Mother has the Patience of a Saint

Soloman's seal and cross

Gardening with disabilities and limitations can be challenging. Margaret Rose Realy, Obl. OSB, offers solutions planting a Marian rose garden, step by step. This is part three. [Read more...]

I Get My Kicks Finding Bricks

crabapple-2 Apple Blossoms

It might not be the multiplication or loaves, but Margaret Rose Realy, Obl. OSB, shares answered prayers via congregation of singing birds. [Read more...]

Do I Dare Speak of Fall Mums in Spring? Practical Gardening

Shutterstock mums resized

Writing about hardy mums in the spring may seem like an oxymoron. Let me explain. For years I’d listened to homeowners say what bad luck they had growing perennial chrysanthemums. They’d plant the big showy mums every fall and rarely found that they survived the winter and grew the following year. Tired of failing, they’d [Read More...]

A Spring Resurrection, Flowers Rising

spring 5

Here they come, the woodland plants. Its the one garden that remains in my yard–Mary’s Garden. Because of arthritis, the rest of the flower beds were torn down since I couldn’t keep up with the maintenance. I loved the exaggeration of spring, the sultry textures of late summer, the riotous autumn. But now…well its the time for a [Read More...]

Walnuts, Thanksgiving, and A Garden Catechism

Image by jeltovski,

Plant symbolism is prominent in religious art. Margaret Rose Realy, Obl OSB offers a small study on the catechism of plants. [Read more...]

Graces from Gleditsia


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...]

Fall Blooming Pansies, Practical Gardening


In the Midwest, we’re all pretty familiar with fall mums, Russian sage, and flowering kale as the main staples of the late-season garden. These plants are tolerant of cold nights and less sunlight. But why not add pansies to your selection? Until recently the general public was unaware that the pansy is not heat tolerant, [Read More...]

Forcing Bulbs for Preseason Color, Practical Gardening


When I plant containers of bulbs in the fall, I am thinking about the color they will bring indoors during late winter days or as outdoor focal points early next spring. To force a bulb means that you are manipulating its environment so that it will bloom out of season. Before spring flowering bulbs can [Read More...]

Big Difference in Naturalizing and Perennializing Bulbs, Practical Gardening


Well, autumn is upon us and it’s nearly time for planting spring bulbs. Let’s start this column with definitions that will help you get a handle on nomenclature: True bulbs contain their leaves and flowering parts inside. These include tulips, daffodils, and hyacinths. Corms carry their leaf parts on the outside to support interior bud [Read More...]

Cuke Frog and Snapping Dragons

Zucchini Blossom

Just some pictures from the gardens…                                                                         All images property of Margaret Rose Realy, Obl OSB. All rights reserved. [Read more...]