Gardens Eye Journal-September 2015


“Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass under trees on a summer’s day, listening to the murmur of the water, or watching the clouds float across the sky, is by no means a waste of time.”
― John Lubbock




This is how August has been…forced rest.  Not so bad really.  Without the slowing down, I would have missed so much…like this Blackberry lily or Iris domestica which finally bloomed after so many years.  And nearby was this blue hydrangea, that was rejuvenated by the rain and cooler weather and bloomed again.

I especially loved walking barefoot along the grass paths in the garden in August, following butterflies, bees and hydrangeadragonflies.  And listening to the frogs, watching them sunning themselves in the pond.  And there’s a lot to be said for sitting on a blanket on the grass and watching the summer sky.  

But is has been the exploring in the garden that has been such a lovely blessing since I couldn’t do any garden chores.  Oh and I had having a ball participating in a photography challenge on my other blog, Living From Happiness.  You can see the posts here, here and here.  I still have one more post coming up on Thursday.

So what have I been noticing in my garden in August.  Let’s take a look.  As I review some of my August garden highlights, I am linking in with Helen@The Patient Gardener’s Weblog for her End of Month View.







August kept summer going with its hot and steamy weather.  Highs in the 90s and somewhat dry until the humidity returned and the storms were unleashed.  We had about 4 inches of rain, and a few cool spells, but now we are back to the 80s.

Some of the best sunsets occurred in August which has me watching the evening sky for more magic.




Garden Views

I thought it would be nice to see a few special blooms from August first.

aug daylily

Daylilies were still blooming as August ended, and that is an especially long time.  Again the rain and cooler temps followed by a heat wave seemed to spur them on.





Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’ bloomed again much to the joy of the hummingbirds.





Sanguisorba officinalis blooming by the pond.  It did get a thrashing from the nasty wind, and needed to be propped up.  It is a welcome visitor each August, and you will see it in one of the vases at the end of the post.





Helenium is also blooming in a few spots.  I do need to add more of this great plant, and love to see it return each August.





Then of course the roses are blooming again.  Knockout pinks and an unknown pink rose.  Can’t wait to use some in a vase soon.



Back Gardens


I thought I would also show you a few of my favorite back garden views both inside and outside the fence…..

back from above

Let’s start with a big wide view of the back garden.  Onions, potatoes, green chiles and celery still growing on the patio.  The gazebo looks peaceful and inviting tucked into the back right of the garden under those shady trees behind the fence.




gazebo rain garden

Let’s move in closer to the Gazebo corner inside the fence.  We see the squash bed and large stand of Obedient plant.




gazebo rain

Outside the fence, on this side of the garden, you can still see the Obedient plant or Physostegia virginiana that takes over now in the background.  But here by the fence, you can also see a few other plants; Solidago, Rudbeckia, hardy Hibiscus moscheutos and Joe Pye.





gazebo rain2

If we get closer to the fence you can see the garden up close.  There are a few bushes buried here as they sit close to another rain garden.  This garden started with one Joe Pye, hardy hibiscus and Obedient plant.




veg garden

And when we turn and walk back down the fence-line toward the house, we come to a perennial Helianthus getting ready to bloom soon.  Next are the huge flowers of hardy hibiscus ‘Kopper King’ and part of  the veg garden; tomatoes, pole beans and my part of the sunflower that survived the storm.





I couldn’t resist showing you ‘Kopper King’ again up close.




bog garden inside

If we go to the left corner now, inside the fence where the rain garden leads into the Bog Garden, we can see Obedient Plant, Solidago, Rudbeckia and Joe Pye also growing.  Although here Joe Pye dominates on this side.  That poor tree is a young bald cypress which is being crowded out by the Joe Pye.

Now let’s go outside the fence and see what this garden looks like from the other side.




bog garden outside

As we approach we can see the bald cypress again (on the right), and the large drift of Joe Pye.




corner left outside fence

And closer to the back left corner we now see hardy hibiscus, and a rose bush smack in the corner.




bog garden from outside2

As we continue to move along the fence, and look back toward the house, the morning sun lights up this area.




bog garden outside2

Closer to the corner, Joe Pye gives way to Helenium autumnale and Rudbeckia subtomentosa ‘Henry Eilers’.




meadow behind the bog

As we go past the corner of the fence, we are now in the meadow.  This section is very yellow with a great variety of plants:  mostly Solidago and Rudbeckia, and a couple of Cup Plants or Silphium perfoliatum, finally growing as the deer have left them alone this year.


So there you have some of my favorite views from August.  I am glad I had time to really look at these views as I rested and recuperated this past month.




Tree Following

I thought the best way to see my Tilia americana or American Linden tree would be in this storm video, as storms were plentiful and fierce in August.  This is part of the same storm that ripped apart a huge sunflower plant a few weeks ago.

There wasn’t much else happening with the tree I am following, but you can see how resilient and pliable it is in the video.  You will see the little tree about 20 seconds in for a split second.

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




Meadow View

meadow collage

In this additional view of the meadow, you can see more of the sea of goldenrod with a smattering of Helianthus angustifolius, Rudbeckia, Joe Pye, Obedient Plant and Echinacea.  I really should do a Stuck foot post in the meadow this fall or winter.






The pond in August looked clean and chock full of water lilies and couple of frogs, you can see here if you look closely.





critters aug

Lots of flying visitors this past month.  Besides the green frogs (aren’t they a cute couple) and the little garter snakes, there were so many dragonflies.  I managed to capture two.  I think they are a Cherry-faced Meadowhawk and a White-faced Meadowhawk.

Butterflies were also visiting especially the Clouded Sulphur, Eastern Tiger Swallowtail, White Admiral and Monarchs….many Monarchs.  We had a few throughout the early days of August, and then a male and female came and stayed for about a week.  I have not found any caterpillars.  And there is still at least a daily visit from one as they get ready to move South.  


I am joining Anna@ The Transmutational Garden for her new Butterfly Bucket List meme the 4th Sunday of the month.  I know I am well past the time for the meme, but I will include it here none-the-less.




baby bird

When I was out checking for veggies to pick, I heard that all too familiar baby bird peeping that signals me to look around.  I spied a Song Sparrow adult with an insect in its mouth, so I knew there had to be a babe somewhere.  And then there she was….no tail, baby feathers and that baby face.  Newly fledged, anxious, hungry and seeking shelter near a patio container.  See how she has herself propped up against it on one foot.  The parent quickly moved off drawing the babe away to more shelter which is a good thing since we have had so many hawk sitings of late.

You can read about some more baby birds on a recent post for Wildlife Wednesday on my other blog, Living from Happiness.  I am sharing all our critters with Saturday’s Critters hosted by Eileen@Viewing nature with Eileen that happens every Saturday.



So there you have the highlights of my garden in August.  What was a favorite highlight in your August garden?


Join In The Seasonal Celebration:

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

All you have to do is write a post between now and September 23rd  telling me how you are celebrating the new season.  Then leave a comment on the kick-off post with your link so I can include your link in my summary post on September 28th.  

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 summer here in the Northern Hemisphere and winter in the Southern Hemisphere.  Write a separate post or combine your Lessons with your Celebrations for one post.


In A Vase On Monday 



The small cuttings garden is producing some beautiful fall colored blooms.  I added some tall grasses and the burgundy, funny-shaped flowers of Sanguisorba officinalis.




large fall colors vase

A red gladiolus, some tithonia and marigolds were added to Helenium, Rudbeckia, Arancus seedheads and burgundy sedum flowers and foliage.  I love the bright fall look of this vase as we go into September.




small cuttings vase collage

In contrast is my little vase of other cutting garden flowers mixed with perennials.  Yellow and reddish-purple Antirrhinums are mixed with white Sweet Alyssum and one lone white cosmos.  I also added our native Clematis virginiana, tall pink phloxThalictrum rochebruneanum ‘Lavender Mist’ and the non-native purple loosestrife I found invading my garden.  Whenever I pull the loosestrife, I love to put the flowers in a vase as they are lovely.

This vase feels more sedate and summery as it brightens up the house.


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:  

Monday, I will be celebrating my 5th blogiversary.  I can’t wait to look back at my first post.  It is hard to believe I have been blogging for 5 years.  Then next Wednesday, I hope to have another Stuck Foot 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. 

99 Replies to “Gardens Eye Journal-September 2015”

  1. Oh Donna, your garden looks absolutely fabulous, you can see how hard you work at making this such a welcoming space. Gorgeous photographs too, I love everyone one but especially the little chick you saved till almost last.

  2. Hello, Donna! I don’t know where to start – this post is so beautiful. Perhaps the mosaic of your bright-coloured flowers in the vase touched my heart most.
    It’s not surprising that the views of your back garden are among your favourites. All the photos with the fence and the lush flowers and shrubs are just magical!
    Happy Mosaic Monday!

  3. The view over the fence is worthy of being in a magazine about classic American gardens, it is what everyone would think of with the white picket fence. Beautiful!

  4. I really enjoy seeing all your different photos Donna. I love the ones with the fence as the backdrop or in the foreground. There seems to be fields of yellow goldenrod right now, more than I remember from previous years. The hot and humid weather is continuing into September, if the humidity would go away I could enjoy the temperatures for a few more weeks.

    1. I agree…the humidity and heat are gone here now and it is so refreshing….so glad you love the fence shots….they are among my favorite views too.

  5. Such a beautiful garden you have. I am thrilled that my hibiscus is still blooming. It has been so warm here that they bloom only for a short time and then early begin to wilt, but they are beautiful nonetheless! You have so many garden treasures! Have a wonderful day!

  6. Your seasonal vases are charming. I enjoyed seeing these different views of your garden today Donna. Looking into the garden from the fence captures its beauty wonderfully. And that photo of Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’ is striking.

  7. Donna, I love your white picket fence with the swooping top — it really sets of your beautiful flowers. And I particularly like that you show a macro-level view of your garden, to show the whole layout. Individual flowers are pretty, but the layout is nice to see too. Hope the rest of your September is deliciously cool and flower-filled! -Beth

    1. Thanks Beth…I spent a good deal of time picking out just the right fence to set off the garden….it is cool here now and I am loving it!

  8. Stunning arrangements! Such beautiful, rich color. I love Joe Pye and you have such a wonderful drift of it without it being invasive. I love the perfect transition you have Donna between your garden and the outer natural landscape – just perfect! I enjoyed that stormy video, too – I’m ready – though, I did feel for that poor sunflower. In years past, now that I think of it, my sunflowers always were blown down by storms. No rain here for days, just hot sun, so I have not been working out in the garden either. Today – kayaking on my favorite lake!

    1. The delicious rain has been refreshing along with the cool temps….I am glad the effect of garden to wild area works as I have worked hard to make it so. I know you have been enjoying the sunny hot days.

  9. Your garden is truly breathtaking Donna. It’s good to read you are having a second flush from some blooms. Also taking my breath away was your video – it helps us get a feel of the weather you have experience.
    I think that view out over the back garden would be my favourite too.

  10. As always your garden is looking so lovely, and your vases really reflect that. The white fence is a great backdrop for all the tall plants growing against it. I hope your storms have now subsided for the year!

  11. Good morning, I enjoyed exploring your garden. You have so many beautiful flowers. What a gorgeous sunset, such a pretty and colorful post. Have a happy new week!

  12. Wow! Your garden in August is just smashing. I wish mine looked half as good. You actually have flowers to put in a vase. Love those big Hibiscus flowers. For most of August, walking through my garden was a tedious exercise in frustration.

  13. Donna, Rest is not idleness, I like that. Enjoyed your post even more than usual after my long absence. Sanguisorba, now there is a plant I have become very interested in recently, must find a place for it. Also Helenium, a very popular plant which I haven’t bothered with, I like plants with sturdy stems, I get the feeling Helenium would collapse without support. Recuperation! hope you haven’t been too poorly.

    1. Actually the helenium seems more sturdy that the Sanguisorba given a stiff wind, but both are wonderful. I had an injury that has sidelined me again so rest and patience are what I am doing now Alistair.

  14. So much blooming and going on–beautiful garden, Donna. The various photos that include the picket fence and your home in the background are especially fetching. That storm in the video was quite something; I long for rain, but not that sort of wind.

  15. I love the views along your fence and enjoyed the stormy video. We are in a hot, dry spell — not too unpleasant, but requiring a lot of watering — and we actually have leaves falling! I wrote my Seasonal Celebrations posting about the West End Fair — it’s becoming a tradition. I hope your recuperation is going well, Donna, and you will soon be back to full strength! P. x

    1. I am feeling much better and mostly pain free Pam so hoping to start back in the garden soon. I adored your SC post and look forward to your Fair posts at the end of each summer!

  16. Oh my goodness…I would love to come and sit..maybe some time I can do that for real.. Beautiful…I am so sorry for the your challenges this summer. Thank goodness for nature… I am planting more in front. I took out the lily and iris bulbs and gave them to my Dad. I am planting natives that will attract pollinators and keep me company as I sit on the porch… Feel better.. hugs..Michelle

    1. I would love for you to sit in my garden and get acquainted Michelle…and then take a few plant presents with you! Maybe someday.

  17. Your autumn garden looks fabulous Donna. Question – are the same crocosmia blooming a second time? Mine only bloom once but wonder if they were in more sun if it would make a difference.
    Thanks for joining Mosaic Monday.

  18. That rain really pays off. Here it’s so dry in summer I can’t get really lush growth like yours from anything but oxeye daisies, St. John’s Wort, blackberry vines and thistles, in other words, weeds. I wish I could have that full cottage garden look, it’s so lovely and interesting to see. Your Obedient plant, and Joe Pye weed, fill in so well. I just planted some Joe Pye weed, so I can hope. Your vases look great, I would like to hang on to summer with the pink/red/yellow dainty vase, cool mosaic effects, but the warmer colors look great, especially the glad, and the feathery grasses with the Sanguisorba give me a peacock feather image.

    1. Oh that Joe Pye once it gets established will volunteer all over your garden Hannah. I love your view of the vase as a peacock!

  19. Donna, your August garden is glorious! It’s so different from the dried-up gardens we see here in SoCal by the time August comes around. I love that view over the fence with the Hibiscus, Solidago and Joy Pye weed. Joe Pye is one plant I so wish we could grow in SoCal – it has such a presence in the garden. And you have a vase with snapdragons! They’re just coming into the local garden centers here and I’ve been tempted to buy some small plants for my cutting garden but with temperatures back into the 90s again this week, I’ve put that plan on the back-burner for now.

    1. Yes Joe Pye is an amazing plant and a beautiful flower that is loved by the pollinators. I hope you get some relief from the heat soon Kris.

  20. You take the loveliest photos!

    My garden hasn’t been much to speak of this year (torn rotator cuff kept me out of the yard). My sunflowers, however, have been incredible!

    1. Oh thank you Mama Zen….I am sorry to hear of your injury…I too have had an injury and it is frustrating not to be able to garden again this year.

  21. What a post! Your gardens look great from so many views, but I have to say that looking over the fence is my favorite. What a nice mix of colors with the hibiscus.
    I’m missing August already, it was a wonderful month and now all I keep thinking about is the end of summer :/

  22. A beautiful seasonal vase to mark the changing seasons. Your garden is a delight, from whatever angle you look at it. I was going to say lucky you but I know this doesn’t happen by magic, it is due to your hard work and vision. Your photos are excellent too, I almost feel as if I have actually visited you!

  23. Thank you for linking with Today’s Flowers in this spectacular post Donna. They always leave me in awe of so many beautiful flowers and pretty critters. The baby bird propping its tiny leg up was darling.

  24. Lots to love in your garden right now. I especially like the border along the white fence with the hibiscus, joe pye weed, obedient plant, and sunflower.

  25. The grasses really add an extra punch to your first vase – I am looking forward to having some taller grasses to use in my own vases soon too. I enjoyed seeing your abundant borders in this post too Donna, and your critter pictures were lovely as well. Thanks for sharing.

    1. The grasses in late summer and fall are so much fun to add to vases….glad you enjoyed them in this vase, and the borders too!

  26. Hi, Donna! Your Helenium is very pretty, I love it too and it reminds me that fall is over the corner. I also liked your garden view across the fence — nice hibiscus!
    Lovely vase with red gladiolus, it’s really late summer bouquet.

  27. Oh my goodness, I wish my white fence looked as beautiful and pristine as yours does Donna! Mine has been waiting to be painted all summer. Now the clock is ticking as we head into fall and I have weeks to get this project done before the fall arrives.
    I love the views of your garden particularly over the fence. How pretty it all looks! Love the shot of the wee baby bird.

  28. I really appreciate the quote at the beginning. Just being, as opposed to doing, is so important for mental health, I find. But it means resisting a lot of pressure, from inside and outside my head. I adore the photo of the mix of wildflowers Joe Pye etc. The combo of the blue and the purple against the bright green is divine.

  29. I saw a lot of Helenium buzzing with bees on a recent trip to European gardens. Thinking I’ll try to add some to my own garden someday soon!

    So…obedient plant. Is it impossible to control? I’ve got some seeds I’m thinking about sowing, but I’m worried that it will run rampant over everything else…

    1. I would tread lightly with Obedient Aaron…in drier conditions it is easier to control but it still will need to be tamed no matter where you put it.

      1. Fair questions Aaron….I would put in a plant or 2 and watch them carefully to see how they perform for you. A great plant to have just keep an eye on it and avoid wet areas as it loves those spots the best.

  30. That white fence is wonderful–both the fence and the plants growing along it and near it. I hope you’re feeling much better now, Donna. It’s a bummer to feel less than full strength this time of year. Your garden looks great!

    1. I am better Beth and pain free so I hope to get out in the garden soon. I am so happy the garden grows even without me tending it.

  31. Thanks for the tour around your lovely garden, you have so many beautiful flowers right now. One that caught my eye was your Hibiscus grandiflorus ‘Kopper King’ – I have a 3 year old Hibiscus grandiflorus ‘Fireball’, bought as bare root, and it is just a 1’ twig of a plant that still hasn’t flowered. I was hoping I would see some flowers this year, but nope, still nothing. I have wondered if I should contact the nursery where I bought the roots and ask how many years it will take for it to flower because this is testing my patience….’Fireball’ has deep-red flowers and I would have loved to have ‘Kopper King’ too.

    How do you keep your white fence looking so clean?? When I moved in to my new house I also inherited a white picket fence, but dirt and soil from the ground get splashed up on it every time it rains so it always looks dirty. Your fence looks like you have gone around polishing it before taking your photos 🙂
    Hope you are feeling better, sometimes we just have to slow down and take time out, I get very restless whenever I can’t get any work done in the garden, but taking photos and writing about the garden sure helps a bit 🙂

    1. You would be surprised with all the mold, mildew and dirt on the fence, but the flowers and plants seem to take the focus off the dirt….I would contact the nursery as your hibiscus should have bloomed…it loves lots of sun and moisture in my garden.

      I am feeling much better Helene, thank you for asking. It has been frustrating not being able to work again in the garden, but I am listening to my body these days and not pushing it.

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