Seasonal Celebrations-Summer Serenity


“Gardening is about enjoying the smell of things growing in the soil, getting dirty without feeling guilty, and generally taking time to soak up a little peace and serenity.”  ~Lindley Kartens



When I think about summer, I think back to those sweet memories of a my childhood summers.  Where we played from dawn until dusk…not a moment wasted indoors.  Doing all the things we loved.  Looking forward to swimming, running, biking, vacations, special treats of ice cream and popsicles.

And somewhere I lost that childhood summer.  I didn’t have to….it just happened as I allowed life, work and other things take hold.  I admire those who kept their childhood summers sacred into adulthood, and made sure they enjoyed their summers to the fullest.

I worked almost every summer as an adult, and rarely had time for play or vacations…such a pity really.  But it doesn’t DSCN9087have to be this way now.  Last summer I was resting and recuperating from surgery.  But I hope to recapture some of my childhood summer this year.

So what would a childhood summer be like now….it would be beautiful serenity in all its forms.  Isn’t that what summer is meant to be really.  A time for kicking back and finding time to relax, contemplate and enjoy life.  And making my own popsicles….yummy!



I am dedicating this summer celebration to my childhood memories, and am making a commitment to add some important activities to my days….so here goes:


First and foremost….wake with or just before the sunrise.  Make sure to see each sunrise as it happens.  If anything can bring you nearer to heaven, God and your soul, it is watching the day break slowly and engaging your senses.


“Go outside today (pajamas permitted) and visit your plants.  Just a few minutes of this quiet time of reflection and inspection can change the way you look at and tend your garden….Cultivate wonder in your garden, and expect the unexpected.”  ~Sharon Lovejoy


Isn’t Sharon so wise.  I do this, but not daily.  I think it must become a daily habit this summer.  It is amazing what you will see.  I especially love how the rising sun touches each plant and flower….I feel like a child discovering the world of light for the first time, each time I do this.  And I think this kind of practice can not only tend your garden, but it will help me tend my life and cultivate wonder in it as well.  So I am bringing my morning coffee or tea (I love both) out with me and my camera (some days).



And what might I see or hear in my early morning garden that would bring me such serenity?  The buzz of the bees, and the energetic hum that permeates the garden as it wakes with me.  





The sound of water is also an important part of my summer.  I loved the beach as a child, and miss not living closer.  But with our pond, I can have water with me daily in summer.  Hearing the water fall over the rocks is so soothing.  I love to sit on the rock just beside the waterfall, and watch the water and frogs as time slowly passes.  





Summer rain is a welcome relief in the garden.  I enjoy watching storms and rain.  The sky darkening, the crack of thunder and the rush of water as it saturates and brings life to the thirsty garden.  It is amazing how rejuvenated I feel too after a rainstorm.  If there is no danger of lightning, I plan to sit out on the patio or porch, and enjoy the feel and sound of the rain as I did as a child.





And it wouldn’t be summer without fresh veggies and fruit, eaten right out of the garden as we used to do.  I think I enjoy growing my own not just for the flavor, but the memories of picking veggies as a snack as I wandered through the veg garden my mother and father grew.  I never find it a chore to tend the veg garden, and it seems to get bigger each year.  I do find such peacefulness there among the beans and peas growing on the vine, and picking the weeds out to give the veggies a better chance.  And then harvesting what is ripe at the moment, and using the fruits of our labor for the evening meal….pure bliss.




My summer mantra:

I found this wonderful quote that seemed to ignite my seasonal celebration of summer:


“Some people plant in the spring and leave in the summer.  If you’re signed up for a season, see it through.  You don’t have to stay forever, but at least stay until you see it through.”  ~Jim Rohn


For me, this quote to says make a commitment this summer to enjoy the season through the heat, humidity, weeds, mosquitoes and all the rest of the sometimes unpleasant aspects we may dwell on.  Stay and really feel the season….see the beauty given to us through all our senses…the scented flowers, the chirping birds, the taste of fresh fruits and veggies, the soft grass and velvety smooth plants and colorful flowers we pick for vases.  It is all there to be enjoyed, to bring us peace, happiness and solace.  

Perhaps more time sitting and observing the garden from the gazebo…even writing and drawing there.  Or a nap.  Doesn’t that sound wonderful.  So what’s stopping me!  Nothing….I hope you will join me in my celebration of summer, or whatever season you are experiencing now.  Details on how to join in are below.




As I feel summer’s call, and celebrate this new season, I hope you will join in the celebration. I welcome those Down Under who will be celebrating the coming of winter to join in too.  

All you have to do is write a post between now and June 21st telling me how you are celebrating the new season.  Then leave a comment on this post with your link so I can include your link in my summary post on June 22nd.  

I do hope you will consider joining in the Seasonal Celebrations meme as we celebrate the new season in your corner of the world.

And as always, I will be collaborating with Beth@Plant Postings and her Lessons Learned meme at this same time.  What lessons have you learned this past season of spring here in the Northern Hemisphere and autumn in the Southern Hemisphere.  Write a separate post or combine your Lessons with your Celebrations for one post.


Next up on the blog:  

On Monday, I will have my May garden wrap up.  I hope you will join me.  There was so much going on in May, I will need the summer to catch my breath. 


All original content is copyrighted and the sole property of Donna Donabella @ Gardens Eye View, 2010-2015.  Any reprints or use of content or photos is by permission only. 

70 Replies to “Seasonal Celebrations-Summer Serenity”

  1. What a glorious summer you have planned! The quote about making a commitment to the season really resonated with me. Summers are tough here because it is so hot and humid. It is easy to let things go and not be vigilant about spending time in the garden. I usually do the bare minimum…watering, harvesting and minimal weeding. You reminded me that I need to be out in my garden and enjoy it all. Hopefully we will get lots of rain.

    1. Hoping for more rain here too Karin…with the record mosquitoes and heat so far this spring, summer may be quite difficult to get any work done…but in between the work, I hope to play…enjoy your summer!

  2. Oh so wonderful for you Donna. I am not so much a morning person but I think I’m going to become one. I love mornings in my garden and usually trek to the greenhouse to open the vents – yes, in my pajamas – and water. It is such a great way to start my day. I want to capture summer again, too, and so have begun “un-joining” things I have joined over the years that keep me away from my garden and simply dashing from one place to the next without much enjoyment. I want to sit in my garden and sunbathe or read a book or even paint! I love your sitting area. So tranquil – wishing you time in the summer garden.

    1. Thanks Kathy….enjoy your mornings and painting in your garden….it must be a wonderful inspiration!

  3. Dear Donna, sounds like you are determined to enjoy summer no matter what and I applaud you for that! I think so often we get caught up in what is not so great (in our case here, people often complain about the summer heat, including me ;-)), but you could also focus on the early mornings when it is already pleasantly warm and you can find these magical moments with perfect light illuminating the garden. I feel inspired to make your attitude a little bit of mine!
    Wishing you a great summer!

    1. Exactly Claudia…it was very hot today, but an early morning walk was refreshing and so peaceful….and how lovely that you are determined to have a great summer too despite the heat.

  4. We always keep our summer traditions and add to them as the years go by. With all of our kids grown and raising families of their own we have more time for ourselves. We drive along quiet country roads – meandering and taking photos or just enjoying the views. We take a picnic along almost every time – even if it is raining and we have to eat in the car.

    We love to visit the nearby ocean, listen to the gulls and ducks and smell the ocean. And every Friday we pack a picnic – or buy a pizza and go down to the docks and watch the cars load up on the Alaska State Ferry. Then we wait for it to leave at 6 p.m – bound for Alaska once again – and we always hope the captain will blow the whistle – it echos off the nearby hillsides. If the captain doesn’t blow the whistle we declare him unfit and fire him – hoping his replacement next week will blow the whistle. LOL

    We have a lot of other summer traditions – but that is enough for now – keep summer in your heart and the wind in your hair.

    1. Oh JoAnn you are an inspiration…I am looking to build some new traditions and you have me thinking…thank you!

  5. Very early morning is a wonderful time of day Donna, but I rarely make time to watch the sunrise, you have inspired me though with your post today and I shall start to make time.

  6. Recapturing childhood pleasures is a worthy goal. I think we can appreciate them even more, given the perspective gained over the intervening years.

  7. What a thoughtful post, Donna. It gets us focussing on how we ‘celebrate the season’ apart from anything else. Maybe I should celebrate with a new pair of wellies by the back door? My dressing gown and slippers always get soaking wet as I wander round and round in the dew. Have a wonderful summer in that superb garden, Donna. Doing all the things that mean most to you!

    1. Cathy I love the idea of new wellies by the door as you wander in the dew….enjoy your summer too Cathy!

  8. Summer used to be my favorite season and your summer reflection makes me realize why. The garden in the early morning is the happiest time of all. Happy Summer Donna.

    1. I couldn’t agree more Susie…I was out making vases today and snapping shots in the bright glorious sun…pure bliss! Enjoy your summer!

  9. on those beautiful winter days we plan to walk on the beach. Been many years that first work, then geography, kept us away from beach walks.

    1. Oh I love that Diana and see you have started by your latest post…join in if you can and share that incredible beach you are showing in your new header.

  10. This brings back memories of summers when I was a kid for the most part πŸ™‚
    Also as a young mom…at that point we had a place with a creek not too far below our place and all the spring and summer sounds coming from the life there; I miss that.
    Then for a reality check!!! Middle son and several friends bring in a toad they’ve fed a lightning bug to…seeing it light up inside the toad’s belly. Mama doesn’t know whether to laugh or cry…boys are so different from girls πŸ™‚ I’d have never done that as a young girl / ugh πŸ™

    1. Oh Deb that was too funny….I was more of a tomboy so I might have done this…actually I was fascinated and wanted to see the frog light up after reader your comment….enjoy your summer!

    1. Thanks Janice….I have begun to shift my mornings and it is glorious…now if I can get through the garden chores despite the mosquitoes.

  11. Napping in the garden sounds like a wonderful idea Donna… and enjoying it, not just working in it, will be a real pleasure for you this year as you have more time. I will try and sit outside more often this summer and leave the weeding and photographing for another day!

    1. It is so wonderful to take periodic walks to see what is blooming and admiring the work of nature….of course I secretly think of what flowers would look great in my next vase! πŸ™‚ Enjoy that quiet time in your garden Cathy!

  12. This has got to be one of the best presented blogs ever. This post is another example of how well done it always is. Great information, the reflection important to me, and the photo support is beautiful. The posts are never lost with clutter. What’s the saying? Great minds run in the same direction…I have been spending time with the little girl within and remembering summers. I love the idea of revisiting the essence of those summers even now. You have a gardening and writing admirer in North Carolina who appreciates the hard work you put into this fine blog. Thank you.

    1. Stepheny I am without words as my heart is singing with your comment….I cannot tell you how much it means to me. Thank you so much for your support, and you make the work worthwhile my North Carolina friend!

  13. Hello dear Donna,
    thank you so much for the possibility to participate in Seasonal Celebrations. My post can be found at
    Your post is beautiful. After having read it, I notice so many things I would like to share about summer. I love both summer mornings and evenings. The lighting is more interesting; one just wishes it could be possible to add sounds and fragrances to the photos…
    Some days ago I tried to take pictures of bumble bees visiting blueberry flowers in the evening sun. They were too fast for me. πŸ™‚ Your photo is gorgeous.
    Wishing you lovely summer mornings and days filled with colours and scents and sounds!

    1. Oh Sara I am so happy to see you are joining in….your post is perfect. I’ll tell you a secret…there are a few flowers where the bees linger so it is easy to take photos especially in the morning when they are still sleepy!

  14. What a lovely post. It brought back memories of riding bicycles, eating ice cream, staying outside until the streetlights came on and other delights. I’ll make a point of reveling in the season when summer arrives again. Meanwhile, springtime is a joy!


  15. I too like sitting and watching the rain. I just wish we would get some. Spring has lacked rain now all of May and also much of April. A few more weeks until summer when the rains usually don’t come here, this may be our longest running drought yet. I just hope summer brings relief and not just memories of summers past.

    1. Finally pouring here….very little rain here and summer heat wilting so much….I hope you get some relief Donna…Enjoy the summer!

  16. Every part of your plan sounds like a great idea. Why stop at summer though?
    We had a nice rainstorm this afternoon and hopefully more tomorrow. I can check off sitting on the porch listening to the rain (and frogs)… that’s one down!
    Have a great summer πŸ™‚

    1. Oh I don’t Frank…every season I celebrate, sometimes in a different way, that season….just getting some rain here too. I noticed several years ago I was whining about the seasons instead of enjoying them…so now every quarter I challenge folks to celebrate the seasons in their own way and write about it or leave a comment here….glad you are a celebrator too!

  17. This is going to be the first of many many wonderful and evocative summers for you to come. Living fully, experiencing life, and nature…making memories, and living in moments….a wonderful time indeed.

    I’m looking forward to reading, and seeing the joys that you discover ahead.


    1. Oh Darrielle thank you…it is very weedy right now so much maintenance will be done this summer….I actually am looking forward to the clean up.

    1. Glad you enjoyed it Jason….that waterfall is the main reason I wanted a pond…just the sound of water can de-stress me….it is one of my favorite places to be in the garden….and the birds love to bathe in it!

  18. Donna, I loved this post! The quotes were so appropriate. Now that I am not working (well, at least not working for money!) I try to savor each season. I have accepted heat and humidity and don’t mind the mid-day showers that are essential after coming in from the garden. You have reminded me about the refreshment of homemade popsicles. I still have the molds from my children’s childhood. I must get them out!

    1. Oh the popsicles are a must Deb…..I posted a yummy, healthy recipe last year that is linked in above….just made some on my birthday this week.

  19. Enjoy rediscovering those childhood summers Donna. You will have the time to relax and relish the season this year. It looks as if that is exactly what that fabulous fuzzy bee is doing πŸ™‚ A great photo.

    1. I love watching bees Anna…they seem to be giving us messages….take some time and savor the nectar of our work. Glad you enjoyed the post.

    1. Thanks so much for those words of encouragement….I am off to a good start just in my mindset! πŸ˜€

  20. Great advice, Donna. πŸ™‚ I couldn’t begin to take the summers off when I was working full-time-plus, with two kids and endless responsibilities. I always tried to make some time for myself in the mornings, evenings, and weekends, but it was still a rush. Now that I’m self-employed, it’s better, but I still have projects to complete and family committments all summer long. I do believe that patches of “summer dreams” and uncommitted time can do wonders for the soul. Sometimes we simply have to say “no” and make time for ourselves. Cheers!

    1. Thanks Beth….I agree…learning to say no and making sometime for ourselves is essential. Glad you have a bit more time for yourself now.

  21. Your gardens are looking beautiful! Love the waterfall and the photo of your garden in the rain. The vegetables look great too. Enjoy your summer!

  22. My daily tour of the garden is a special summer ritual. I do this after I exercise, shower and dress, but before breakfast. I take my first mug of tea for the day with me and always follow the same route through the garden, stopping to appreciate every part of the garden. If you try it, I think you’ll like it!

    1. Sounds lovely….I make different treks with the camera many times during the week, but I must get into the habit of coming into the garden quietly. We are finally getting into a morning walk for exercise routine so the garden walk is next.

  23. We were just saying today that when you experience gardening as a child it stays with you for ever. It is Sad that some children today don’t get the chance to wander round the garden in their pjs picking strawberries for breakfast or popping peas. My 19 year-old daughter (home on holiday from university) cycled down to see me at the allotment today. She picked salad for her lunch and our dinner and photographed ladybirds crawling on her hand. Simple things. I am very happy to link my summertime vase to your seasonal celebrations post Donna and here is my link:

    1. Sara I am so excited that you linked in…thank you!

      I agree it is sad when children don’t get the chance to explore and play these days….your daughter sounds like she will always keep these close to her heart and be that child deep down inside.

  24. It sounds as though you are going to enjoy a beautiful summer, Donna, come rain or shine! I love your intention to celebrate the joys of the summer, and you have inspired me to do the same. I will make popsicles and enjoy them with my boys. I will be barefoot at every opportunity! and yes, I will also enjoy the magic of the fresh, dew-sparkling mornings in my garden. thank you for inspiring me and for the invitation to link up with your meme. You can find me here:

    1. That is indeed a wonderful summer you have outlined Starr and it pleases me that I have inspired you….and I am so happy you can join in! Thank you for the support!

    1. Oh I couldn’t agree more Becky….and I am so happy you joined in as your post is beautiful! Here’s to summer in the garden.

  25. Hi Donna, maybe i can join in my last post even if it is posted on 24 June, but i made the draft days before that. It is the last dry season post i have as on 22 June rains arrived and the plants are now happy again. I discussed there the dry season conditions though.

    Your summer is the humdrum of biodiversity, our opposite as many of them shun our very hot dry season. Our rainy season is when many plant and animal species get alive and multiply. In 2 weeks after the first heavy rains the butterflies and insects will be alive and kicking simultaneous with the growing new shoots to feed the new larvae. Oh they are happy and i will be happy too, celebrating with them.

    1. Absolutely Andrea…I am happy to have you join and I added your post to the wrap up post just now….glad you finally got some rain!

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