Monarchs love coneflowers, one reason I planted so many. So far this year, our coneflower crop has attracted quite a few and it seems more arrive each day.
It's too beautiful a day not to take at least a few pictures of God's blooms. Some of the perennials in the rectory front yard are coming on strong, not bad since they have only had a couple of years to get going.
In the meantime, a wildflower mix of annuals has provided some color while the lavender, Russian sage and clematis become more established. The stand of coneflowers is really impressive this year; I was relieved since while they were growing I thought they might be weeds!
One of our climbing roses has been reaching for the sky for several years by using our holly tree. It's got an impressive reach!
Many of the plants in the front yard of the rectory are now three years old. They were started from young seedlings, cuttings or seed plugs so they have taken a while to get growing. Add a few unsual storms the usual crop of bunnies and deer and you've got the usual recipe for some plants succeeding and others failing. A few clematis vines which met up with the weed wacker last year are back and look like they're happy. So perhaps this summer will be a good year for flowering and more mature plants.
The show of daffodils was delightful and they were only planted last fall. The varieties I selected were quite fragrant and the trumpets were bold and yellow.
I try to select perennials for their hardiness and the annuals for their capacity to self-sow. Gardens are, after all, partly for us to enjoy and partly for future generations too.
May we all have good luck with our gardens and have at least some of our efforts rewarded!
The sickly boxwoods by the church main entrance have been replaced. Happily our sprinkler system is working and the well is functioning too.
The evergreens will eventually completely hide the playground fence. The boxwoods near the entrance stairs were not doing well and have been removed. They will be replaced with a more hardy variety.
We'll take care to be sure these plants are watered thoroughly every day until established. Happily, the sprinklers are functioning well and should provide backup.
I missed the first Springtime blooms, but here are some early summer blooms which are still going strong. It is good to see many of the perennials planted in the new areas around the church take root and get going.
Just for a sense of scale, the fence is 4 feet high. This climber decided to hitch its star to the nearby holly tree and keep on climbing. It's on the rectory lawn, must be all the fresh sea air and sunshine!
2,000 blog post - a nice round number. Here are some blooms around the rectory garden. The prayer garden is a little immature, but the plants there are growing!
With the coming of good weather and on the threshold of the month of May, the memorial prayer pavers for our Marian garden will be installed this week.
Pavers are still available, of course. To save on shipping costs, we generally wait until we can place the order for at least ten.
Wow, last weekend was a powerhouse of the Holy Spirit at Holy Cross. Six baptisms, a marriage convalidation, the final Religious Education session for this year's confirmandi and of course, our weekend masses. We eagerly look forward to our First Eucharists and Confirmation.
Baptisms are joyful!
Some of the confirmandi and the retreat team teen leaders
Please join us for the blessing of our statue of Mary in the Prayer Garden following the Vigil Mass of the Immaculate Conception at 7 PM on Monday, December 7th.
The statue, as you know, missed our dedication so it is fitting that it be formally blessed, especially on a Solemnity of Mary.
and will be the Christmas tree we light this year (and hopefully for many years to come).
The yarrow is spreading and holds its own with weeds.
The ornamental grasses also survived and are spreading.
Primrose, blanket flowers, nepeta, lavender, Russian sage, verbascum, cosmos, cone flowers are in view.
The second year for the hops; they're more vigorous than last year.
Everywhere on the campus, our garden continues to grow. Francisco has transplanted many, many of the flowers, shrubs and bulbs that were growing around the church to the front of the school and the perimeter of the playground. They are doing remarkable well. Take some time to enjoy them. The plantings along the school and around the gymatorium have also prospered this year.
My own garden has its successes and failures. The hot, wet, cold weather has given all my tomato plants a bit of trouble, but they are keeping on and I've already enjoyed a small treat or two from the earliest ripening fruits. No wonder many gardeners advise to plant more than you think you will harvest.
I was able to photograph a black swallowtail caterpillar beginning to pupate today. I had planted fennel and dill in the garden to invite them and yesterday was delighted to see several of them on the plants. When I returned with camera today, I could find only one. With so many birds in and out of the yard, I'm sorry to think they became bird food.
In approximate order left to right, top to bottom:
Cherry tomatoes, a couple of beefsteak ripening, oregano plant, red runner bean blooms, corn stalk beginning, mullein, Meyer lemon, fennel with pupating swallowtail (find it!), indigo rose tomatoes, pulmonaria, onion crop, bedding plants along with Julia Child and John Paul II roses, pot watermelon, "fire" lettuce, cleome everywhere, New Dawn rose, pineapple sage, red poppies, three "Lazy Housewife" beans, Lemon marigolds and petunias, ? monarda, spaghetti squash vine, Shrimp plant, Elephant Ears, Love in a Mist, Hosta spikes, pupating Swallowtail, planter filled with three plants from the Holy Cross Plant Sale.
OK, so it's not a huge salad. The first ripe tomato of the season with a little fresh picked basil a dash of artisan extra-virgin olive oil and a sprinkle of salt. Almost as good as ice cream!