Gardens Eye Journal-October 2015


“I love old gardens best-tired old gardens that rest in the sun.”  ~Henry Bellamann



This is how I feel when September visits my garden.  It is quiet except for the occasional insect noise, bird chatter and the sound of flowing water coming from the pond.  The weather cools and the windows open again.  I am in touch with the garden and its sounds, rolling over me and lulling me to rest.DSCN8109

But of course now it is time to get busy in the garden.  We are so behind with any chores.  My reluctant garden helper is pulling weeds and volunteers when he can, and I sit and watch doing some veg gardening…trying not to overdo it.  

Each month as I look back at my garden, I am reminded of its beauty, its pleasure and the unusual happenings that make it all worthwhile.  I am not going to focus on any one area of my garden in September, but instead give you a few unique views and highlight the veg garden, where most of the activity was and will be until the end of October.

While I review a bit of my garden in this lengthy post, I am linking in with Helen@The Patient Gardener’s Weblog for her End of Month View.





You can see from the views above we had fog in the September garden.  But not because it cooled down.  Quite the contrary.  It was hot, humid and dry for half the month.  Record highs well into the 90s kept summer lingering for a change.  Once the weather broke we cooled right into the 60s during the day with 4 inches of rain in 2 days…on two separate occasions.  We finally stabilized to temps in the 70s which made for pleasant, mostly dry days in the garden right up until the end of the month when suddenly a cold front swept in and we cooled to 50s during the last day.  And that is where the temps are going to hold, 50s and low 60s in October (40s at night).


sept sky collage

And the sunrises and sunsets were just spectacular in September, especially once the weather cooled.  Top left is a cloudy evening that just took my breath away.  It was followed the next few mornings with incredible sunrises, like the one in the picture below it,  blazing across the sky and reflecting in windows.




Garden Views


The red twig dogwoods started their dazzling Autumn foliage display early in September.




wire basket2

In the Center Garden, pictured at the top of the post, I have this container hanging from my silver maple tree.  Here is what it looked like at the beginning of September.  It took a long time for it to bloom, given our crazy weather.  The coleus was grown from seed and a begonia started from a tuber in early spring. 




wire basket collage2

I hope to overwinter these plants indoors to use again next spring.




cosmos rising

I can spy these cosmos in the new cutting bed as I stand at the edge of the patio…they are now towering to 6 feet tall with huge blooms.  They should bloom right up until our first frost.





Swamp milkweed was first to let loose its seeds in September….here on a warm, dewy day just breaking.




 Veg Garden Update

Lots of harvesting, almost every day in the veg garden in September.  The hot days, warm nights and regular rains certainly had a lot to do with it.


bean bed collage

The Pea/Bean Bed have continued to produce many quarts of pole beans each week keeping us busy picking from the 8 plants that encircled the wire tower.  I pulled the bush beans in early September, and planted lettuce, radish, spinach and arugula seeds seen sprouting here.




harvest collage

I finally harvested the rest of the potatoes at the end of September.  You can see the inside of the red and blue potatoes here chosen for their high antioxidant content.  They look great in dishes too.  Moving up to the center picture, the zukes were not too many this year.  I think they may have been crowded by bordering plants along the veg bed that need to be moved.

Cukes were not prolific either.  Mildew took them as I was not on top of it.  I need to move them to another bed next year as the beans crowded them out.  Lastly, the winter Delicata squash only produced one this year.  I really need to plant these much earlier under a protective cover as they need more time to produce the female flowers.




garlic chives

Garlic chives bloomed in September.





And I decided to try these in making chive vinegar again.  It isn’t as pretty as the purple chive flower vinegar, but it has a nice flavor.





And here are some of the other veggies we were harvesting.  Loads of tomatoes needed picking almost daily, and some peppers and eggplant.  We make a traditional tomato salad with fresh garlic, fresh basil, salt and olive oil mixed together.  A great side dish for any meal.  And we made lots of our favorite special sauce recipe from garden friend, Kathy@The Violet Fern.  It is called Summer In A Jar , using loads of cherry tomatoes.  It is so easy to make, and one of the most delicious sauces bursting with flavor.

We also tried a new recipe with our big, meaty plum tomatoes.




roasted tomatoes collage

I found the recipe on Margaret Roach’s blog, A Way To Garden.  One of the easiest and most flavorful recipes we have found.  We sliced the tomatoes, put them cut side up on parchment paper, salted them and drizzled them with olive oil.  Then we added our homegrown chopped garlic and fresh garden herbs (oregano, rosemary, thyme).  Be ready to bake them at low heat of 275 degrees for at least 3 hours…..they will smell incredible and make you hungry.  Once cooled, we popped them in freezer bags for later use…..well, not all of them!




Tree Following

little linden sept fog

Yes I know my Tilia americana or American Linden tree has not been that exciting to watch this year, although you can see the leaves are already changing.  I will show its progression of change in a later post dedicated to this little tree.  I did like the look of it on this foggy morning against the backdrop of the meadow.

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





frog and spider in pond

With the heat and drought, the aphids were out on the lily pads.  Much to the delight of the sunning frogs.  Even a few frogs were finding their own umbrellas to shade them in the heat of the day.  If you look in the lower picture, you will the spider on the far left lily pad.  Mr. Frog is waiting patiently to pounce, I think.  

The macro of the spider does reveal some more markings making me think it is a Fishing Spider.  When I looked a little later, the spider was gone….perhaps a meal for someone or he escaped with his life.  It is quite possible he also had a meal of a tadpole or small frog….they are fascinating spiders.





sept critters collage

We had a few additional visitors along with the usual ones that are year round residents like the finches. This juvenile Cooper’s Hawk has been hanging around looking for a small bird or vole meal.  We are awaiting the return of the big raptors now that it has cooled a bit.  Grasshoppers, katydids and locust were keeping the garden music going.  This grasshopper, top right, was hiding behind some weeds on the patio.  And finally we had many juvenile hummers fighting for prime feeding spots around the garden.  The mature males have been gone since late August, along with many of the migrating songbirds.  The rest of the hummers finally left at the end of September.


I am sharing all our critters with Saturday’s Critters hosted by Eileen@Viewing nature withEileen that happens every Saturday.



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




In A Vase On Monday 




I couldn’t resist picking a few lingering petunias from the front urns.  




petunia vase collage

I love using this simple canning jar for a small vase on the table each week.  Of course Queen Anne’s Lace made another showing so I added her beautiful blooms as well.  It is my end of the summer tribute vase.




small vase

The flowers planted for cutting are continuing now in earnest so I picked many.  I loved the colors with this bowl from Spain, and the picture as a backdrop.




small vase collage

In this arrangement are Antirrhinums, Zinnia, Tithonia, Cosmos.




sm pitcher vase

A few more blossoms of Zinnia and Tithonia were put in my little pitcher vase.


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 highlighting some of the beautiful Autumn views around the garden and perhaps around the area too. 

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. 

74 Replies to “Gardens Eye Journal-October 2015”

  1. What a lovely garden! I love all your photos, but especially the montages! Your garden looks quite stunning in the fog, especially the first photo of the trees. Your vases of flowers look very pretty, such lovely colours! And interesting to see what critters you have visiting your garden. I am in the south of England and we have very different visitors! And very different weather! We have had a lovely end to Summer with warm sunny days, but today we have some welcome rain. Popping in as part of my 300 blog comments in 30 days challenge.

  2. You have been busy Donna! Your garden looks gorgeous and you are so lucky to have all those amazing creatures. Your flower vases are lovely too.

  3. So many lovely blooms and those sunset shots are spectacular! As always, I enjoy the vase arrangements as well.

    I was reading about your tomatoes while eating a few of mine…sadly most likely the last few. How I’ll miss fresh tomatoes!

  4. That quote about the old garden is going to stick with me today. Such a lovely thought. Nice to see your milkweed pods Donna and of course, lovely vases today.

  5. Oh so sad the hummers have left ): Such wonderful images of your graden Donna. Lush, colorful and refreshing – all in different stages. I am so thankful for the cooler weather. I love using mason jars for vases – so pretty with those petunias!

  6. Great shot of the swamp milkweed releasing its seeds!

    I was *just* outside harvesting some seeds from the milkweed — I only have one plant (planted three last autumn, only one survived) and I didn’t want all the seeds to blow far away, so…I tried pulling some from the pods and scattering them on and under some nearby mulch in the bed.

    (I left some on the plant too — to scatter where the winds may take them!) 🙂

  7. There’s so much going on in your garden, Donna! I admit that seeing those plum tomatoes made me hungry so I’m going to break soon soon and have lunch! Your petunia vase is lovely. I haven’t grown petunias in years but seeing yours made me reconsider that omission – they might like it in my hot, sunny garden.

    1. Oh I bet they would love your garden Kris…just give them a bit of shade in the heat of the afternoon and the petunias will flourish.

  8. It’s a beautiful time to be in the garden, less hurried, no intense heat…I’m out there pulling weeds. And for once feeling very accomplished because I’ve managed to edge most of my beds!! Such a small task when you look at it, but it did take me most of the year to accomplish…I feel fulfilled. LOL.

    Beautiful shots Donna, and the one with the Zinnias on the bench is my fav.


  9. Your tomato dish looks yummy, Donna, I will have to try that. My beans are still going strong, the runner beans especially love cool weather and keep producing. I love the huge beans in soup, so meaty. There are resident hummers here and they love the red flowers. I didn’t get many cucumbers this year, I need to grow them in a sunnier bed again. I got amazing eggplants because of all the heat. I like the petunias with the dark veining, and the bright colors in your second vase go so well with the colors of the pretty bowl and the green of the picture frame. The last photo reminds me of the constant battle with entropy and the flowers fading but the Word of the Lord enduring forever. I had knee trouble this summer so have to greatly reduce the intensity of my gardening, but I’m also trying to get rid of the weeds and using paper under wood chips and leaves to try to keep them from coming back next year so I won’t have to work as hard.

    1. I am glad you had time in the garden and a nice harvest still continuing….it is such an amazing feeling when we grow our own food.

  10. I love your holistic approach to your garden. A visit here always feeds all the senses. Delicious harvests and beautiful vases. Thanks Donna.

  11. It’s great to get an overall feel of how the garden is doing. I especially love the photos of the critters in pond and garden. And I love the flower arrangement in the jar, so simple and attractive. I’m going to save jars for vases, now …

  12. I always enjoy seeing your great photography and beautiful mosaics you create from those photos. Flowers and food both are so photogenic. The tomatoes look and sound so good with the fresh herbs. A serving of those would have been good for dinner with my leftovers. LOL
    Thanks for sharing them all with us.
    Thanks for stopping by.

  13. Sounds like your autumn has been similar to ours. More mild weather coming this week. Yay! I loved the view of the fog framing your garden in the first photo. So much going on in your garden, Donna. Those Tomatoes look yummy!

  14. That was a long post. I love it when there is fog, because it seldom happens in the tropics, only in Dec when the cold breeze from Rusia hits us. It looks like you have fine harvests too, good for you. I didn’t know there are purple potatoes, it looks like our purple yam or our sweet potato.

  15. Lovely vases Donna. Especially your tribute to summer. 🙂 And I adore that container attached to the tree trunk – what a great idea to brighten up a shady spot! It sounds as if September was a good month for you and your garden – hope October stays mild for you. We have been told the first snow will be mid October here. Yikes, I must get my bulbs in!

    1. That container was new and I really enjoyed it….I brought in the plants in a different container in hopes of overwintering them. October has been cool and seems it will get even cooler as the month goes on. I hope snow stays at bay for you and me.

  16. Hi, Donna!
    I love the white vase with zinnias and other vase with petunias, very pretty. Your pond is nice, with frog and spider. I started to prepare mine to winter, need to lift all baskets with water lilies and cut leaves. Then I sink them on the bottom. Your container with coleus looks very nice, I will try to plant coleus next spring as well.
    The weather cooled very much here. October came…

  17. I loved your ‘tired garden’ quote – so apt this time of year. There is still so much happening in your gardens, even though I know things go downhill quickly from here on out. Your lacy vase of petunias is a sweet adieu to summer. 🙂

  18. A bounty of flowers and veggies Donna. Nice to see the critters of your gardens too and some lovely bouquets.
    Thanks for linking to Mosaic Monday.

  19. Hi Donna, I really enjoyed reading about your garden in September. I love the images, especially the frog and spider. Hope you are feeling better and able to enjoy autumn. I’m amazed at all of your produce! Enjoy!

    1. Not much gardening I fear will happen this fall so much will wait until next spring…but I am enjoying just being in the garden.

  20. It’s a funny thing, this year none of the milkweeds formed pods. I kind of miss of miss them. Love the frog photo.

  21. Those tomato pictures just knock me out! Beautiful harvest–congratulations. Because of mama’s death this spring and our travels surrounding that..some things didn’t get into the ground, so I am enjoying and appreciating the harvests of others. For New Year’s Eve last year, we took all our Romas and baked them slowly for five hours with olive oil, sea salt and garlic (oh, and basil) at 325 degrees, then put them on thin French bread rubbed with garlic. We couldn’t keep the guests away-:) Maybe the vampires too-:())

    1. Oh that sounds so yummy….I am missing out on so much gardening but still enjoying the garden….what else can we do!

  22. The gardens look great, I love the view with the meadow as a backdrop!
    Looks like summer still has a little bit of a grip with all those cheerful flowers in bold colors. I love the second vase best, but you really set them all up nicely.

  23. An end of summer vase sounds a bit sad – but they are more of a celebration really, aren’t they? Lovely pictures as always – I like the one with the bulrushes

  24. Donna, your September highlights have been made sharper, clearer and more enjoyable for me this time round. Reason for this! I have set up windows 10 in accessibility mode to suit my eyesight which has deteriorated a bit more in the last year. I no longer have to strain to read, websites do look completely different, but good. For this reason this is my September highlight. Hope you are also feeling better.

    1. Oh I am sorry to hear about your eyesight Alistair, but I am glad that the new Windows allows you to enjoy blogs more…..I am feeling better but taking it very slow.

  25. those photos of your skies are beautiful Donna, the photo of your little tree with the foggy background is very atmospheric, at least it makes your tree show, I know what you mean about not much change, it is how I feel about my little crab apple, which can hardly be seen in photos due to the green background, maybe next month we will both have some wonderful foliage colours to show, my dogwoods look the same or similar to your red twig dogwood, they do go some fantastic colours and the red stems last all winter, Frances

  26. Hello Donna, what a lovely post. Your plants and flower arrangement are lovely. And the sky shots are beautiful. The critter mosaic is awesome, love the cool hawk. I am sorry I am so late commenting, I’ve been away. Thank you for linking up and sharing your post! Have a happy weekend!

    1. I completely understand….I am dealing with family things and not able to do much reading and late commenting as well.

  27. Your sunset collage is wonderful! As is the photo of the Linden tree. I am also filing away the idea for the garlic chive vinegar and the roasted tomatoes. Tasty!

  28. Your tree looks magical in all that fog Donna, and despite the couple of (comparative) failures you’ve had a good year in the vege garden. My peas and beans have been good this year too, I am still picking loads each week, though if the temperature drops I will lose the French beans. Aren’t cosmos lovely! I only grew the white ones this year, and not enough of those, but that’s the wonderful thing about annuals, there is always next year!

    1. Yes Janet always next year keeps us going with dreams….the veg garden kept me going this year as it was all I could do….what a wonder. Glad you are having a lovely harvest too.

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