and Butter pickles just like my mom used to make when we were kids.





IMG_3650 In the September meadow, the goldenrod which was towering over 7-8 feet was blooming with Joe Pye and native helenium below.






 I love the pond as the weather cools.  It clears and looks so different.  See all the frogs hanging out on the lily pads.  Can you find all 6?





Frogs are still hanging out in the garden.  That is a good sign.  Lots of sparrows finding seeds along with all the goldfinches gorging themselves.   We barely saw a deer all spring and summer and as a consequence there was minimal damage to plants.  And then there were the migrating monarchs that showed up before September ended.  They are still here.  I spent hours in the garden taking hundreds of pictures.  I will do a special feature of these precious creatures for my Beautiful Wildlife Gardens post on October 15th.




The Wide Shot

I am linking in again with Xericstyle who is hosting this meme the first of every month.  All you have to do is post your favorite wide shot of your garden.  My favorite view is again from my bedroom window showcasing a wide shot of the pond in the back garden.  Here’s what the beginning of October looks like.  Fall has come to my garden.




Lots no longer blooming.  Roses and native helianthus still going with asters.  See the pond in the lower right.  I zoomed in a bit in the picture below.








Gardens Eye Verse

As autumn dawns, please enjoy this little verse about autumn’s first kiss.



Autumn’s Kiss

A chillin’ kiss on frosty morn,
On every blade and flower adorns.
As summer fades and autumn is born
The icy dew does bid us warned.
For soon the nights will be long and cold
As winter slips in to take its hold.
So cherish for now each warm sunny day,
As they skip on the breeze and fade away.

Donna Donabella



Next up on the blog:  Friday I will showcase another wonderful herb.  And then it will be time for a GBBD post on Monday.

I wrote a guest post over at Vision and Verb.  I hope you will visit this wonderful website of women writers.

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 next post on the 15th.

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




  1. Catherine (@foxglovelane) says:

    O it is so hard to say goodbye to September. It’s kind of like hold on, here we go!!! But still so much that is beautiful in your garden and much to enjoy in this season too. So a chillin kiss to you too hon, here we go…….

    • Donna says:

      O thank you Catherine…October has been shining bright and warm here still and I will take every day I can get before those chillin’ kisses come from Mother Nature.

  2. Christina says:

    Suddenly it is autumn here too. Lots of rain and much cooler days, it won’t be long before a fire will be a friendly addition to the evening. I can see 5 frogs maybe 6 but I’m not so positive I’m not just inventing it to match your 6.

    • Donna says:

      There is one hidden partially by the lily pad bottom left. You can just see his head peeking out.

      I welcome the cooler days, even the longer nights to rest and relax….but not for too long as I will need all the sunshine I can get come winter.

  3. Loredana Donovan says:

    What a lovely post, Donna! I enjoyed all your photos, and had fun finding the frogs on your lily pads. You still have lots of pretty flowers–the chelon was new to me. The pickles look yummy. And your poem was sweet 🙂

    • Donna says:

      Those pickles were very yummy and we just finished making the last batch. I had fun with this month’s poem. Glad you enjoyed it!!

    • Donna says:

      It was a very rainy this past weekend with over 3 in. of rain and a new pond forming in the back yard again from the flooding. I love the red maple leaves in fall.

  4. Donalyn@The Creekside Cook says:

    It is much the same here, though last night I heard that this crazy warm weather has brought out a fresh batch of peepers! Not a sound we expect to hear in October!

    Thanks for including my pickle recipe – I am so glad that you are enjoying them 🙂

    • Donna says:

      The peepers are peeping here as well…very strange but I love it. We absolutely loved your dill pickle recipe and had to share it. They are not lasting long. I will have to grow more cukes and buy more canning jars next year 🙂

  5. Christienne Hinz says:

    A photographic feast. I wonder if a sense of mild mourning is part of the late autumn seasonal experience? You’ve put in words a feeling I’ve known but have never articulated. Thank you for that!

    • Donna says:

      I absolutely love your name Christienne! I believe there is a sense of loss and mourning in the garden in fall. One of my first posts is about Grief and how we go through those stages of grief in the fall garden.

    • Donna says:

      Heather how very nice of you to say so. It means a lot to know you enjoyed the post. Sometimes I worry that there is too much detail and readers will not want to hang in there for the whole reflective monthly report. It is encouraging to know that it is liked and appreciated!!

  6. susan troccolo says:

    I only found five frogs, but I know the sixth one must be hiding in there–his natural coloration doing what it is supposed to do! Like some of the other commenters above, I love seeing the overall garden and how it’s changing. Here we go into the Fall…..the ancients lit candles, sang songs and cooked warming and heavier foods (if they could get them.) For me, it’s a New England Pot Roast–can’t wait.

    • Donna says:

      Susie check out the bottom left of the pond pic. He is hiding in the lily pads with just his head peeking out.

      I love those heavy warm meals too in fall. I have been thinking of a pot roast. Think that will have to be on the menu soon.

  7. Jennifer Richardson says:

    So beautiful, your words about the changing light
    and shortening days
    and the photos of meadow and canning beauty
    and all the bloomers still smiling in your garden….it’s all such a treat to walk through and savor.
    Thanks for sharing the beauty of your ways
    and the light in your days,

    • Donna says:

      Even your comments are poetic and pure prose Jennifer…I love fall and really want to celebrate all its treats. I am thinking about doing a year long series about the changing light in the garden. Not sure if I will have time or maybe I will have to wait until I retire so I can observe it more.

  8. Karin/Southern Meadows says:

    This year has gone by amazingly fast. It is hard for me to imagine that the holiday season is almost upon us. Your garden is still looking lovely and I love the purples and yellows of fall. I have yet to finish planting my cool season vegetables and I’d better hurry because I think we will be in for a cold winter this year.

    • Donna says:

      My cold weather veggies may be done soon Karin. Time to plant garlic as well. The garden fades more each day. Hard to think of the holidays as Halloween approaches. The its a mad dash from there.

  9. Island Threads says:

    what neon orange orb Donna, you must live on a different planet to me I haven’t seen anything but white and pale grey for what seems like months,
    beautiful photos of a beautiful garden, with all the wildlife you have accomplished your aim of a wildlife garden, a good bounty of food too, Donna do by any chance know the name of the sedum, it looks very much the same as one I was given a piece of without a name, Frances

    • Donna says:

      Oh Frances I am so sorry your weather has been so gloomy. I usually see gloomy weather soon which is why I have to get my garden chores done in a short time. I hope you have better weather doon.

      I believe the sedum is ‘Matrona’.

  10. Jason says:

    Wow, your garden is still lush and colorful. I love your pond and gazebo – and your frongs. Most of my flowers have gone to seed, except for the asters and caryopteris. Gorgeous gardens and gorgeous pictures!

    • Donna says:

      Jason thank you for your wonderful comment. We still have flowers as the weather has been warmer than normal. It is supposed to get much colder by next weekend so I have lots to do this weekend.

  11. Casa Mariposa says:

    Our Sept was really dry so I didn’t mind saying goodbye. I’m hoping for a moister October. I have a lot of transplanting to do! Your garden looks like a wildlife paradise. I love all your frogs. 🙂

    • Donna says:

      We had a dry stretch but with all the rain through spring and summer it was welcome here. We just had 3 inches again this past weekend.

      I have some planting but I am cutting back on planting as I take inventory. I hope your weather helps your gardening.

  12. PlantPostings says:

    Look at those Sunflowers! Wow! With all your lovely native wildflowers and nectar sources, I can see why pollinators and butterflies must love your garden, Donna. Wish I could just stop on over and visit for an afternoon. 😉 I’ll look forward to your post about the monarchs!

    • Donna says:

      Beth I wish you could just pop over too for a cuppa and to watch the critters….maybe someday.

      I hope you enjoy the monarch post on Tuesday at Beautiful Wildlife Gardens. They are still visiting this week.

  13. Janet/Plantaliscious says:

    We’ve yet to have our first frosts, but there is a distinct smell of Autumn in the air, and and as you say, the sun is lower in the sky and here for a much shorter time. I love your pond, such clear water and so many frogs! Your long view shows what I love most about autumn, that slow gentle fade into shades of tawny brown. Am impressed by your pickles.

    • Donna says:

      Thanks Janet…we were impressed by those pickles too! The colors are not as bright as in prior years. I wonder if it is because of all the rain and crazy weather. That smell of autumn is definitely noticeable and I love it!!

  14. Cathy says:

    Stunning photos of your flowers Donna, but your opening words were my favourite part of this post – beautifully written. I do hope you have more time in October than recent months to enjoy your garden. It really is lovely!

    • Donna says:

      It seems we are racing to get work done, but only certain projects so I definitely am getting more time in the garden Cathy.

      I am so happy to hear you enjoyed the opening. I really enjoyed writing it. 🙂

  15. Donna says:

    I very much enjoyed the words at beginning of the post and again at the end. Also love your poetry. Your words always have much meaning and feeling. Your gardens had a wonderful September in color and critters, I hope the same for October. Being more than a week into October and the warm weather still prevails in our area. Roses blooming here too.

    • Donna says:

      Yes we are much cooler here Donna. I wish we had a bit more time so I could get more done in the garden.

      I am so pleased that you really enjoyed the beginning and the poem. Hoping for continued spectacular weather so the monarchs remain a bit longer.

  16. DeniseinVA says:

    A marvelous post with so many incredible photos!

    I am still in Germany but was able to get on line today and moderate some comments. Wedding celebrations are winding down now 🙂

  17. Dorothy says:

    Donna, I enjoyed each and every photo on your post, and I especially enjoyed your verse. We have been having such beautiful fall days, and I am enjoying every one of them. Thanks for sharing your lovely fall garden with us!

  18. Andrea says:

    Hi Donna, the way you build your prose at the beginning like starting a novel, is very engaging and i am smiling while reading it. I realized that in temperate countries like yours the seasons seem to be passing so fast unlike with us here in the tropics. It looks like something that is always expected, and it really is possible that someone has his own favorite season.

    Your photos are great too, i always love wide angle shots, delivering more information for me and i can correlate it with the garden owner. Thanks Donna.

    • Donna says:

      Andrea I really am happy that those wide shots are helpful in getting you a better picture. Yes it is quite different here with 4 seasons and how fast they fly by.

      That is why I love to celebrate the seasons. 🙂

      Thank you and I am glad you enjoyed the opening of the post.

  19. HolleyGarden says:

    Your gardens are so beautiful. I love the far-away shots. I’m amazed how fast your asters grew. Nature really is miraculous. Loved seeing the critters, too. I’ve been waiting for the monarchs to migrate down here. Now I know – they are still in your garden! 🙂

    • Donna says:

      Holley they are definitely still here but moving ever so slowly. I know you will take good care of them when they get to you 🙂

  20. Tootsie says:

    I am so happy that I had some time to pop over here today and see what you shared! It is great to see some gardens that are actually growing since mine is pretty much saying goodnight for the long winter to come. I can already hardly wait for spring!
    Thank you so much for joining in on my little party this week! I hope to see you again soon! Have a great weekend!
    Your post today has been shared to the Tootsie Time Facebook page!

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

  21. ramblingwoods says:

    Lovely…your garden is so pretty and I LOVE the frogs.. I am amazed at the pollinators visiting with our new aster, goldrenrod and other natives plantings this season and last. …Michelle

    • Donna says:

      Thanks Michelle. It is amazing how the pollinators are drawn to aster and goldenrod like moths to a flame. They actually stay on them sometimes all day.

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