A Stuck Foot Under the Arch

orange pink echinacea

My extravagance is my garden-it’s the first thing I look at every morning when I wake up.  It gives me so much pleasure.  ~Ina Garten



Hard to believe July is just about half over.  And as July unfolds, the weather has become summery.  Temps in the low to high 80s and less rain.  So time to check out the gardens.  Every other month I join Lucy@Loose and Leafy for her Stuck Foot meme around the 21st of every other month.

What is a Stuck Foot post you ask?  As Lucy explains:

A stuck foot post is where you plant your foot firmly in a roughly random place and see what you can see without moving. 


I love taking a closer look at different gardens using this method.  I gain a better perspective of the garden, what is growing there and what needs to be changed.  This month I am focusing on the Arch Garden.  I profiled this garden a few months ago showing how it looks in all seasons, but I thought I would get a closer look this month.

And for this post, as we are close to the 15th, I am also linking in with Carol@May Dreams Gardens who hosts Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day the 15th of each month. 




Instead of entering the garden from the back of the house, I thought we would enter from the left, where we go along the side lawn, the wall garden and come up to the left gate.  If we peek through the arch, we can see the gazebo at the back of the garden.  I love this view.  So let’s go in.




first glimpse arch

We are approaching the Arch Garden to the left of the arch.  On the right of the arch is part of the patio garden, and that is where a grape-vine grows….although it has never produced grapes in the 5 years it has grown here.  The front half of the Arch Garden is in almost full sun.  The back half is in dry shade once the trees leaf out.




arch sunny area collage

As I step into the Arch Garden, I am near the edge on the left and just about even with the arch.  If I look just in front of me, I see the jumble of flowers growing here.  I planted a pink fairy rose (top right), pink Echinacea and an Invincibelle® Spirit  Hydrangea or Hydrangea arborescens which is about 4 or 5 years old now.  It flowers beautifully as you can see in the second picture.  And there is a pale pink climbing rose on this side of the arch as seen in the last picture.  

But there are several things that have landed here as volunteers like this beautiful Rudbeckia.  Of course there are weeds too as I have not weeded this bed yet.




echinacea mix

Here’s a close-up of the orangey Echinacea.  I believe it is from the Echinacea Big Sky™ series, specifically “Sundown” (also at the top of the post).  The flat white flowers are the aggressive, Lychnis coronaria ‘Alba’.  I do love it, but need to tame it a bit here.  




orange echinacea

Isn’t this a stunning Echinacea, but I think it is not ‘Sundown’ as it is a bit floppy.  I think it may be Echinacea ‘Orange Meadowbrite’.  And the white daisy flower is wild daisy fleabane.




more sunny arch collage

If I swivel a bit on my foot and square myself with the arch you can see more Echinacea along with Lychnis (bottom left).  I didn’t swivel the camera down or you would see the pink lilies and Campanula punctata ‘Cherry Bells’ (bottom right), which can be quite invasive.  The yellow flowers near the arch are Hypericum perforatum which is an non-native St. John’s Wort considered invasive here.  




arch garden 11

Swiveling right, you can see my foot is close to the edge of the bed with the gray foliage of the Lychnis and one of the peonies that blooms here.  And that is the lawn, or should I say clover as that is what grows in the lawn now instead of grass which fine with me as the rabbits and pollinators prefer it.




arch shady view

Let’s swivel a bit more to the right and we are facing the back of the bed.  Most of it is covered in weeds, and some seeded Northern Sea Oats.  At the far end is a boxwood and another peony.  I know there is a daylily, other lilies, columbines, and a few very small bushes that I have to uncover once I weed the bed.  The large gray foliage is that of  Rudbeckia maxima, or Giant Coneflower, a native to parts of the southern US.




arch garden trees

If I look up from here, I can barely see the flowers forming against the trees from the Center Garden.





And another flower that grows wild in the Arch Garden is Knautia macedonica.  I adore this flower as do the bees.




arch garden

So what am I doing with this garden?  Frankly I am unsure at this point.  I had wanted this to be a garden with flowering shrubs and beautiful flowers poking out here and there.  And I suppose it could still be, although I need to find shrubs that do well in the dry shade of summer.

But first I need to weed and inventory this garden.  Then this coming winter, I hope to work on a design for this garden.



Have you ever stuck your foot in your garden or any space and looked closely to see what is there?  Give it a try.   



In A Vase On Monday 


I thought I would pick flowers and foliage for vases from the Arch Garden this week…..




I am using my lovely Irish vase covered in clover.  Perfect as the Arch Garden is surrounded by clover.  The vase is from Wade Porcelain, and placed on the mantel in front of my black hand-painted fan. 




stuck foot pink vase

This vase has the orangey-pink Echinacea, pink fairy roses and pink lilies along with the pink ‘Invincibelle Spirit’ hydrangea.  Added to these main blooms are Knautia macedonica, Fleabane daisy, and Northern Sea Oats foliage.  I left the arrangement loose, and liked how it opened more than if I had added more foliage and blooms.



small pink vases

I had some left over fairy roses so I made two smaller vases.  Added to the roses was Lychnis coronaria ‘Alba’ in both vases.  In the top vase I also added a pink lily, Campanula ‘Cherry Bells’ and Fleabane daisy.  I really love all the colors that the Arch Garden provides, and with a bit of work, it will have even more blooms in the future.


I am joining in with a few memes this week as I prepare these vases:  Cathy@Rambling in the Garden for her wonderful meme, In a Vase on Monday, Today’s Flowers hosted by Denise@An English Girl Rambles and Judith@Lavender Cottage who hosts Mosaic Monday.


Next up on the blog:  

Next Monday, I will have another combined post for Wildflower Wednesday, and In A Vase On Monday.

I am linking in with Michelle for her Nature Notes meme at her new blog just for Nature Notes.  It is a great way to see what is happening in nature around the world every Tuesday. 



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, 2010-2015.  Any reprints or use of content or photos is by permission only. 

97 Replies to “A Stuck Foot Under the Arch”

  1. Good morning, I just love the view into your yard and the gazebo. And the orange echinacea is very pretty. Lovely flower arrangement. Beautiful images and mosaic! Have a happy day and new week ahead!

    1. Thanks Eileen…I do love the views of this garden and that echinacea! Hope you are having a wonderful weekend!

  2. Donna, you must be thrilled with the wonderful views in the Arch garden. The flowers in the Irish vase are perfectly arranged. Just lovely. Can’t believe it’s mid July–summer is rushing too quickly.

  3. Oh! What a treasure you are developing in your garden. Exquisite color and beautiful tranquility! Have a grand day!

  4. Donna, I could stay stuck overlooking your arch garden for quite some time. I will look forward to seeing what you have planned for it.
    I love that picture of the orange Echinacea, in fact I pinned it, not sure what I am doing with all that pinterest pinning stuff really, but there you go.
    enjoy the rest of the Summer, Alistair

    1. How nice of you to say so….and how wonderful that you pinned that picture Alistair…I really do love the views and flowers in this garden….a bit of a clean up and redoing the shady section and I think it will be stunning.

  5. Beautiful beautiful beautiful!!

    I love the look of a ‘wild’ garden. So many different plants and a variety of colors. I have a beautiful orange Echinacea that is called ‘Sombrero’.
    I am glad you got your foot stuck.

    1. I had not seen ‘Sombrero’ MaryBeth so I will look it up. And I am so glad you liked the wild look of this garden.

  6. I like the openness of your arrangement today; You’re right that sometimes we add too much. Less is more is a good thing to remember.

  7. Your garden is beautiful!! You and I have have many of the same flowers. I love knautia, too. A few shrubs that do well in dry shade are: callicarpa ‘Duet’, all the diervillas (lonicera, sessifolia, rivularis), including the newer cultivars. Even spirea can take very bright dry shade if given 6 hours or so sun at some point during the day. I have ‘Little Princess’ spirea that gets sun from sunrise to about 1 pm and then does fine in bright shade all afternoon. Symphoricarpos ‘Blade of Sun’ thrives in dry shade. 🙂

  8. Your Arch Garden is so colorful and lush. We’re having such a hot dry summer here, everything is crispy. I loved looking at all your flowers.

    1. I am sorry to hear about the dry summer there Alison….and I am glad you enjoyed the flowers in my garden.

  9. I really enjoyed the “stuck foot” view of your Arch garden. So many gorgeous flowers and colors. Lovely cut flowers, too. Happy Monday!

  10. A good idea for the stuck foot meme and we got to see quite bit around your garden.
    The quote by Ina Garten is me in a nutshell; I love, and live for my gardens and the trees we’ve planted.
    Thanks for joining Mosaic Monday Donna.

  11. I LOVE that Echinacea. I planted some last year and a few are coming back into bloom now but they don’t perform especially well here – too little water perhaps. The sea oats foliage is a perfect touch in the first vase, picking up the green in the china. Very pretty!

    1. I couldn’t believe my luck when I saw the Sea Oats had seeded there Kris. Perfect for the vase….yes echinacea is a lover of water although it can be more drought tolerant after it is established.

  12. I was going to comment on your echinacea but then you used some in your vase anyway – it’s such a stunning colour. For some reason it’s a plant that I have not yet succeeded with here. It’s surprising how well the pink blooms sit alongside it and your foliage is just the right shade of green – all falling nicely into place and just as it should be. Thanks for sharing

    1. So happy you liked the vase Cathy! That echinacea is a delight each year it grows. I am surprised echinacea is not successful there. I hope you keep trying to grow it.

  13. You have all sorts of beautiful flowers growing in your garden. I love the orangish echinacea. Rudbeckia, daisy-like flowers and echinacea all look so pretty in a garden.

  14. Thank you for the tour of your garden. Such a great idea as so few of us actually take the time to stand still in general, not just in the garden

  15. Your garden is lovely and super good mosaics.:)
    I usually walk into an antique shop or a thrift store, stick my foot and see if I can spot something I can’t live without….hahhaa…had no idea there was a weekly party about a stuck foot.

  16. I enjoyed the tour of your garden and it was good to see that beautiful echinacea growing and then again in your gorgeous arrangement. I have a clover lawn too. I love it, so much more interesting than ordinary grass and as you say bees love the flowers.

  17. What a great idea for a meme. I will have to try that. Beautiful blooms. We have planted clover on purpose and the little toads hide in it too… Thank you for linking in Donna… Michelle

  18. That first quotation expresses my feelings exactly, Donna. I can’t wait to open the curtains, step through the French doors, and out into the garden as soon as it’s light. Love your arch garden. Your echinacea look so perfect — every petal on every one of mine seem to have been nibbled by Japanese beetles. Ohm and your Irish vase arrangement is amazing. P. x

    1. Thanks Pam….I have seen a few J beetles but hoping we don’t have too many. I do set out traps and draw as many in as possible to prevent them from breeding.

  19. Along with the others, I love your orangey-pink echinacea! That is a color I haven’t grown and it would be a good fit in my garden. I was just asking Tammy and I’ll ask you too: I planted a gallon pot of a coneflower last year in a stunning white with greenish tinged petals. It was really elegant. Maybe I need to post a photo of it on the blog. Do you happen to know that cultivar?

    1. Oh it would look perfect in your garden Susan. The usual cultivar for white echinacea is White Swan but a picture would help to identify it.

  20. So many wonderful pictures of your pretty garden and all these adorable flowers!!! I also can’t believe is July now…Time flies…
    Enjoy the delightful days of summer like the bees, butterflies and all the other tiny insects enjoy your lovely paradise 🙂

  21. Hi, Donna!
    I liked your Arch garden, pretty flowers and all garden is very colorful – this summer is here! We have no warmth till mid-July although the nature is flowering. Of your vases I love this one with lily – it’s nice!

  22. Oh, Donna what is wrong with the arch garden as it is now? It looks beautiful and is full of beautiful blooms! I haven’t added any of the brightly colored echinaceas as I believe mixed among the purple I have, they will all revert back to the purple? Or is that not true of these newer varieties? LOVE love that hot bright orange. As I write this it is raining here but after a hot spell and high humidity which of course, I gardened in – I played hooky yesterday to work in my own garden – it was marvelous! I have to do that more often. I love the clover lawn! I love clover and actually seeded that instead of grass seed when we had a bare patch. It is softer on the feet than grass and less weeds seem to grow among it plus it offers nitrogen! Why don’t we all plant clover? I really have to try this stuck foot exercise.

    1. I have not found mine reverting back and I have had them for years now Kathy. You should try the stuck foot meme, and why don’t we all plant clover. This garden is only half working…the sunny half looks great and the flowers will stay. It needs weeding and a bit of thinning, but it is the shady half that is more weed choked, and the plants there struggling….so I need to work on that half more.

  23. So love the stuck foot idea and have tried it out on some of my woodsy walks, with less than stellar results. But it does get me looking at things in a different way and that’s good! Neat the way you tied that collection into your vase post; those arrangements are lovely as are your mosaics as always,

  24. Wow – that Rudbeckia maxima foliage looks beautiful! I’ve gotta give it a try 🙂

    How do you keep the clover from creeping into your garden beds? (Just pull, pull, pull?)

    1. You should try the rudbeckia as I bet your garden would love it Aaron….if we could ever get to the edging, it would be easier to keep the ivy out of the beds, but yes we pull it.

  25. Donna, your garden looks so beautiful in its full summer glory! I know you must devote a lot of time to keep in looking so well, but that you enjoy every minute. It looks so peaceful _-I can just imagine all the bird song you hear.

    1. It is peaceful Pat….actually over the last several years I have had very little time in the garden so this year I am trying to get to so much more…but it must love the neglect.

  26. I love the cottage look of this arch garden, Donna! I know you would like to do a makeover here, but I hope you’ll keep many of the flowers you already have. The Echinacea is a beauty. I have just a couple of the newer hybrids, including ‘Big Sky,’ but they always get overshadowed by the common coneflowers; I think there might be a little in-breeding going on:)

    1. I have not had any in-breeding so far with Big Sky Rose…and it is a wonderful way to look at this garden as a cottage garden. I plan to keep the flowers, but it is the second half in the shade that needs the make-over so the cottage garden half in the sun will stay…just a bit of a clean up is all it needs.

  27. Hi Donna! I think I say this every time I visit your blog, I love your garden! It is really looking beautiful! You have so many different flowers; how wonderful. So it is no wonder you have put together such lovely arrangements from your garden! (a small bonus after such harsh winters) 🙂

    1. Indeed Dana…so nice to have this bonus. And aren;t you so sweet to say such lovely things about my garden!

  28. I have the Invincibelle Spirit hydrangea too and adore it. But I also love your vivid red echinacea, how I wish that would grow for me too!! Having tried three or four different varieties of echinacea in recent years I must reluctantly admit defeat.

    1. How funny that echinacea won’t grow for you and a few other UK gardeners who have mentioned it…I wonder why. It likes dry or wet heat, wet cold winters or even mild winters and summers….and it loves clay soil. I wish it would grow for you!

  29. You have a very wide area Donna, the colors are beautiful too, just like the photos. How sad when they again succumb to the next frost. I always think about it when looking at gardens in the temperate climates.

  30. I love that orange echinacea! I need to plant more varieties of echinacea. The pollinators love it, and it is one of the few perennials that bloom in the heat of summer here. I like the variety of blooms in your arch garden. Your vases are lovely!

  31. What beautiful flowers, both in the garden and in the vase! And I love the various ways you displayed the photos in mosaics.

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