A Walk in the Garden

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The transformation in my gardens in the past two years has been one of lightening the workload. I’ve grown a bit more accustomed to the spaciousness of a small yard without voluptuous flower beds. In the smallness of it all beauty is more precise, less grand. My photography skills are minimal, but I try to [Read More...]

The Drama of Hydrangeas, Practical Gardening Series

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It’s hard to beat the beauty of the big late-summer blooms of hydrangeas. With multiple cultivars on the market, with impressive fall leaf color and diverse bloom sets, the options for your garden are many. Hydrangeas are a sturdy shrub and most require little care but light pruning. And since hydrangeas are terminal bloomers, flowering [Read More...]

Irises in the Garden, Practical Gardening Series

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Irises have been a favorite perennial since childhood. They began my gardening and were there when I retired from working the grounds at St. Francis Retreat Center. Over the years I have come to love the wide assortment of Iris germanica. From the earliest blooming dwarfs  to the big boys late in the season. Bearded [Read More...]

Flowers of the Shroud of Turin

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The Shroud of Turin was wrapped around the body of Jesus after it was taken down from the cross. Experts in the natural sciences began examining the shroud toward the end of the twentieth century. Botanical experts on the research team found the imprints of plants and grains of pollen that can serve as seasonal [Read More...]

Flowers of the Shroud of Turin

nature3a

The Shroud of Turin was wrapped around the body of Jesus after it was taken down from the cross. Experts in the natural sciences began examining the shroud toward the end of the twentieth century. Botanical experts on the research team found the imprints of plants and grains of pollen that can serve as seasonal [Read More...]

Fall Mums in Spring, Practical Gardening Series

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Mentioning hardy mums in the spring may seem like an oxymoron. Let me explain. For years as a garden consultant I’ve heard homeowners say what bad luck they’ve had growing perennial chrysanthemums. They plant the big cushy mums every fall and rarely find that they survived the winter. Tired of failing they stop planting them [Read More...]

Rosemary Dethrones Christmas Red!

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I thought it would be nice to share this blog from last year with all the new visitors to Morning Rose Prayer Gardens…and gently remind the rest of you of an alternative. Many of you know I’m on a mission to dethrone the poinsettia as the Christmas plant in Catholic homes and churches with the herb Rosemary [Read More...]

Blooms of Mary’s Sword

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I remember as a child the sweet fragrance and stunning colors of the species Iris germanica, commonly known as bearded iris or Mary’s Sword. I can still recall my first encounter with them. Walking home from kindergarten, I stopped in the middle of the sidewalk, inhaled a wave of fragrance, and, sniffing the air, followed my [Read More...]

A Walk through the Gardens

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A light frost tats the edges of  leaves…                 …and I find a lilac bloom in October!   [Read more...]

10 Steps for Saving Seeds; Practical Gardening Series

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Collecting and saving seeds from one season to the next is simple and allows you to keep growing the plants you love best. Here are a few tips and techniques to guide you. 1. First of all you’ll need to have planted open-pollinated varieties. They’ll come back true to the cultivar whereas hybrids won’t. Hybrid [Read More...]


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