Irises in the Garden, Practical Gardening Series

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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...]

A Walk through the Garden

St. Joseph's Dream

This is one of my favorite pictures of a woodland statue, at the foot of Mary.             There was a heavy frost last night… a cardinal fluffed-up in the pine.   And its November, queue white Schlumbergera (Christmas Cactus). [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...]

Feeling of Skin

Maxfield Parish

It was an early autumn morning at the retreat center and I was walking through the back meadow in the pre-dawn light. Even with the hood of my bright-blue—Blessed, Beautiful and Bodacious—sweatshirt scrunched up around my neck, I felt a slight chill and shivered; my pant legs and shoes were wet from the morning dew. [Read More...]

A Walk through the Gardens

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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...]

A Walk through the Garden

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Queue color… …and migration. [Read more...]

Icon Writing Retreat

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Last week I was at an Icon Writing retreat at the Sustaining Pastoral Excellence Center, at St. Francis Retreat Center in DeWitt, Michigan. The days were long and at times physically demanding, and I was grateful that the facility had accommodated me with an adjustable chair and angled stand for my work station. The experience [Read More...]

A Walk Through the Garden

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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...]

Quote for Equus Passage 7/9

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The only people with whom you should try to get even are those who have helped you. ~John Southard   This quote came by way of a friend, Terry Feuka. She is the Sustaining Pastoral Excellence Resource Center Program Director and Media Specialist at St. Francis Retreat Center…and the best reference/library person ever! I’ve thrown [Read More...]

A Walk through the Gardens

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The Northern Catalpa, sometimes called a Catawba tree, is primarily used today as a large ornamental shade tree–lovely flowers too!  Settlers planted Catalpa to produce fence posts…the wood is lightweight, and the heartwood is resistant to deterioration when placed in the ground. For these same reasons, railroad companies grew plantations of them for railroad ties [Read More...]


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