The Garden Chronicles

Surely you remember last year’s unforgettable installment of Better Gardening Through Photoshop, where we first viewed the garden out back here at the Rectory. Actually we first viewed it almost exactly one year ago, in Into the Garden, followed closely by Garden Redux.

But if you’re new here, take a gander now:

Garden in need of some work...

Ah, one could gaze upon it for hours in peace and serenity.

But not really.

This year, what with our warm winter, warm spring and early summer, it’s looks like this:

The Garden

Totally overgrown and random.

A parishioner restored the Marian statue, some plants grew in to fill up the empty spaces, and there’s a bad case of Elephant Ears, which I don’t think anything can be done about.

Just yesterday via my iPhone:

the Marian Garden

Still it’s a huge improvement, and with a little tweaking it’s going to be great, even though the simplicity in the first photo is pretty nice. Nonetheless, it will be a perfect place to pray I tell you!

We just need some wax myrtles in the background beyond the fence, maybe some holly trees. Then some giant liriope where some of the stones are, with a box hedge and some cast iron plants… Something like that. Easy and low maintenance.

Splash, out.

Garden Redux

getting there

The garden is coming along.


Just a flashback to an earlier state (but not the earliest, which was even more frightening.)


Then it got a good scrub down on May 3.

getting there

Not too shabby, and better things are on the way.

Better Gardening Through Photoshop

Marian Garden

Oh. Yes… This could work.

You know, there’s a lot you can’t write about as a Priest. For instance, a lot of what we do during any given day, be it working with the disenfranchised, counseling, Confessions, etc.

But when I’m not doing any of that, and I’m not reading, and I’m not at the gym, and I’m not in my office, and I’m not intently studying modern Church happenings, or doing laundry or trying to clean my room or sitting around with my feet propped up, or deep in prayer, I’m hard at work in the garden.

(This area needs a lot of work.)

(It’s going to be the Marian area.)

(In case you hadn’t noticed.)

That’s something I can write about. But it’s a work in progress, and definitely needs a bit more time. Still, it’s something to look forward to.

But you know, I just can’t bring myself to post the picture of the actual garden as it really looks. I think I prefer denial and the vision of what might be, what will be, to the cold, harsh realities of life.

On the other hand, what harm could there be in posting a picture of the back garden as a ‘before’ kind of thing, while anxiously awaiting the far off completion and the eventual ‘after’ photos?

Yes, that’s a very good idea. In fact, here is the garden as it actually looks with no Photoshopping involved. It’s very much better than it was before, and it’s a fair start to a kind of… hmmm.. why yes, that’s absolutely a very smart way of doing things.

marian garden before



after photoshopping

OK, yes, that’s much, much better.

Excuse me. If you need me, I’ll be deep in prayer.

A Busy Sunday

elfin delight

In between Masses today I could be found roaming the gardens looking with a furrowed brow at the ivies growing on fences, weeds taking over rose beds, and the plethora of rocks in the side garden. Utterly beset, I decided to take a picture of this small statue. It used to bother me since it was the center of attention in the main garden (which needs much, much work…) But now, there’s a statue of Mary in the center, and this guy’s off to the side in the cabana area.

Sheesh, spot the euphemisms in that paragraph.

You can see Mary in the background, but thanks to editing software you cannot see the ivies and other fence blight detracting from recent plantings.

Hopefully, I won’t be seeing it soon either. Spectracide and Trellises… come to papa.

crepe myrtle all over the place

Crepe myrtles are good trees, though the constant floating down of their tiny flowers forms drifts all over the patio on a daily basis in heaps and mounds. Still, the trees do provide some nice shade and a degree of privacy. I use a leaf blower to clean the soft carpet of flowers — the deep, deep, soft carpet of flowers, which collects all over the back area each day.

Well, I usually do it every other day. Sometimes every third day. At least once a week. It’s hot outside you know.

flowering coleus

Then we have the flowering coleus. I haven’t grown coleus in awhile so I really am not sure wether to deadhead it or just let it be. Any ideas? Sounds like a quick google is in order.

windowsill hospital for plants

After I watered everything thoroughly this morning since it was dry as could be with not a cloud in sight, we had a torrential downpour in the afternoon. But I had clipped some roses, and stuck them in with this parsley-in-a-glass. Parsley keeps longer with its roots in water, and it was a handy receptacle for the roses, since I had not cut a long stem. I also had been starting some mint and some coleus, which I had just placed in small glasses of water. Both stems sprouted roots fairly quickly (especially the coleus!), and I have them now in small pots so the roots can take in a well structured form for planting.

secluded oasis amidst the bamboo forests of old metairie

I made a brief visit to an oasis of a pool deep within the bamboo forests of Old Metairie. But you know how torrential downpours can be with lightening strikes and thunderclaps. This is about as close to the pool as I got today. It’s about as close as I usually get. But, that’s a long story for another time.


And tonight… fireworks!

more fireworks!

I’ll probably revisit this in the next few days. It was fun taking pictures of them, since I’ve never done it before.

blownout fireworks

Which is evidenced here in this completely blown-out photo. I wonder how you prepare for the finale of a fireworks show when everything is bright as daylight, after your camera has been using wide open apertures and high iso’s.

Hmmm…. Something new to study. This could be fun…

The Rev. Kenneth Allen