Dear Friend and Gardener-Enjoying The Fruits of Our Labor


“How could such sweet and wholesome hours be reckoned, but in herbs and flowers?”  ~Andrew Marvell



Even as I am nursing my weeding wounds, I am still making it out to the veg garden to pick whatever is growing.  You can’t let it go too long when the garden gets in to high gear, or you will be over runbean tower especially with beans.  I am pleased to share what has happened in our August kitchen and cutting gardens.  I am joining in again with Dee Nash@Red Dirt Ramblings for her virtual garden club called, Dear Friend and Gardener.  

We are having a great bean harvest.  There are still a few bush beans, and loads of pole beans (pictured here).  And we finally have tomatoes ripening, with tons of green tomatoes bursting their cages.  The first one I ate was soooo sweet it was better than sugar in my mouth.  

And yes those are sweet frying peppers (pictured above) finally ready for picking.  Lots of peppers this year.  Even the green chiles in the portable bed are finally forming fruit.  And of course pickling cucumbers are growing well.




aug harvest collage

Here’s what else we have harvested.  Yes we pulled a load of red potatoes out of 3 grow bags.  Lots more potatoes to harvest, but we are spreading it out over the next 6-8 weeks.  Zucchini is finally producing, as we are again growing ‘Cocozelle’.  Very creamy, meaty and few seeds.  And it does not get mushy when you cook it.  

The eggplant is producing lots of flowers this year, and about half a dozen eggplant so far in various stages of growth.  Yes those are radishes.  I planted 2 squares of radishes next to the bush beans.  And they were shaded enough by the bush beans during the heat of July, that they produced some radishes.  





We pickled some bush and pole beans, as well as cukes, a couple of weeks ago.  We used our standard pickle recipe, changing up the spices and always including dill and garlic from the garden.  They are so delicious.





What is this?  It is a surprise tomatillo blooming.  This plant was a tiny sprout we planted out in June.  And with the heat of July, it sprung up recently, and is now blooming.  This was a last-minute veggies we decided to try this year, and I think we will be planting more next year.




And look at the Squash bed.  Yes there are some squashes forming, but the surprise here is the Swiss chard and lettuce regrowing.  We cut them back in late July.  Then the weather shifted and cooled in August with some rain and all these conditions helped them to regrow.  The voles were devils in this bed, and were eating the carrots so I picked all the remaining ones.

I am planting more beets, radishes, greens and carrots in hopes of a fall garden although I am late with planting this year.




veg garden flowers Near the veg beds I have Calendula (center) finally growing between the lemon balm that is everywhere.  And next to it are the volunteer borage (bottom left) growing like crazy along the tomato bed.  I pulled most out of the tomato and bean bed, but some are still popping up.

The beans are the scarlet runner beans I grew for the hummers who did visit the red flowers.  I also learned you can eat the beans when they are young just like pole beans.  If you let them grow bigger and longer, then you can harvest them as dried beans to eat.  So I chose to leave them so I could harvest them as dried beans.  The top two herbs are dill and bronze fennel.  The dill also seeded freely in a couple of beds from last year’s plants.  The fennel is in the garden near the pond.  We are hoping it will like this spot and return next year.




nasturtium collageYou can see the meager nasturtiums growing.  Great flowers but the plants are small in the containers mainly because I used shallow containers.  I will have to reconsider what containers I use next year.




cutting flowers collageHere are the container sunflowers.  And the snapdragons (Antirrhinum) and alyssum (white and purple) I grew from seed are flowering.  And yes finally the burgundy cosmos I planted in the cutting garden are blooming.  



What have you been harvesting this month?  Did you have any surprises?



Soon it will be time to celebrate the change of seasons.  I know it is hard to say goodbye to summer as autumn soon will begin.  And even though we may not like to see autumn come so soon, I hope you will join me in the celebration of this new season.  I welcome those Down Under who will be celebrating the coming of spring to join in too.  You can read the fall Seasonal Celebrations kick-off post on August 31st.

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 summer here in the Northern Hemisphere and winter in the Southern Hemisphere.  


In A Vase On Monday 


With some the cutting garden/container flowers finally blooming, I thought I would cut a few and combine them with the container sunflowers ‘Junior’ for a couple of vases.  I did cut these a few days earlier then usual before the flowers were past their prime. 

 DSCN6921You can see some Orienpet lilies were spared from the lily beetles and the deer.  One plant had about 20 lilies blooming so I had to cut a few.




cutting bed sm vase collageAlso in this vase was the one zinnia and one tithonia that bloomed in the cutting garden so far, as well as the deep burgundy cosmos and a variety of Antirrhinums.





The second vase also had the sunflowers, Antirrhinum, cosmos and lily as its base.  




cutting garden tall vaseBut I added a gorgeous purple gladiolus, purple Phlox paniculata and a burgundy Phlox paniculata almost the same color as the cosmos.

I really love these vases with the vivid colors from the perennials and cutting beds/containers.  I certainly will be trying to get more flowers to grow in the cutting beds and containers next year.  And I will be planting the small container sunflowers again.  They really last a long time in the vase, and they just are too darn cute.


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, Todayโ€™s Flowers hosted by Denise@An English Girl Rambles and Judith@Lavender Cottage who hosts Mosaic Monday.  Please check out these wonderful blogs and link ups.




Next up on the blog:  

On Monday, I will have a profile of a favorite native bush that has finally taken off in the bog garden.  And on the 31st, I will have the kick-off Seasonal Celebrations post.

I will be 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 Monday.


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. 


  1. Annette says:

    Ups, which wounds are you nursing, Donna? Hope it’s not to serious but walking through this fab garden of yours should lift up your spirits. What a harvest and I love your veg beds, all neat and organized. That plant support is a good idea for pumpkins, I shall keep it in mind. I also harvested potatoes which look just like yours. Isn’t delightful what the garden gives us back?

    • Donna says:

      Hi Annette…long story on the injury but I am healing after 3 weeks. And yes my garden does lift my spirits. I am so happy with our harvest as it continues….

    • Donna says:

      Yes I am still in the planning stages narrowing down from so many ideas so I can work on one over the long winter….I’ll keep you posted. Thanks for the support!

  2. Eileen says:

    Hello Donna, I am sorry about your weeding wounds. I hope they are nothing too serious! Your veggies and harvest are just amazing, I am sure you be enjoying the benefits for a long time. Your flowers and arrangement are lovely. Happy Monday, enjoy your new week!

    • Donna says:

      No not too serious Eileen just a pain that it is keeping me on the couch for a few weeks. Glad you are enjoying the harvest of flowers and veggies as much as I am! Have a great weekend!

  3. Angie says:

    It’s at this time of the year I regret not growing veg. My mouth waters over what others are harvesting. You’ve a fair harvest this year Donna.
    Love the vase and wishing you a speedy recovery.

    • Donna says:

      It is a fair harvest , I agree Angie…I hope wherever I am, I can always grow a few veggies and herbs…so amazing! Thanks for the well wishes…

  4. EG CameraGirl says:

    Weeding wounds are no fun but I’m glad you have the energy to pick those beans before they get way ahead of you. The bouquet of pinks and yellows is very pretty!

  5. JoAnn Bayne says:

    Everything is so wonderful – I love all the vegetables that are producing such wonderful food – and the flowers are so sweet. I love big fluffy bouquets in the summer.

    • Donna says:

      Christina, I have to remind myself every few days or sooner to get out and harvest…almost daily inspections. I love the reward of these 2 vases this week!

  6. Starr White says:

    I have serious pickle envy :))) Been catching up with your blog this morning – reading the last several posts and enjoying all the beautiful photos. Thank you!

  7. Tina says:

    Gardening is a dangerous undertaking and only for the brave and stalwart! That said, heal soon and enjoy those fab veggies and flowers!

    • Donna says:

      Thanks Tina…I couldn’t agree more…I often work through any injury, but this time working through it made it much worse. Oh well I can enjoy looking at my garden for now!

  8. Judith@Lavender Cottage says:

    Oh no, weeding wounds are not fun but look at your bountiful harvest! My garlic has dried and is now in the kitchen and a net bag in the basement and carrots and beets still have to be retrieved from the garden.
    Thanks for linking to Mosaic Monday Donna.

    • Donna says:

      I pickled the last of my carrots and can’t wait to try them and grow more soon….isn’t it great fun to grow food from seeds Judith! Enjoy your bounty….

  9. Kathy Sturr of the Violet Fern says:

    Wow, what a great harvest Donna! Pickled beans sound delicious. I will have to try that zucchini variety – the cute little round ones I planted from seed fizzled right out. You remind me that I will have to harvest basil soon and make batches of frozen pesto – or maybe even pesto for dinner tonight! That is one thing I will have lots of. I think I am going to make more raised beds – everything seems to grow better in raised beds and they are easier to keep weeded and maintained. I was surprised that harvesting my garlic was so difficult – after all the years I’ve amended my ground soil it is still clay hard. I ripped out quite a bit of Borage too – no easy task as the flowers are so pretty and the bees love – but it does take over. I have lemon balm throughout my entire garden! Even in the driveway! That is a take over plant for certain. I find it more invasive than mint – of course, they are in the same family. It is difficult to believe autumn will arrive soon with the temperatures we are experiencing right now – I think I will definitely be celebrating a little cooler weather! As always, beautiful arrangement – eye popping candy!

    • Donna says:

      OMG Kathy the pickled beans are amazing. Definitely try the zuke…well worth it. I also have to harvest basil soon too. Definitely the raised beds have worked so much better for our climate. I agree the lemon balm is crazy invasive. I am glad for the cool down now. And can’t wait to make your sauce recipe again this year! YUM!!

  10. Alison says:

    I’m picking lots of paste tomatoes as well as zucchini. In fact, I am over-run with zukes, and I’ve made pickles out of them, I found such a delicious recipe! I am really looking forward to autumn. We’ve had a long, hot, dry summer here in the PNW. Our town has instituted voluntary water conservation guidelines, they’ve never done that before. Your vases are so pretty and colorful. I admire that meme participation on a lot of blogs that I follow, but I’m afraid I would be just terrible at it.

    • Donna says:

      I am glad we are not overrun with zukes but oh it is still fun! Our tomatoes are once again all coming at once so we will be busy. I hope you get a break in the weather Alison.

  11. Deb @ Frugal Little Bungalow says:

    You have a wonderful bounty there! ๐Ÿ™‚ I usually plant regular cucumbers ( and still use them for pickles ) but I raised pickling ones this season. They all tasted fine but looked quite strange…not like the ones in the store!

    • Donna says:

      I found I have to pick my pickling cukes quickly or they grow strange Deb….that means I am constantly checking for them and missing some.

  12. Laura Bloomsbury says:

    for all the up and down weather Donna and critters you’ve a marvellous harvest – pickling is always a sign of abundance and that looks like a good recipe

    Love the colours of your vase – especially the purple phlox

  13. Kris P says:

    I’m impressed by the productivity of your vegetable garden, Donna. I gave up on vegetables this season and stuck sunflowers and zinnias in my raised planters. Seeing your Borage reminded me that none of mine came back this year – whoever heard of Borage that doesn’t self-seed? Your vases, as usual, are wonderful. My own lilies have mostly died out (they don’t last long here) and I missed them this year.

    • Donna says:

      You always inspire Kris and I am looking to add flowers to some of my veg beds next year. I am working on some ideas to incorporate more cutting flowers with the veggies. I think I can grow many in the garlic bed in between the cloves…and how could borage not self-seed!

  14. Hannah says:

    Your vegetables are looking great, I like your trellis too, my surprise this year is that my winter squash vines are trying to take over the world. And I don’t have trellises in hand to deal with that. I have a serious infatuation with Cocozelle, do you let them go until they weigh 4.5 lb too? My other squash obsessions are Crookneck and Delicata. The vase is so cute, and a good color match for the orange flower, the Tithonia? The lilies are so sensational, with the speckles and streaks, and gorgeous green and white stars in the center. Lemon balm does actually take over the world, I rue the day I planted it. Borage tries to take over one garden but I just let it go down the side as it really pulls the bees in. I love seeing your jars of pickles, what an inspiration! My weeding injuries are usually stickers in my fingers and sore thumbs from all the cutting. Gardening can be painful.

    • Donna says:

      No I do not let the zukes get big…we pick them when they are about 4-6 inches wide and a foot long….I also love Delicata but my winter squash are not producing female flowers. Glad you enjoyed the harvest here Hannah. And enjoy yours as well!

  15. Chronica Domus says:

    Hello Donna,

    And how wonderful to happen upon your blog. I’m glad you left me a comment on mine otherwise I might not have found you and your summer bounty of homegrown vegetables and flowers. My, how impressive that you grow such a variety of summer vegetables. You must eat like a queen! Your flowers too are a jolly jolt of joy.

    Again, thank you for commenting on my blog and lovely to make your acquaintance. I shall return often to see what you’ve been growing.

  16. Jesh StG says:

    Thanks for visiting me! I can tell I can learn a lot from your blog. It has been “ages” that we’ve grown any veggies because we had a city front yard, and I (read hubby) planted 7 rose bushes around the lawn. That was my extent of gardening. Luckily my son-in-law has a green thumb, so I’m gonna ask him to start our garden now we moved to a place with an acre.

  17. Beth says:

    Your vases are gorgeous, Donna, and your potager so productive! What a delight to have homegrown vegetables to eat and to preserve. Glad you are enjoying the fruits of your labor! You deserve it after all of that hard work!

  18. Susan says:

    Donna… Your garden is wonderful! I have beans on my “to grow” list for next year. I planted ornamental gourds, tomatoes and bell peppers this year. Here in the Deep South my plants are languishing in the heat of August. Enjoy the bounty of your labor!

    • Donna says:

      It has been hot here too but not lasting like for you…so I hope the weather cools a bit so your veggies can produce more. When you grow beans next year Susan, grow them up a trellis or support…helps with the harvest.

  19. Cathy says:

    Hi Donna – I realised from your last comment on my blog that I must have missed checking yours out! I have to systematically go through comments on the vase posts, answering comments and then clicking on the links, because it is easy to miss some otherwise – and I still did … sorry ๐Ÿ™ Your lilies are gorgeous and I am glad they survived potential onslaughts from deer and beetle. I had a small success with new Asiatic lilies this year but not enough to pick – perhaps next year – and I too have solo tithonia and zinnia!! The phlox is a great addition – and do you know the variety of your dark cosmos? I am so pleased you are now seeing the fruits of your labour – and you will be too! Thanks for sharing ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Donna says:

      It is so hard some days to keep up with comments Cathy so no worries. The cosmos was purchased on Etsy at a shop where it was listed as a rare cranberry cosmos heirloom flower. I can give you the Etsy shop if you would like it. I am hoping to collect some seed to plant these again. I am so happy with even a few blooms in the cutting garden, and maybe they will be better next year as I learn.

  20. bec says:

    Your lilies are lovely Donna – love the pink/purple and yellow combinations. I must have a go with zinnia next year – my cosmos are flowering but not alot… to wet I think ๐Ÿ™‚
    and what a massive collection of veg – I’ve been looking for a pickling recipe for gerkins so I think I’ll give yours a go ๐Ÿ™‚ have a good week love bec xx

    • Donna says:

      Let me know about the pickles bec….hope you enjoy the recipe. And my cosmos also are not producing too much…it is too hot or too wet.

  21. Frank says:

    Your arrangement has ‘high summer’ written all over it, beautiful lilies in a beautiful arrangement!
    Love the vegetable garden. There seems to be a lot coming along and the potatoes look great… much better than mine did ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • Donna says:

      Thanks Frank….the lilies are a favorite of mine. I grow my potatoes in grow bags and I have had good luck with the method.

  22. Jason says:

    We’ve started getting tomatoes, and we’re picking lots of basil and parsley. That’s about it, our edibles gardening is pretty limited. I’d love to taste some of those pickles!

    • Donna says:

      You have the essentials Jason…those 2 herbs and tomatoes are enough! I will say the pickles have been so delicious this year!

  23. Hannah Gosselin says:

    SO wonderful!! A feast for eyes and soul! Such beauty and abundance here…thank you, for sharing, Donna!

  24. DeniseinVA says:

    Great post Donna! I just had some fresh, home-grown tomatoes out of my in-law’s garden, and oh my goodness, there is just no comparison to store bought. They were so delicious.

  25. Lovelyladylinnaea says:

    Wow! Your fresh vegetables looks wonderfull! And your flowers too. You must have a big cellar to stock all of your vegetables.

    We harvested some blackcurrant leafs in my grannys place. I made some blackcurrant leaf sima (mead). We called it as a Louhisaarenjuoma -drink.

    Now we are just waiting when berries are ready to harvest. Autum is coming and here in Finland we have Indian summer now.

    • Donna says:

      Actually no we don’t store veggies in the basement. We do eat to our heart’s content now, pickle, can and freeze! That mead sounds incredible and I can’t believe you are having Indian summer already…soon enough here I think!

  26. Sallie (FullTime-Life) says:

    hi Donna. Your gardens are doing so beautifully. Hope your wounds heal … Gardening is hard work ( I remember) even tho nowadays I get my produce from hard working far stand operators! Our crops here in Oregon seem to be at about the same stage yours are. Only thing different is delicious corn on the cob, which I can’t stop eating sadly for our waistlines.

    • Donna says:

      Yes Sallie we have corn here at our stands too, but I don’t have room to grow any! Have a great time enjoying as much as you can get…..

  27. Ryn Shell says:

    I’m not certain what happened. I tried several times to return to comment on the other nature blogs but I could not open them. It seemed blogspot had locked me out. I was able to open your reply. If there is a way to bypass that problem please let me know, as the few blogs I saw in this meme were quite the loveliest and I do love writing about nature myself.

    Cheers, Ryn.

    • Donna says:

      Thanks Beth….we are having a great harvest in waves so we can enjoy it…right now the tomatoes are coming on strong, with eggplants following soon. I think all the rain in June really helped to give it a foot hold.

  28. Jean says:

    This is such a great time of year to eat and preserve fresh produce! Those newly dug red potatoes are favorites of mine.

    • Donna says:

      Jean, I still have another bag of red and 4 bags of blue potatoes which are a particular favorite of mine. Too bad we are not closer so I can share.

  29. Angie Rose says:

    Hi Donna,
    So happy I came across you wonderful blog! I really enjoyed seeing what is growing in your garden. Love the floral arrangement you made ๐Ÿ™‚ Have a wonderful week.

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