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Milkweed and Lantana in our garden have continued to thrive and bloom in our South Texas heat.  I am grateful for the splashes of color from their small flowers.  But I am more grateful that they provide nectar for these giant swallowtail butterflies.  I understand that this butterfly will feed only from these plants, and afterward will find my Meyer lemon tree where they will lay their eggs.  These, of course hatch into  caterpillars with voracious appetites for citrus leaves, and then form their chrysalis where they become these lovely winged creatures. The cycle never ceases to amaze me.  I am blessed by this beauty.

Without stretching the comparison too far, I consider how, given the choices I have for the care and feeding of my soul, I choose that which nourishes me in the best ways for growing and changing.  I want to be more intentional in my choices of entertainment, the books I read,the art and music I enjoy,  the thoughts with which I fill my mind.

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Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. Put into practice what you learned from me, what you heard and saw and realized. Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into his most excellent harmonies.”

Philippians 4:8   The Message 

Giving Back


 In the area of East Texas where I grew up, lavish blooms of a vigorous climbing vine grew not only in back yards and trailing over porches, but also in the woods, where it draped over tree branches, adding clouds of light purple clusters of fragrant flower clusters to the late Spring landscapes. When I go back there even now I watch for the extravagant (if invasive) Wisteria that is loved by many.

A number of years ago I began to admire another vine that grows in our part of Southeast Texas that is also called Wisteria.  It is named Evergreen Wisteria because of its hardiness and its ability to bloom summer through fall.  Its smaller clusters of  deep, rich purple make it a spectacular garden plant.For support, ours shares a small gazebo with a Peggy Martin rose.  As much as I like these lovely purple blossoms, I recently learned something about the plant that makes me admire it even more. It doesn’t just soak up soil nutrients and water – it gives back!

This vine is not in the same family as our Wisteria in the woods, which some call Chinese Wisteria.  This plant is a legume, and much like other legumes, evergreen wisteria fixes nitrogen in the soil, which enhances the amount of nitrogen available for other plants growing nearby, It is a good companion plant for others which are heavy nitrogen feeders.

IMG_0737Along with the many other lessons learned in the garden, my lovely Evergreen Wisteria reminds me of the value in perserverance, the joy of sharing beauty, the need for being trained on a Trellis that does not fail, and – that as I have been given, so I must give so that those who share my garden space can thrive.

“Beauty, youth, and strength are flowers, but fading seen.

Duty, faith, and love are roots and evergreen,”

~fom the Old Knight,by George Peele




I am one of those people who likes to buy organic foods. I look for fruits, vegetables and other items that I think are grown as naturally as possible. The other day while I was grocery shopping it struck me that I feel the same way about my spiritual values. I like organic. I like my religion to be natural, simple, and without a lot of additives. I believe my faith should nourish me with the basic elements for a healthy spiritual life and not mask its flavor with a lot of sugar or disguise its intentions with misleading packaging. For me, faith is organic. It grows from the earth, from the rain, from the light of God. This matters because, after all, we are what we eat. ~ The Rt. Rev. Steven Charleston, Choctaw

I was drawn to this comparison of food and faith.  I believe tn addition to avoiding adding unhealthy ingredients and misleading packaging, I must know what tends my garden of faith, and take the time necessary for planting and tending.

rooted and fed

faith flourishes and sustains

turning always to Light. 

You show me the path of life. In your presence there is fullness of joy; in your right hand are pleasures forevermore. —Psalm 16:11

Don’t Wait to Celebrate


tissue paper ruffles

unwrap scarlet star

releasing arc of fireworks

today alone is mine

IMG_0724folded petals crumple

fireworks fade into the night

don’t wait to celebrate


Please see a related post from last year: