My Garden

When gardening, I have my ZEN moments.

In the mist of time, I was a teenager, it occurred to me, being a female, why I should worship a male god. The one in the Torah was called Yahweh, a Jewish god; his son was called Jesus, the Christian Savior.

My indoor Orchid Jungle,
by Cornelia Forster of Switzerland, 1963
For more on Cornelia Forster, go to:
the Adhikara Gallery

In those long ago days (1954), I had "heard" about Buddhism but there hadn’t been much literature on the market. I liked the idea that Buddhists did not worship a deity. Well, I decided to worship Mother Nature. Ceres (cereal) was the divinity of physical creation, she symbolized prolific earth, and thanks to her, the Immortal Soul had an earthly dwelling place. Her holy book: The Sacred Manuscript of Nature. Unfortunately, Mother Nature isn’t a registered religion (IRS); but perhaps the movement Greenpeace can be a substitute.

When in my thirties I learned about Zen Buddhism practiced in Japan, I took to it like a carp in a pond because "Zenners" (Shinto) revere nature.

By observing Mother Nature – the "mystery" of LIFE – my spirit rejoiced: How, on a hot summer afternoon, the bees wait for me to come and change the bird bath water in which you can boil an egg. They swarm around my head to thank me, hover, and then dive; cooling off, floating like water lilies. We need bees for pollination!

standing next to my
Orchid Jungle


Tulips galore


tulips = deer caviar


12 rose bushes had to be removed when the deer came


Where the tulips bloomed are now lilacs; pink, pale blue, white and lavender. I have some 18 lilac trees, easily propagated.


Lysimachia from seed, 1993,
perennial, still around.

I learned that butterflies are attracted most by red and hot pink flowers; they gravitate to zinnias. Bees accept any color as long as there’s nectar. Hummingbirds arrive late afternoon and navigate toward trumpet-flowering plants. I try to please them all by growing a variety of flowers.


The seeds from this zinnia
I collect every year.
I started a "butterfly garden"
in 1993.


Red hot poker
from seed, Kenya.


This peonie I bought in 1988,
and I have many offshoots..

Between 7-8 pm, I sit in my patio and watch the birds come for a last sip. First to arrive are the finches, then two doves, and finally the blue jays.


Where the roses once bloomed
are now peonies in all colors
as well as irises.


I have at least
18 peonies.


Lychnis from seed. Grows like weeds, is now all over New Hope.

They have a pecking order: the older ones and then the kids. They squat in the water up to their waist, spread their wings, flutter, and make a racket; some prance around, splashing, then settle on a lilac branch and start preening, feathers flying.


My yellow iris, I have
nine different colors;
they are show stoppers.


When one day I’ll go to purple pastures, I shall miss my bird-bath-show most because birds, especially blue jays, are very-very smart.


Golden chain tree, 1989-2006.
Died of old age.