Graces from Gleditsia

Honey Locust

It was one of those perfect fall days when the clear cerulean sky contrasted the vivid reds and yellows of the maples, poplars, and the honey locust in my yard. Settling into this house in 1988 one of the first things I did on the property, after removing all the trash and debris, was add [Read More...]

Papal Gardens, Open to Public

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Some background on the gardens from Vatican City State: The Vatican Gardens have been a place of quiet and meditation for the popes since 1279 when Nicholas III (Giovanni Gaetano Orsini, 1277-1280) moved his residence back to the Vatican from the Lateran Palace. Within the new walls, which he had built to protect his residence, [Read More...]

Embroider the Earth with Prayer

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I stooped at the waist to pull a few weeds. A twinge in my back caused me to stagger a bit so I lowered to kneeling and moved closer the flowers—a familiar intimacy. The rose next to me was Tuscany, a maroon heirloom rose, its richly perfumed center was fluffy with gold pollen. The base [Read More...]

Hope Filled Art of Pruning

Travis Tree

I love to prune. It’s like art to me, a hope filled art. Each cut is intended to produce either a directional growth, to form and shape hardwoods for beauty, or to enhance the bearing of fruit. Sometimes with ornamental trees a whole section of limb that rubs against another will need to be removed, allowing [Read More...]

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...]

At the Scent of Water

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Planting fruit trees is not something done lightly. They represent a long term commitment to nurturance and stability of site. Once I felt established in my house, a semi-dwarf Johnagold apple and dwarf Bartlet pear were planted. The dwarf pear tree grew along the west fence that framed the back yard.  It had begun to [Read More...]

A Tatting of Green

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I’m not fond of mud season, but this year I look to it with eager anticipation—it’s been a long oppressive winter. The snow, ice, record lows, and lack of sunlight stretched most of us to our limit. We all have had enough. Over the course of a week I watched the snow cover and banks [Read More...]

Grow Light

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It had been weeks since the last time it was warm enough to walk—a relative statement since it was only twenty degrees outside. I discovered my boots leaked while I walked along Leeward Drive. I stepped around slush puddles as best I could. My cheeks and nose tingled from the cold. Today the sun had [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 Garden

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The walk this week was at the retreat center. We had a dusting of snow.               The Garden Society’s Christmas gathering and pot luck on Tuesday was also my retiring as their coordinator. It was a lovely gathering–more on that come Friday. These are the flowers that one of the [Read More...]


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