Gardens Eye Journal-September 2014


“When some plants die and others grow out of shape, gardeners learn that the fun of real gardening is that it is never pinned down.”

 ~Robin Lane Fox


Well August has come and gone.  I find it a strange time of year when we come to September as it has always signified a return to work, school and fall.  But this year, I am not working so it will be a special fall that I hope to enjoy.  My garden has certainly grown out of shape this summer, but I am getting some ideas for changes so all is not lost even though I did no work in it all summer.

And our veg garden just started producing the warm weather veggies in mid and late August.  So we will have quite a harvest in September.  I will update the veg garden at the end of September when I suspect it will be coming to an end.

So as I survey the August garden, I am joining Helen@The Patient Gardener’s Weblog for her End of Month View.  Again be forewarned, these journal posts are always long.  And as I include a lot of collages in my journal posts, I am linking in with Judith@Lavender Cottage who is hosting Mosaic Monday.






august full moon The full moon in August was spectacular.  It rose in the blue hour through the trees and few wispy clouds.  The weather in August wasn’t all that spectacular though.  Much cooler than normal and lots of fierce storms carrying tons of rain, 7 inches here.  The flowers loved the weather, but the veg garden did not.  And it is definitely feeling like autumn.

And even though I am not excited to see autumn come already, I will still embrace the days.  I am celebrating the coming of the new season and I hope you will join in too.  You can read more about it in my Seasonal Celebrations post and at the end of the post.




Garden Views

I am following my front gardens and joining in with Xericstyle who hosts The Wide Shot meme the first of every month.  I am looking at my front gardens from inside the house and zooming in from the porch to the middle of the sidewalk.  First to the left, on top row, and then to the right in the first picture on the bottom row.  The next 2 pictures are viewing the sidewalk gardens from the driveway.

 aug front

I thought I would have this weeded, mulched and all spiffy, but my back has given me problems…just a residual effect from my hernia surgery, and it is feeling better now so it will be good to finally get out in the garden.  I really am chomping at the bit…withdrawals from getting my hands in the dirt and pulling weeds is getting to me.

You can see the weeds between the bricks are back after my sister and BIL pulled them in June when they visited.    And the hydrangeas are finally blooming while the echinacea still keeps going.  You can see the foliage on many plants turning yellow and declining already.





I thought I would show you part of the back garden from a different vantage point…the right side of the garden from the other side of the fence…or what my neighbor sees.  This area actually has bushes underneath all the rudbeckias, Obedient plant, Joe Pye and goldenrod blooming in and around the rain garden near the gazebo.  This is what happens when I don’t get to the volunteers for a few years.  But it does look pretty and all the pollinators and birds love it as did the momma rabbit who built a nest in here somewhere.





A garlic bed with that 10 foot high sunflower on the left and a patch of parsley now.





Here’s a look at the sunflower now covered with 20 flowers and those are tomatoes just beginning to ripen.





Now down the end of the fence.  Lots of rudbeckias, echinacea, Joe Pye and hardy hibiscus.





Speaking of sunflowers here are the volunteers flowering all around the mailbox.  Quite a sight to see.




What’s Growing



DSCN3507Fairy roses are blooming again.  Actually many roses are blooming a bit again.  We have had many spitting out a few blooms here and there all summer.




DSCN2570The bees were buzzing around the ‘Lavender Mist’ Meadow Rue or Thalictrum rochebrunianum.





I love the flower of this dwarf sedum.  This grows along the sidewalk and I think I will divide it again and move it to a few more spots. 






This is ‘Invincibelle® Spirit’ Hydrangea arborescens, a cultivar growing in the back garden.  It loves the spot I put it in as it continues to bloom all summer.





A few cultivar of the native helenium are growing around the garden although this one was crowded out by monarda.  I have the species helenium just starting in the meadow. 





A cultivar aster just blooming.  Waiting for the taller species asters to start blooming soon.  




aug hibiscus

Pink hardy hibiscus are blooming late this year, but boy are they full of blooms.  The top cultivar is ‘Kopper King’ and bottom right is ‘Tie Dye’ both with dinner plate size flowers.  The bottom left is a smaller species hardy hibiscus, Hibiscus moscheutos.   Speaking of pink flowers in late summer, don’t you love the native pink phlox at the top of the post.  Many phlox are continuing to bloom beautifully.





My species elderberry is loaded with fruit that I will leave for the birds.  You can see some birds have found them already, but they taste better ripe.





This is Nodding Onion, or Allium cernuuma great native I hope to profile next year.  It grows throughout my front garden, but I want to give it more room and move it to the back and side gardens.  






No you are not seeing things.  The lupines are growing again along with goldenrod and rudbeckia….I have many other flowers blooming again with the crazy hot, cool, wet weather we had all month.  But this is the first time my lupines are repeating, in the seven years the meadow has been flowering.





 aug critters

It has been an amazing August for critter visits.    The top left shot is our new young fox.  I am writing a whole post about him on Wednesday.  He is always finding food.  Not sure what he has in his mouth but it is likely a rabbit.  Next was an amazing shot of the twins and mom in the meadow.  I was lucky to be taking a few shots when one then the other decided to nurse.

Hummers have been plentiful, playful and argumentative over feeders and flower patches.  Butterflies continue to visit and we seem to see one monarch a day with a few other butterflies like swallowtails.  The woodpeckers returned and share the oriole feeder with hummers and sparrows.  And the hawk was a surprise one morning, as he had found a feast and was eating it in the large maple next door.  It appears to be a juvenile red-tailed hawk.

And our little baby bunny is growing up….she is such a sweetie.  I will be writing more critter posts each month and will tell a few of the stories of our critters pictured here.  And this cute bunny who lives in our garden is one of the first after the young fox’s story.




Tree Following

tree-logoThere have been a few subtle changes to the leaves in August, but not much to show so  I am combining my tree following post with my journal post.  I will have a more in depth look at how the tree has changed in October.

I am linking in with Lucy@Loose and Leafy’s Tree Following meme that happens around the 7th of every month.

Can you see just a hint of yellow on the leaves?  In another month you will not believe the changes.





In A Vase On Monday

I am joining Cathy@Rambling in the Garden for her meme, In a Vase on Monday today.  I am also linking in with Today’s Flowers hosted by Denise@An English Girl Rambles.  


end smr vases 

I selected flowers this week that were giving their end of the summer blast or were past blooming….like the dahlia and gladiolus in the first vase with summersweet and hydrangea spent blooms.  Love how they go together.  

The second vase was a bit of whimsy.  I really just grabbed what was catching y eye at the end of August and put them together.  I used spent echinacea, and declining Joe Pye, Obedient plant, chocolate mint blooms and Great Burnet.   Then to add a bit more fun I added the grass ‘flowers’ just coming out.

So as my August comes to an end, autumn is sneaking around the corner with September.  The garden is changing and we are not all happy about that in the Northern hemisphere….but spring is coming on in the Southern hemisphere.  I think it is time to celebrate the change coming.


And I hope you will join me in celebrating the new season coming soon to your part of the world.  


Just write a post between now and September 21st.   Leave a link with your comment on the kick-off post of Seasonal Celebrations-Autumn’s Blessings. I will include your link in my summary post on September 22nd.  


I am collaborating with Beth@Plant Postings and her Lessons Learned meme at this same time.  What lessons have you learned this past season of summer here in the North and winter in the South.  Write a separate post or combine your lessons with your celebrations in one post.



Visit my new blog: 

new blog logo

I wanted to thank all the wonderful people who visited me last Thursday and this past Sunday as I continued to post at my new blog, Living From Happiness.  It is a blog to celebrate life, lessons, change, challenges and creativity.

I do hope you will join me there.  

There will be a new post again this Thursday.




Next up on the blog:  Wednesday I will have another Wildlife post.  And next Monday brings another Vase on Monday post.  I am having a blog anniversary next week with a giveaway so I hope you will join me.

I am also joining in I Heart Macro with Laura@Shine The Divine that happens every Saturday.


All original content is copyrighted and the sole property of Donna Donabella @ Gardens Eye View, 2010-2014.  Any reprints or use of content or photos is by permission only.




  1. Christina says:

    Fantastic image of the deer with her twins, you were very clever to capture that, It would be lovely to see a larger image if you can sometime. I hope you are feeling better now and will be able to get outside to at least enjoy the autumn which is certainly showing its clear signs here.

    • Donna says:

      Glad you enjoyed the visit Judith…there is a lot going on which is why there is so much upkeep but I love it and all the critters even the devils who are bent on destroying parts of my garden.

  2. rusty duck says:

    I love that Hydrangea, must look out for it. Great shots of the wildlife too, especially the deer! We have woodpeckers here and they’re such a delight to watch.

    • Donna says:

      The hydrangea will grow quite large with huge flowers. Mine was a tiny 8 inch plug that has grown now to almost 3 feet tall and wide. But it will grow even bigger so i need to clean up around it and give it room.

      I love woodpeckers too. Our woodpeckers are returning to the garden again which is always a delight. We feed them suet all winter.

  3. Sandi says:

    Good morning Donna,
    Your mosaics are wonderful and the moon is just lovely! I enjoyed seeing your flowers and that fence. Cute critters too. Thanks for sharing and enjoy your day. Visiting from Judith’s party.

    • Donna says:

      How lovely to have you visit Sandi. i will be stopping by shortly too. So glad you enjoyed the visit to my garden and the journal post.

    • Donna says:

      So true about the weeds Sue. I have been pleased to see so many wonderful plants blooming and I have gotten some great ideas where to move some volunteers. I wish I could remember the sedum name. It is a great fall bloomer.

  4. Linda aka Crafty Gardener says:

    This is my third year of not seeing September in the back to work mode. I think for the first time I didn’t pay attention to the back to school sales or the teacher events at Staples … I must truly be retired now.
    Your photos of your garden are lovely. Enjoy the last few weeks of summer. I’m off to visit your new blog.

    • Donna says:

      I am so happy not to look at anything back to school Linda. I am actually going to lunch Wednesday with a dear friend who is a newly retired educator. We want to be enjoying the first day back for students in completely new surroundings….not anywhere near a school. 🙂

      Thank you for visiting my new blog too!

  5. Kris P says:

    I haven’t managed to tackle the weeds between my paving stones either, Donna. I love your view from over the fence and all the critter photos. Your vases, as always, are lovely – I particularly like the luscious color combination of the Dahlia and the Gladiola.

    • Donna says:

      Kris those flowers were calling to me to pluck them and put them in a vase. I am pleased you enjoyed the stroll through my garden….I plan to finally tackle those weeds next week with some boiling water.

  6. Cathy says:

    I really enjoyed exploring your garden in this post, Donna – and seeing some wonderful photos too, particularly those of the moon. I like the striking colours of your first vase but the softer tones of the second one make it my favourite of the two – thanks for always joining in with the meme 🙂

    • Donna says:

      Thank you Cathy for strolling through the rather long post. I had a hard time choosing which vase I liked the best. I am leaning toward the second.

  7. Jason says:

    I love this post, you are a gardener after my own heart. I especially love the view of your tall blooming perennials from the other side of the white picket fence. I see you have Allium cernuum, have you tried Allium stellatum?

    • Donna says:

      I feel the same way Jason which is why I can’t get enough of your garden. I do not have Allium stellatum and alas it is not native to NY. I am enjoying my tall perennials as well…amazing what you can see from outside your own fence.

  8. Angie says:

    I never leave your blog disappointed Donna – great post.
    Lupins regularly rebloom over here, the wet weather you experienced will have revived them, I’m sure.
    Now, I wish I was your neighbour – I’d have lots to look at rather than the weeds one of my neighbours grow!

    • Donna says:

      You are too kind Angie and I thank you! I think you are quite right that the cooler, wet weather coaxed the lupines to bloom again. I would love you and other gardeners as neighbors as mine love grass and a few shrubs.

  9. Beth says:

    Donna, Your garden is full of color. Love the Joe Pye weed. Your moon shots are spectacular but my absolute favorite shots are your fox and deer. So amazing to have them in your yard in the city!

    • Donna says:

      Thanks Beth. We are in a strange suburb. It is developed land for housing developments, but surrounded by wild areas so it helps to bring in the wildlife. We are very lucky. Wait until you see that young fox on Wednesday’s post up close. And I will profile our deer soon too.

  10. Mary says:

    Your garden is amazing! All these beautiful flowers! And these photos of the moon – just gorgeous! Also the critters! Love them all!

  11. Cathy says:

    The photos of all your lovely flowers are wonderful, as always Donna! I really like your second vase with the use of grasses and the Eupatorium. Our cooler August and rain has also meant some garden plants are flowering again, and the roadsides/meadows are still colourful too!

    • Donna says:

      Amazing the benefits of a cool rainy month Cathy…I really enjoyed that vase too and it is still going strong especially the grass ‘flowers’

    • Donna says:

      Beth I think it may be the peak in my garden as I have so many late summer blooms. Yes my neighbor does appreciate the view as do we. Happy late summer and here’s to fall whenever it arrives.

  12. Island Threads says:

    Donna it sounds like you had some pretty dreadful weather, I feel with the coming of autumn the weeds will hopefully die back as well as the nice plants, enjoy your more restful autumn,
    that photo of your garden over the white fence is beautiful, I hope your neighbours appreciate their view, love your wildlife photos and that sunflower is amazing, Frances

    • Donna says:

      Thanks Frances…yes the weather was not great for summer especially the veg garden. But the flowers loved it. Yes my neighbor does love the view but I wish they wouldn’t spray chemicals.

  13. Shane says:

    Oh Donna I love this post which tells us so much about the month of August in your garden!
    I love a mixed perennial border and had one in our last garden. It was a joy to walk around the garden early in the morning with my cup of coffee and dsicover the new arrivals poking their little heads through the earth.
    Sadly we now live in a townhouse that had no garden when we arrived, but I’m slowly developing it and will add more this Spring and Summer too.
    The lush planting by your fence is what I’m visualising for my long-ish border! With old heritage roses and companion planting.
    Your little native helium is lovely and I will plant a Bergamot too for the Flutterbys!!! They are always welcome wherever I garden.

    Lovely to meet you at Mosaic Monday.


    • Donna says:

      Shane thank you for visiting and I am so happy you enjoyed my garden. It is hard to leave a garden but when you can plant another that is the best…Your plan sounds lovely!! I hope to visit your blog more often.

  14. ann says:

    Hello. This is my firsts time to participate Mosaic Monday. It is nice to see all of your lovely photos. You have a wonderful collection of plants.

  15. Susie says:

    August has been an interesting month around your garden and things are looking great. Hope you’re soon able to work outside to your heart’s content. The nursing deer is charming. I see we share some similar plants in our vases this week–obedient plant and echinacea. Nice that your glads are still going–look nice with the beautiful red dahlia.

    • Donna says:

      I have a busy week of appointments and a fun lunch date this week so I am planning for a welcome back to the garden next week. I saw we used similar plants in our vases Susie…like gardener minds. 🙂

  16. Sherry says:

    Oh what a pretty post. Your garden is so pretty. Thanks for sharing it! That pink sedum (I think) was pretty so bright and vibrant. I am going by your new blog. Thanks for coming by my Mosaic post!
    Have a good week.

  17. Aaron Dalton says:

    Wow – so many amazing photos Donna!

    I love the critter shots and the stories behind them. We’ve quite a few adorable bunnies in our garden too. (I don’t even mind that they chow down on the coneflowers, liriope and other garden plants.)

    What a massive sunflower you’ve got!

    And that Meadow Rue seems very pretty. What sort of conditions does it like?

    • Donna says:

      Oh Michelle you do not have to be a gardener or writer to participate just have a blog…someone with a photography blog may celebrate with photos of the season or exploring nature during the season…it is not about writing really but how you love to celebrate fall…I do hope you will participate because you have a most wonderful blog with great photos and info.

  18. Anna says:

    Wishing you a happy September Donna. I worked in education all my working life so for me September still feels like the start of the year 🙂 It’s interesting to read that your August was cool and wet too. It was the coolest August in the UK for some 20 years. Fortunately September has started on a warmer note. Brilliant full moon photos.

    • Donna says:

      I think you may have had a worse August Anna, and our September will turn cooler next week they say. Glad you enjoyed the photos and have a wonderful September. It feels like the start of a new year to me too….

  19. Dana says:

    Wow! What a wonderful blog post! There is so much that I couldn’t possibly list all that I loved! (because it was everything!) So glad to have found you through the In a Vase on Monday!

    • Donna says:

      Thanks Dana…so glad you liked the post and I popped over to your blog too. I adored your blog and the vase and will be following along!!

  20. Elizabeth says:

    Hi Donna, lovely post. I come to see your vase(s), as you know, but I can’t ignore so many lovely distractions on the way. Loved the moon photos – amazing – and the trip round your garden … I adore white picket fences, so different from our more utilitarian and boringly dark painted fences here in Scotland! Your postie must love delivering to your mailbox with it’s very own sunflower decorating it. Then there’s the lovely photo of the fox and of the deer and her little one – how precious are those 🙂 And finally, your vases – both beautiful. The deep red of the dahlia is perfect with the pink gladiolus in the first and the second – well, it’s September in a vase … love the grasses … absolutely fabulous.

    • Donna says:

      Elizabeth how very kind of you to leave such a wonderful comment. I think my ‘postie’ does indeed enjoy delivering our mail. 🙂 The grasses are so stunning now I had to put them in one vase. Of course I hope to add them to many more.

    • Donna says:

      Mary how wonderful to have you visit…and I am so pleased you enjoyed the blog and post. It is so nice to have others say such kind words about your labor of love and I thank you!!

  21. Janet/Plantaliscious says:

    Your neighbour has a lovely view Donna, and I love your whimsy vase. So much rich colour at this time of year in your garden. Sorry you have been having back problems, but despite the weeds your front garden is looking good, the changing leaves add richness.

    • Donna says:

      Thanks Janet. It is not as bad as it could have been and as my back is better, I will be in the garden daily, I hope. It is fun to see the views of my garden from different perspectives.

  22. Lucy Corrander says:

    No-one where I live has that kind of fence but I’ve always wished I could have one like it one day.

    The hint of yellow on the leaves of the maple – it’s so subtle I’m not sure if I really can see it or am imagining because you said so.

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