At the Scent of Water

DSCN1759

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...]

The Drama of Hydrangeas, Practical Gardening Series

_MG_2297

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

file5011243797873

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...]

Powdery Mildew on my Veggies?! Practical Gardening Series

7-12-Powdery-mildew-on-hop-MSUE

Powdery mildew is a general name for a few different species of fungi that infect several ornamental plants, such as zinnias, Monarda, lilacs, and roses. It also affects vegetables and fruits, including beans, grapes, cucumbers, beets, melons, and squash to name a few. It can affect the flavor and reduce yields of some fruits and [Read More...]

Fall Mums in Spring, Practical Gardening Series

mum plug

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...]

St. Benedict’s Soup

portobello by

It was the weekend before I was to make my final profession as a Benedictine Oblate. I wanted to honor St. Benedict in a personal way and created this soup as a briw.  In Old English the briw was the evening meal of soup or broth—a lighter fare, with the heavier meal consumed in the [Read More...]

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...]

A Walk through the Garden

snow 2

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...]

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...]

A Walk through the Gardens

redbud 2

These pictures are from St. Francis Retreat and Conference Center in DeWitt, Michigan. It is the week of Your Word is my Delight Catholic Writers Retreat. The retreat is wonderful, and productive! And the 95 acres luminous.                       Hope you can  join us for the next writers [Read More...]


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X