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...]

Scent of Heaven

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Next to the south wall of the screened porch is a small stand of Liliaceae ‘Golden Splendour’.  They are one of the few flowers remaining from last summer’s dig-out, when, because of arthritis, nearly all of my gardens were removed. This trumpet lily cultivar was introduced in 1957. It is tall—at nearly six feet—and the [Read More...]

7 Easy Steps to Bringing Flowers Indoors, Practical Gardening

peony

From spring forsythia branches to fall garden mums I bring the beauty and fragrance of my garden into the house. Some arrangements are minimalistic and modern while others are full and robust, looking very much like a 16th century Dutch painting. Either way, they grace my desk, home altar, or table—sometimes I take them to a [Read More...]

Filling those Bare Spots, Practical Gardening

purple petunias

The gardening season is well underway. It’s the time of year when bare spots show up in the garden. Not only bare spots where the bulbs and poppies use to be, but you may have an area of winter-killed perennials or maybe the transplanted seedlings you started never took. There are several ways of filling [Read More...]

Water Wise, Practical Gardening

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The heat of summer, especially in July and August, increases the challenges of maintaining a garden. You will need to pay attention to your plants’ need for watering. If you have mulched your garden, pull it away from the plant and check the soil for dampness before you water.  Push your finger into the ground [Read More...]

10 Fun and Easy Practical Gardening Tips

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Over the years I’ve collected a number of these tips from friends, magazines, online, or at conferences. Here are a few: Turn a wooden long-handled tool into a measuring stick. Using a permanent marker or a wood burner, write inch and foot marks on the handle. When you need to space plants a certain distance you’ll [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...]

Celery Stubs, Practical Gardening Fun

celery heart

Celery is part of nearly every day in my kitchen. It gets chopped in most cooking, filled with Gorgonzola dolce or peanut butter, dipped in cheesy horseradish spread, or just snacked on with a little salt. I’ve grown celery from plants bought from a local greenhouse and never been satisfied with the results. The other [Read More...]

Darkness and Light, Catholic Photo Challenge

seedlings 2

The Catholic Photo Challenge this week is about darkness and light. Most living things experience a passage from darkness to light. Whether it is in the womb of the body or the womb of the earth, germination takes place in the absence of light. A seed is planted in the dark soil, and with minimal effort [Read More...]

Watering the Birds, Practical Gardening (with a video!)

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Water is a necessity for all life. Birds need water for drinking and preening; it helps keep a bird’s body cool from the inside and out. Water baths remove dust, loose feathers, parasites and other debris from their plumage. Adding a water feature to your garden is an important element, and one of the quickest [Read More...]


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