gardenphyllisophy8By Phyllis Galowitz

Some of us have less energy than we had when we started our gardens so many years ago. No longer can we spend  the hours in the sun or time bent over the way we once did. We might not have the help that we once had. The garden must take care of itself, with very little assistance, and it seems to manage very well. The trees and bushes have grown. Some have overgrown. The perennials keep coming back, leaving no room for where annuals used to be needed to fill spaces. The tree canopies have made what used to be full sun areas into shade gardens. Some of the perennials that need the sun won’t come back anymore, but others have filled in. We learn to take advice from them. If they won’t grow, and we don’t have the energy to transplant them, the character of the garden must change to suit what will grow.

My vegetable garden didn’t do well last year but in early spring, before the trees leafed out, it seemed so sunny that I took the chance that just maybe, I could at least grow lettuce and spinach and maybe sugar snap peas. I planted hosta and hydrangea, which promised to flourish in part-shade. So far there are no flowers on the hydrangea, but the hostas are doing well. Next year, I’ll be more careful to plant the many beautiful plants that are happy in shade. Recently, I discovered a beautiful, delicate anemone in a friend’s garden that is flourishing in part shade. She told me it was a Japanese anemone, but, according to my book of perennials, I believe it is an anemone hupehensis, “September Charm”. I’ve got the perfect spot reserved for it.

UntitledMy daughter, Jeannie, gave me a potted tropical hibiscus tree for my birthday. It’s a beautiful specimen, with 6-inch, bright yellow blooms that need full sun and warm temperatures. I’ve put it on the deck, the sunniest place I have, and I’ll get a wheeled stand for it so that it can be moved to follow the sun and into the house when temperatures fall. I hope it survives the cool nights we’ve already experienced.

It’s exciting to see my blueberries ripening. Today, August 14th, some are just right for picking. I can’t wait to taste them!~