Mornings now start with the sounds of not only the birds but the soft swish swish of the sprinkler.

I will admit it is challenging to keep the plants watered right now. Normally I could just go out and sweat it out and haul water, but a week ago I had a Mohs surgery for skin cancer with a skin graft this time so I have to be careful. And I have one more Mohs surgery ahead of me this summer, so my garden time will be cut down slightly. I will admit that is hard. I have a hard time being still during gardening season!

The hummingbirds are back. I don’t know why people are not seeing them. I’m seeing them almost every day.

I go into the garden much earlier in the mornings now. I love the stillness of early morning in any garden. It’s like your senses are heightened and you can just observe nature. It’s peaceful.

The hydrangeas are open and opening, the same with the daylilies. More daisies are opening up and echinacea is popping open all over the garden, and same with the monarda. It’s kind of like a fun surprise because there are plenty of times I forgot where I planted something. Now I am just waiting for the turtlehead (Chelone) to open as that is one of my favorite summer flowers along with toad lily.

I did plant a little redbud sapling this week that was a gift from my other mother. I have one sapling of hers in my garden already and it’s a very special tree because the parent tree was planted in memory of her daughter.

The original redbud sapling was planted at what I thought was the woods’ edge four years ago. Then I realized the forsythia had grown OVER spaces and not in them so a planting area behind it began. The planting area progressed nicely last summer, and this summer the Derecho winds decided another garden was going to happen.

So now the newest baby redbud sapling is at the end of the new Derecho garden. My idea is now that these new gardens are taking shape is that the redbuds will grow at opposite ends and arch gracefully from each end. It’s so funny, but I can see how I hope this space will evolve over time.

It’s crazy how much I have learned about shade and woodland gardens over the past few years. I have a lot more to learn, but if you had asked me even five years ago if I could create a space like this I would have laughed and said “no”.

And that is the thing about gardening. It is a constant learning curve. And if you open your mind, the possibilities are endless. Yes it is a lot of work, but so worthwhile. But my best advice to new gardeners is to take the time to do your research and learn. Don’t crowd source your garden, dig in the dirt and get creative! You can do it.

It will be trial and error. Some plants will work well. Some plants might not make it. I have a couple of beautiful rhododendrons in the Derecho beds that are struggling. They shouldn’t be, but they are. If they don’t make it, it just means something else was meant to grow in their place. And only time will tell. I’ve lost a bunch of plants since I started this garden. I used to get super upset but then I realize there is a balance of nature and it will work itself out.

I also think every time I look at our woods that I need to always encourage gardeners with words to treat their woods properly. And one of those things is to make sure you re-forest with native species.

It’s going to be hot over these next few days and I don’t see a lot of rain in the forecast. So get your sprinklers out and enjoy your gardens everyone!

Happy gardening!

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