Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Quoth the Raven, "Nevermore"

Actually, this is a crow. It is one of many birds that we have visit our Lady's garden. The birds usually remain at a distance when we are outside. When I saw this bird hopping around, as the children played, I was a little surprised. My surprise changed to amusement when I saw how the children, or one of my children, had attracted this crow ~ with his unfinished lunch.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Our Lady's Garden is Blooming

We spent the weekend at the ocean and came back to some beautiful flowers in Our Lady's Garden. As we drove up, we noticed St. Mark's Plants (our lupines) were in full bloom.

St. Mark's Plant (Lupines)

Walking to our front door, we noticed one of Our Lady's Roses had produced a double blossom.

Our Lady's Rose (Red Rose)

In the back yard, we found that our Impatiens were flourishing.

Impatiens: Double Victorian Rose

Finally, Theresa noticed that our lilac-colored St. John's May Flower had decked itself out in all it's splendor for our return.

St. John's May Flower (Rhododendron)

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Lesson Learned

On Saturday, I decided to spend a little time weeding in Our Lady's Garden. Since then, I have learned a valuable lesson. With Patrick standing near me, I pulled some Blackberry bushes, some Dandelions, some unnamed weeds and Herb Robert. The latter was spreading everywhere and had a noticeably unpleasant odor. I was happy to be able to accomplish this small amount of weeding.

Yesterday, Patrick decided to help me with my job of weeding. He had observed me so carefully and in doing so, he had learned that flower picking was for the novice. He pulled up most of our forget-me-nots. Next time, I decide to do some weeding, I will make sure it is during my little one's nap time.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006


Two of our seven rhododendrons (also known as St. John's Mayflower) are starting to bloom. My son was excited about their blooming because, as he observed, "Bees love these flowers and they make honey from them." He then went on to say, "The bees make honey in a little house. The people take the honey from the bees' little house and keep filling their jars with it. When their jars are full, they put it for sale."

Friday, May 05, 2006

Bleeding Heart (Dicentra spectabilis)

This beautiful plant (whose religious name is Mary's heart) was flowering when we first looked at our house. A year later, I read about the bleeding heart in Karen Andreola's A Charlotte Mason Companion.

My children delight in the little heart-shaped flowers. In the spring and early summer, Brendan plucks a little heart everytime he goes out the front door. He has been doing this for the past four years and I wonder whether he will ever tire of picking these flowers.

The bleeding heart requires virtually no care. I simply remove the dead leaves and branches in the fall or winter and the plant grows back beautifully the following spring.

Monday, May 01, 2006

The Garden of Our Lady's Immaculate Heart

Yesterday, after Mass, one of my friend's shared an idea with me. Marlene told me that when someone asks us to pray for them or when we say we will pray for someone, we should go right away and place the prayer request in the garden of Our Lady's Immaculate Heart. Then whenever you think of it, you can request that the prayers you have placed in the garden of Mary's Immaculate Heart be answered.

Dear God, please answer all the prayers that I have placed in the garden of Mary's Immaculate Heart.

Our Weekend

Saturday, it rained all day. Sunday was beautiful! Did we garden? Oh no...WE PLAYED!

Friday, April 28, 2006

Daisy Highside (Osteopermum ecklonis)

We planted these on Wedneday, April 26.
Care Notes: Full Sun, Water lightly

Impatiens Double: Victorian Rose

We planted these on Wednesday, April 26.
Care Notes: Shade, Water regularly

Thursday, April 27, 2006

What Do You Use for Garden Tools?

This morning, I started to read Sharon Lovejoy's Trowel & Error: Over 700 Tips, Remedies & Shortcuts for the Gardener. Towards the beginning of the book, I came across the following:
Don't be afraid to break the rules about what to use for garden tools.
I chuckled to myself, as I reminisced about my mom's lamentations regarding her kitchen belongings. My dad (the man who taught me so much about gardening) often took something from the kitchen to use outside. If my mom's kitchen scissors were missing, we all knew who had taken them and where they could be found.

The Song of the Herb Robert Fairy

Little Herb Robert,
Bright and small,
Peeps from the bank
Or the old stone wall.

Little Herb Robert,
His leaf turns red;
He's wild geranium,
So it is said.

Thank you, Dawn (By Sun and Candlelight), for making me aware of the above poem from Cicely Mary Barker's The Complete Book of the Flower Fairies.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Wildflower or Weed?

A few days ago my children and I discovered these unknown plants growing near our back fence and in a nearby flower pot. The purple flowers look so delicate and I am inclined to leave them where they are, but first I would like to know whether they are a weed or a wildflower.

Does anyone know what they are?

Update: Our unknown flower has been identified by Dawn (please see comments) as Herb Robert. More information about this annual can be found here, Noxious Weed Control Board.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

A Prize Winning Photo!

My nieces' new dog explores a flower pot.

Friday, April 21, 2006

My Pint-Sized Gardener

Here is a picture of our flower picker.

Yardwork with Children

On Wednesday, I decided to spend some time in our backyard rearranging the landscape which has looked a little strange, since we had two big fir trees cut down last fall. My children were all excited about helping me, except for my youngest. He systematically picked our little fig tree and every flower he could find in our garden. He would pick a flower; I would admonish him. He would help us move a few little rocks and then...He would pick another flower before I could stop him. After every flower was picked, my son returned to a tulip, whose petals he had plucked, and tried to eat the filament and anther. Last year, it was the squirrels that kept destroying my flowers; this year it was my little boy. I would much rather see my little boy delighting in picking the flowers, than a squirrel ruining my garden!

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Our Garden

There is something about the outdoors that beckons to my children year round. Whenever they are outside, they marvel at God's creations. They bring me worms, beetles, caterpillars, roly polys (a.k.a wood louse), pseudo-scorpions and whatever else they find. They notice the "little bells" on the hyacinths, the first tiny forget-me-nots, the cherry tree blossoms, the rose buds, the lupines, the colors of the lilies and the green strawberries that are always eaten by one of God's creatures before they can be picked. They climb trees, run and play. My children also sit on a piece of fossilized wood, looking at a statue of Our Lady of Grace, and pray. I pray that our blessed Mother, the patroness of our garden, always watches over my children, as they delight in the wonders of God's creation.