Garden’s Eye Journal-August 2013


Tears of joy are like the summer rain drops pierced by sunbeams.  ~Hosea Ballou



Recently I was reminded about the old adage of “seeing the glass half full instead of seeing it half empty”.  I have never quite been able to master this shift in perspective.  I could only see my glass half empty, and always wanting to fill it.  How does someone see a glass half full?

As I read further about this idea of ‘glass half full’ I realized it is really a paradigm shift from perceiving a lack in my life.  The thought IMG_3049that something is missing.  And if we shift our thoughts to think more about bounty, we see our glass as half full.  What we have in the glass is a gift, and we have gratitude instead of want.  Then the more we express gratitude, the more we attract bounty and the wonderful cycle continues.

So I am trying to practice this shift, by catching myself when I see that empty glass.  Instead, I am looking at my life more as an open field that I can fill with all the wonders of a garden (all the wonders of my life).  No longer a glass missing something, but a glass waiting to be filled.

I am realistic and know it will take time, but I am happier knowing there is so much I can fill my life with especially as I continue to make changes in my life and the path I am on.   So with July just ending, I am looking for all the abundance my garden has shared with me.  I am joining Helen@The Patient Gardener’s Weblog for her End of Month View.




 july sky

July surprised me with so many astounding views.  There were sunrises that were full of reds and orange (top left and bottom right).  The storm clouds were numerous and sometimes looked like imposing mountains.  With the high humidity and heat of July we even had some fog (bottom left).  And most evenings, those subtle creamsicle (bottom center) skies gently saw us into dreamtime.

July may have been hot with many days above average in the 90s and humidity peaking at 100%, but the rain continued (another 5 inches) albeit after a bit of a dry spell for about 10 days.  July ended with cooler days in the low 80s and even low 70s.  The damp soil and cool down will make my garden chores easier.




What’s Growing


Front Gardens


Although the front gardens look colorful and there are lots of blooms, I did not have a chance to cut back, weed or control the volunteers.  Oh well I will eventually get to all these chores.   The hydrangeas were gorgeous until we nearly hit 100 degrees.  Do excuse the harsh light in the pictures in much of this post as my time was limited as to when I could get outside.




This side of the walk was equally bountiful with blooms of echinacea, phlox, coreopsis, lavender and roses to name a few.  Check out the close up below.




Yes, I know I did not cut back the roses, but I love the color combo here.  Oops, I see a few volunteers.  There is a maple tree trying to grow in the middle of the rose.  They just think they can grow anywhere.




Side Garden


I love this combo that repeats itself throughout the wall garden.  I started one grouping and nature liked it so much she created the rest.  This is native heliopsis with monarda.




I have a small garden in front of the wall garden and it grew in beautifully.  This is echinacea ‘Summer Sky’.  I love the iridescence of the blooms in the summer sun.  It goes so nice with the sky blue delphiniums in the wall garden.  Can you spot the huge oregano going to flower in the back.



Back Garden


This is a little seen corner of the garden.  The view is at the end of the fence standing in my neighbor’s yard.  As you turn the corner you see the red garden.




Here in the red garden, the deer left these lilies alone and the hummers and pollinators enjoyed the monarda which was so tall and plentiful.  Below are some of my favorite combos from the back gardens this July.





Allium sphaerocephalon mixed well with the miniature pink fairy rose in the back gardens.  The fairy roses continue to bloom without much fuss this summer.





Another great orange echinacea.  Not sure which one it is, but I loved how it looked with the pinks of  Hydrangea arborescens ‘Invincibelle Spirit’ , lilies and the fairy rose.





Here is one of the pink yarrows that grows throughout the back gardens snuggling up to Asclepias tuberosa ‘Hello Yellow’.  This combo is in the jungle near the gazebo.  I am clearing up this garden and moving some plants to add another veg bed this fall.  I am hoping I do not have to move these plants as they took a while to establish.





Echinacea purpurea paired with tall garden phlox.  I have planted so many varieties of phlox, I sometimes think they have crossbred and created some new colors.  Not sure of this one, but I love the light purple and white eye.



IMG_3097Obedient plant is just blooming, and if I am not careful we will be overtaken by all the drifts that have emerged since the rain this spring and summer.

IMG_3027 My native Tradescantia ohiensis that blooms in summer in the shade garden.


Swamp milkweed looked splendid this year.   I hope to get some seed from it this year.  I will be collecting seed from Common milkweed, Swamp milkweed and Butterfly weed to donate to Monarch Watch’s Bring Back the Monarch Campaign.  I am sure I will have plenty to share with anyone who would like some.  First come, first serve basis.




Veg Gardens

july veggies

The bounty of the veg garden has been tremendous.  We have probably 100 green tomatoes mostly hybrids as the heirlooms succumbed to blight again even the grafted ones.  Lots of red onions and 50 heads of garlic.  We pickled the cukes and more are growing.  I have been picking lots of bush and pole beans that have been delicious.  And we dug up all the blue potatoes.  I grew 4 bags this year and they were plentiful but small.  It seems I may have tried to put too many in one bag.  The sweet peppers are finally growing along with eggplants.  We are still waiting for the many okra to finally flower.  I fear they will all come at the same time with the tomatoes.  Oh well.  Lots to eat and preserve….yummy!!!

On Sunday I came out to the bean bed to find it decimated by voles, I believe, as there were little teeth marks in some beans, and all the bush beans but 2 were chewed down in small pieces a strewn everywhere.  And all but 1 pole bean was lost.   If you are going to kill my plants then eat them…don’t just chew ’em up and spit ’em out….I need a predator for these varmints…where’s the fox!




 july pond:meadow

The meadow is in its messy summer time with Monarda fistulosa, helianthus, Joe Pye, rudbeckia and goldenrod.  The pond continues to be overcome with the water lily, but the frogs love it even though it keeps the birds at bay.





july critters

The critters were also plentiful this summer.  Here are the delightful July visitors:  rabbits, hummers, swallowtails, the one and only monarch, fox, bluebirds at the new house with their second brood, remnants of the chipping sparrow’s second brood, new young frogs, young buck, black squirrel (love his expression), osprey flying high and cedar waxwings come back.  The center picture is the black woodchuck that we saw at work.




Gardens Eye Verse

 Here’s to wonderful summer childhood memories.  I tried to capture them in the poem below.  I hope you enjoy it.  And as I remember summer, don’t forget the Seasonal Celebrations meme will start on September 1st.  See the details below.


Humid days, hazy days,
Crazy, busy travel days.
Fireworks and fair days,
Burgers, popsicles and s’more days.
Sprinklers and beach days,
Flip flops, sunburns, staying cool days.
Please never let them end-
These summer fun in the sun days!

 Donna Donabella


Come Join Us:

Seasonal Celebrations is a time for marking the change of seasons and what is happening in your part of the world during this time.  I hope you will join in by creating a post telling us how you celebrate this time of year whether summer or winter or something else.  Share your traditions, holidays, gardens and celebrations in pictures, poetry or words starting September 1st.

And it seems so appropriate to collaborate with Beth and her Lessons Learned meme.  What lessons have you learned this past season of summer here in the North and winter in the South.  Then tell us about your wishes, desires and dreams for this new season.The rules are simple.  Just create a post that talks about lessons learned and/or seasonal celebrations.  If you are joining in for both memes please leave a comment on both our blog posts.  Or if you are choosing to join only one meme, leave a comment on that blog post.  Make sure to include a link with your comment.

Beth and I will do a summary post of our respective memes on the equinox (the 22nd of September).  And we will keep those posts linked on a page on our blog.  Your post should be linked in the weekend before the equinox to give us enough time to include your post in our summary.  And if you link in a bit late, never fear we will include it on the special blog page (which I still have to create).  The badges here can be used in your post.   So won’t you join in the celebration!!


Next up on the blog:  Next Monday will be a tribute GBBD for my mom.  Then I will have another Garden Book Review followed by a combined Simply The Best-Herbs and Wildflower Tales.  Hopefully in September I will find a bit more time to write additional post.  And September means Seasonal Celebrations and  a Blogiversary.

I am 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 Wednesday.

I hope you will join me for my posts once a month at Beautiful Wildlife Garden. See my most current post now.  Most recent post is up.

As always, I’ll be joining Tootsie Time’s Fertilizer Friday.

Please remember, to comment click on the title of the post and the page will reload with the comments section.

All original content is copyrighted and the sole property of Donna Donabella @ Gardens Eye View, 2010-2013.  Any reprints or use of content or photos is by permission only.
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