life in a garden

Sitting on my front porch, this is part of the view in the photo above. Birds are singing and flitting about.

One of my bird visitors lately is this little tiny hummingbird. This little bird is so fearless. It comes right up to me and hovers. The other day it just sat a minute on a hydrangea stem. That was a particularly magical moment for me because I have never seen a still hummingbird. It just sat there and kind of cocked it’s head. So tiny and shimmery.

The garden has all sorts of magical moments like this. It is all part of the overall wonder of having a garden. It’s why I think people should garden.

Little moments happen constantly in the garden. You just have to open your eyes and your senses. And creating your own garden with your own hands just makes the moments even more special. The undeniable connection between digging in the dirt and your heart and your head. A garden gets into your very soul.

Yesterday I did some deadheading and gave the Lime Ricky hydrangea a haircut. Lime Ricky blooms on new wood so it won’t mind. Besides it was taking up too much real estate on a walkway.

I also planted another fig tree. Hardy Dark Berry. It joins Chicago Hardy, which is fruiting for the first time this year. Figs are a tricky business for me and something I have tried to grow in the past and failed at. At present I am cautiously optimistic.

I remember these fig trees of this little old Italian man who lived on Pennsylvania Avenue in Bryn Mawr years ago. I wonder if his trees are still there. I remember how beautiful they were and seeing him over his fence with his clippers, snipping and shaping.

This year will be the first year I should shape the Chicago Hardy. I will start with what I think is a sucker at the base. What I have read tells me I should do this.

Another charm of my garden this year have been the white currants (cassis berries) and gooseberries. The currents are pretty much finished, but the gooseberries are still going. I have planted mostly Hinnomaki. Gooseberries are pretty indestructible but I pruned one bush too hard or incorrectly and it kind of just died off.

Fruiting things are new for me with the exception of strawberry plants, so there is trial and error. Trial and error would include one elderberry which I think I am just going to cut down. It’s just a green elderberry. I prefer my Sambucus elderberry plants, and the green elderberry is too difficult to dig out where it is, so I am simply going to cut it down.

Gardens are trial and error and some things just don’t like to grow in my garden in spite of what loves to grow. Cosmos and dahlias. No matter how I try, they don’t make it. This year was the last year I am going to try either.

Other things that have not been as successful this year? Fuschias which I love. The weather extremes have made them “meh” at best this year. But fuschias seem back in gardening style so I will plant them again. I think I will also pay closer attention to my potting soil next year. I bought it all fresh, except I think some was old stock. And I ordered directly from the manufacturer.

Well I am off to wander through my garden and to do a little weeding. And then I will stop and sit and soak it all in.

Happy gardening!

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