Blooms of Mary’s Sword

iris closeup

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...]

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A Walk through the Garden

lavender and maple

The Lavender plant and its flower represent love and devotion. Lavender flowers are also associated with purity, silence, and caution. The leaves from a Maple tree symbolize “to be reserved.” Many of our saints were filled with those qualities. What a lovely reminder of their lives, spoken in the language of flowers, as we approach the celebrations of All [Read More...]

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10 Steps for Saving Seeds; Practical Gardening Series

seed packet blog image

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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A Walk through the Garden

Golden Bleeding Heart resting on Striptease Hosta

We’ve had a lot of rain in the past 24 hours…not much to see in the gardens but a lot of leaf debris. The storms last nights were intense! Lightening strikes and strong winds broke a lot of trees. My Jonagold apple tree took a beating…the canopy collapsed under the storm (kind of hard to [Read More...]

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Gayety in the Garden

Glads 3

Those of you who have been following my blog know that it has been a challenge this season tearing out my gardens that I have lovingly attended to for over twenty-five years. What remains are flowering shrubs, ornamental trees, and lots of bare soil needing mulch. Not so long ago problems with my back laid [Read More...]

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A Walk through the Gardens

Sharon 2

Of what remains in my gardens, flowering shrubs and ornamental trees, this blue Rose of Sharon, Hibiscus syriacus ‘Blue Bird’, is still my favorite. Makes for a nice view against the Bottlebrush Buckeye, Aesculus parviflora var. Serotina  I was given a special gift in the garden this week…but that on Friday’s blog. (Images by Margaret Rose Realy, [Read More...]

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A Walk Through the Garden

prairie 1

The fragrance this morning from the small upper meadow was amazing! One of the volunteers snagged the camera and caught me coming back from checking on the Ratibida columnifera that was introduced two summers ago (its the tall yellow prairie coneflower).           Why yes, I am wearing my favorite gardening  t-shirt from Elizabeth… [Read More...]

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Just Mow it Down!

P1000116

Over the past few weeks several friends came to my yard to dig-up flowers and though it felt like they had come en masse to the gardens, they hadn’t. In groups of two’s and three’s they came, they dug, and they left. All were delighted with their trunks and back seats filled to capacity with [Read More...]

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Browsing your Backyard (Edible Landscaping): Practical Gardening Series

Fresh produce from the garden is one of the simplest delights of summer. What’s not to like about wiping off and biting into a tomato, cucumber or sugar snap peas still warm from the sun! Many of us do not have a yard large enough for a vegetable patch or do not have the time [Read More...]

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Starting Seeds Part 2: Practical Gardening Series

In my February 22nd column, Starting Seeds Indoors Part 1, I talked about how to begin growing seeds indoors. I mentioned timing, containers and potting mix, light, temperature and watering. Let’s continue with the care of seedlings after germination has taken place and the first two leaves, called cotyledons, have emerged. Your plastic covering is now removed [Read More...]

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