A couple of years ago I managed to get organized enough to photograph my potager through several months. The changes from month to month documented in the photos were a bit like watching some low-tech, time-lapse photography. I enjoy looking at the changes as long as I try not to think about the fact that I’ve gotten older between each shot.

Here’s another low-tech time lapse. It seems that time is passing even faster than month to month. We’re skipping from season to season now.

This was part of our backyard in May. I know it’s May even without looking at the photo file information because the Lady Banks rose is in full bloom.

This monster rose only blooms in May, when it is covered with tiny yellow roses. The rest of the year it spends plotting world domination. The only reason it hasn’t grown over into your back yard is that I hack at it regularly with great big pruners.

The two trees are Zelkovas, a close relative of the American elm. Zelkovas are fast growers and have proven to be resistant to Dutch elm disease. They were the first things that I planted when we built the house eight years ago.

Although they were as spindly as any newly-planted tree when they first were plunked into the ground, they grew quickly. Now, they provide shade in the heat of the day, so that even in the summer months it is tolerable to sit outside in the Adirondack chairs.

The Zelkovas also provide beautiful color in the fall. They put on quite a brilliant show and are among the last of the trees to lose their leaves.

Oops, there go another few months.

Now here it is winter and this is the backyard in January. It was about four degrees outside the other morning when I went to let the chickens out and snapped this photo.

This weekend I’m huddled inside, looking at seed catalogs and thinking about another year in the garden. I’ll have another year of gardening experience under my belt, more entries into my garden journal and a few good stories to tell from 2008.

I’ll try not to fret about the birthday coming up that ends in the number nine or the fact that my son, Ben, won’t see the end of the summer garden because he’ll be off to college by then.

The passing of time is inevitable. But I will try to remember it can be beautiful and rewarding too.

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  • Frances says:

    Hi Robin, thanks so much. I love seeing how gardens change over time from the same vantage point. It is one of my resolutions this year to take shots of certain beds each month standing in the same place. Hope I can remember to do it like you did. And I love your rose and those trees, have never seen the trees in a garden before, they are stately and the shape is lovely.

  • Robin, I really appreciate that you hack back that rose regularly so it doesn’t invade my garden here in Indiana.

    Now, when is this birthday that ends in “9”? The one that ends in “0”, isn’t so bad, by the way.

  • Sheila says:

    Lovely pictures that are a reminder that all comes to those who wait!

  • I’ve started taking a photo from the same spot on the back porch every couple of months too. It’s fun to look at the changes the garden goes through during the year. I try not to think too much beyond that. As Einstein proved, time is relative, so it really doesn’t matter, right?

  • Barbee' says:

    But, I do wish there were a way to slow it down some; first it was days, then weeks, then months flipping past fast as flipping pages in a magazine.

  • Lisa at Greenbow says:

    I can tell it is winter. You are going to be just fine no matter what number rolls around.

    You will find something to fill your empty nest with. It will be fun too.

    Your garden is delightful. I can’t wait to see what all you plant this year.

  • Benjamin says:

    29? 39? Can’t be over 39. I bet it’s 29. Happy birthday!

  • Gail says:


    I do love your garden shots and the musings about change in the garden over time…You are going to have quite an adventure when Ben goes to college. But there’s plenty of stuff going on before then. Gail

  • Diana says:

    Robin – Your photos marking the passage of time are lovely – that vignette is warm and cozy in every season. Having weathered going away to college, I know you’ll enjoy this new chapter of both your lives. my way to handle birthdays is to do something really fabulous for yourself — it’s a great distraction!

  • WOW! You have the most gorgeous yard. Mine is small compared to yours – with all this winter snow, I fell madly in love with your view.

    Best for a quick rest-of-winter!


  • My 93-year-old grandmother told me that the older we get, the faster the time passes. She’s right about most things, so I have no reason to doubt her. It has inspired me to stop procrastinating (well, to cut back, anyway). Thanks for sharing your lovely yard!

  • RuthieJ says:

    It’s neat to see those pictures of your backyard in different seasons, Robin.
    (I had a “0” birthday last October and I’m still ignoring it!)

  • Layanee says:

    I love zelkovas. Don’t have any but I love them and they look marvelous in all seasons in your garden. Birthday ending in 9? It could be worse, no birthday at all. Happy early birthday.

  • Debra Howard says:

    I just found your blog & have so enjoyed my visit. Hope you don’t mind me stopping by. Beautiful pictures & good info in your archives.

  • Your blog is charming. I’ve added a link to it on my blog at wandaamericare.blogspot.com. And, like all your other commentators, I, too, love the same shot of a different season — nice. – Wanda W

  • Angelina says:

    I like your pictures and the way they change with the seasons, its like they aren’t the same garden.

  • It is gratifying to see time pass in the garden. Less so to see it on our own faces. However, I hope you don’t worry too much about your birthday. You’ll always be my beautiful friend.~~Dee

  • Carol says:

    Just discovered your site and LOVE the changing seasons pictures!

  • […] sooner had I posted about the changing seasons in my backyard when we finally had the first snow of the […]

  • What a great idea to photo your garden through the seasons. I hope you will keep doing it so that we can see it change through the years.
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