Spring and Summer’s Path Through My Garden

Spring and Summer's Path Through My Garden

I believe that there’s nothing more invigorating than watching new, green growth emerge from the earth.  Those eager shoots, in every emerald shade, are the embodiment of rebirth, and they make the collective promise of glorious, robust life.  And that promise is kept.  All summer long, blooms in every color nod and sway in warm breezes, and the green of all the leaves is as green as green can get.  Follow spring and summer’s path through my garden, up to, and beyond a most verdant and resounding crescendo.

It’s early September as I write this.  Early evening.  The sun now sits lower in the sky, and the time of day has nothing to do with this fact.  Shadows in September are long and meaningful.  First spring, and now summer, have traced their faithful arcs across the heavens and have trodden timeless paths over the land toward the crackling embrace of autumn and winter’s icy precipice, moving forever in time to the rhythm of an ageless measure.  The insects of the forest know this rhythm.  It is older than their race; and others like them called its very tune on an evening just like this one tens of millions of years ago.  The plants here – trees, flowers, grasses – know the rhythm.  They partake of a communion of both earth and sky, and perhaps know this rhythm as intimately as the changing seasons themselves know it.

On my patch of land here in the forest, I’ve chosen to grow a garden of cultivated plants.  These plants, ornamental and refined, have arisen in form and appearance as shaped by the efforts of man.  These growing jewels, with attractive foliage and beautiful flowers, owe their superficial beauty to the workings of botanists.  They owe their inner beauty – their essence – to nature.  And the plants of my garden share this essence with the plants of the surrounding forest.  These kin, my ornamental perennials and the forest growth, different only by the most tertiary and capricious of degree, grow and thrive within scant inches of each other, separated only by my fence.  They greet the same sunlight each morning, and are blanketed by the same darkness at each day’s end.  And they move to the same rhythm – the invariable cycle of the seasons.

I am humbled to grow my garden in the midst of the surrounding forest.  An infinitely greater gardener than I has created, sown, and tends the woodland growth, and the juxtaposition of my comparatively insignificant efforts is at once sobering and inspiring.  Watching my garden’s flora follow in step with the forest’s march to the seasons’ ageless rhythm represents the apotheosis of my work as a shepherd for these growing things within the boundaries of my garden.  I am awed, and again, humbled.  The slumber, awakening, thriving, and finally, once more, the slumber of my garden plants is a rhythm which I too must now know and follow…    

My apologies for the solemnity of the above bit of writing.  But I do feel that this incredible cycle of growth, death, and rebirth is miraculous and awe inspiring.  The inexorable pull of time, marked by the passage of the seasons, affects plants, animals, and mankind alike.  This rhythm, as demonstrated here by the living and growing cycle of each plant in my garden, I believe is worth noting.

Below, as testament to this undeniable rhythm, is a pictorial chronology of my garden throughout the spring and summer.  Just pictures.  I hope that my amateurish photography doesn’t interfere with the story.

Note:  There are a lot of pictures here.  Really, really a lot of pictures.  Please don’t feel obligated to look at them all.  This is sort of like looking at your neighbor’s home movies, or your co-worker’s sister’s neighbor’s grandkids’ pictures.  Except here, you don’t have to be polite.  Look at what you want and ignore the rest.  I do hope you’ll enjoy those that catch your eye.



Mid March


Late March


Early April

Roses are seriously heavy feeders.  You’ve got to fertilize them.  Regularly.  For my full-sized rose bushes, I use Espoma Organic Rose-tone.  It’s an organic granular with an N-P-K ratio of 4-3-2, and it contains a bunch of different beneficial active microbe cultures.  It’s phenomenal rose food.  Espoma recommends a monthly application, so I start the first feeding for my roses at the beginning of April and feed them for the last time no later than the first day or two of September.  Click the #advertisement link to learn more, or to order this excellent product right here, directly from Amazon.

Espoma Organic Rose-tone

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One of my own bags of the awesome Espoma Organic Rose-tone.

For my miniature roses, which benefit from a faster uptake liquid fertilizer, I actually use an inorganic product – Miracle-Gro Water Soluble Rose Plant Food.  This product has an N-P-K ratio of 18-24-16 and comes in a granular form that gets dissolved in water and is applied from a hose feeder or a watering can.  Because it’s in liquid form (after mixing the granules with water) when applied to the plant’s roots, it’s assimilated quickly.  And because this product is designed for rapid uptake by the roots of each plant and does not amend the soil through the accumulation of minerals and microbes, its N-P-K percentages are higher than the Espoma organic product.  I feed my minis every two weeks with this Miracle-Gro product, starting in late March or very early April.  The use of this product has resulted in wildly huge miniature bushes (no suckers – mine are all own root bushes – just the plants themselves growing huge and healthy) covered in gigantic blooms (the biggest I’ve ever seen on miniature rose bushes anywhere).  As I do with the Espoma Rose-tone product, I make sure that the last feeding of Miracle-Gro happens in very early September.  Click the #advertisement link to learn more about this product, or to order it here, directly from Amazon.

Miracle-Gro Water Soluble Rose Plant Food

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One of my own boxes of Miracle-Grow Water Soluble Rose Plant Food.


Mid April


Late April


Early May


Mid May

Espoma Organic Soil Acidifier is the perfect product for lowering the pH and increasing the acidity of your garden’s soil.  It’s a fabulous organic product which I use to lower soil pH for plants like my blue hydrangeas and my rhododendrons, azalea, and pieris.  It’s very effective and allows acid-loving plants like these to properly access and utilize nutrients from fertilizing products.  Order it here, from Amazon, by clicking the #advertisement link.

Espoma Organic Soil Acidifier

Click here to learn more or to order


One of my sacks of Espoma Organic Soil Acidifier.

Espoma Organic Garden Lime is the perfect product for increasing alkalinity levels in soil.  It can be mixed with the bedding soil, or used to top dress soil around plants which are already in the ground.  I use this to amend the soil of any of my plants with a preference for alkaline pH levels, like my hellebores.  Order this product here, from Amazon, by clicking the #advertisement link.

Espoma Organic Garden Lime

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My bag of Espoma Organic Garden Lime. I always keep this excellent product on hand.


Late May

Espoma Organic Holly-tone is an unparalleled food for acid-loving plants and evergreens.  It’s an organic formulation with an N-P-K of 4-3-4, a multitude of beneficial microbes, and a respectable amount of sulfur (5%, in elemental sulfur form) on tap for performing its own bit of soil acidifying.  As a stand-alone product, I can’t think of a better fertilizer for evergreens and other acid-loving plants.  Click the #advertisement link to learn more, or to order it here, directly from Amazon.

Espoma Organic Holly-tone

Click here to learn more or to order


Here's a pic of one of my own bags of Espoma Organic Holly-tone. It's an incomparable evergreen food.

I am a huge fan of Espoma’s line of organic fertilizers.  Plant-tone is the one I use for the majority of the plants in my garden.  It’s got an N-P-K ratio of 5-3-3 and is a great all-purpose organic fertilizer.  It works perfectly for an incredibly wide variety of ornamental plants.  Again, Espoma Organic Plant-tone is the food that a huge number of my plants get.  They love it, and it shows.  You can order this product here, directly from Amazon, by clicking the #advertisement link.

Espoma Organic Plant-tone

Click here to learn more or to order


One of my bags of Espoma Organic Plant-tone, the food that a huge number of my garden's plants receive.


Early June


Mid June


Late June


Early July


Mid July


Late July


Early August


Mid August


Late August


Early September

The sheer quantity of the photos in this post will, if nothing else, serve as a measure of the passion I have for my garden and the plants growing there.  As winter turned to spring, and spring to summer, and as summer has edged toward autumn, I was told an ageless story by my garden.  The time which every living thing spends on the Earth is marked by the passage of the seasons.  And I know of no more faithful harbingers of the endless, inexorable march of each impending season than the plants of garden and forest, and meadow and field.  If you happened to look closely, you noticed, in the pictures, the mark of time’s passage on my garden’s plants.  I’ve watched for this mark and I now know it well.  Each plant wears it differently, but it’s always there.

Whew!  If you’ve looked at all the pictures here, you’re probably reaching for the Visine right about now.  I do hope you enjoyed at least some of them.  Thank you for following spring and summer’s path through my garden.  And thank you once more for your kind readership and your patient indulgence.  As always, Cheers, and Happy Gardening! 

John G. Stamos (2021)

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7 thoughts on “Spring and Summer’s Path Through My Garden”

  1. A beautifully evocative piece of writing, and lovely images of such varied foliage and colourful flowers – how wonderful to be so fully immersed in the forest and its rhythms but able to create your own space within that! It will be exciting to see how things grow and progress 🙂 I especially love the view of the path and the wall along it at the top!

    1. Thank you so much, Thea. I’m so glad you enjoyed the piece and I’m thrilled that you appreciate my gardening efforts. I’m truly honored by your kind words and your interest.

  2. Wow, what a beautiful journey!! Thank you for taking us along with you!! Each step the beauty seems to grow and spring up more and more!! I enjoyed this so much. The butterflie and the frog it seems have also enjoyed it!! Creatures big and small loving your garden! It must be a total joyful feeling to have created such a peaceful, place that brings all the woods behind into your space with your beautiful fence as a boundary but one that brings your eyes back with harmony. I can’t wait for the things to come!! Loving this journey I am on in my mind with you and your garden.

  3. Your story is deep and poetic. I love the beauty of your garden and how it is married to the woods. It’s breathtaking and quite amazing the transformation that took place. I can’t wait to see what’s next!

  4. This pictorial diary really lets us see what happend in your garden this year. Just imagine what next year will bring! Keep us updated on what fall brings.

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