Garden Residents (Part II)

This is the second installment of an ongoing project by garden member Kate O’Donovan-Cook to document the residents of Miracle Garden. If you missed Part I, just click here.

Rose of Sharon

The rose of Sharon has inspired people for millennia--appearing in ancient Chinese texts, the Bible, a Dylan song, and The Grapes of Wrath by Steinbeck. We have two roses of Sharon: a shrub that was once a tree, which survived last year storms, as well as a full-grown tree by the northeastern corner of the garden.

An aromatic herb, catmint is a more ornamental version of its close cousin catnip. It too is attractive to felines while deterring insects and weed growth. It may be used medicinally to treat menstrual cramps, anxiety, and respiratory symptoms.


With large flower heads and fragrant blooms, the hydrangeas of Miracle Garden attract a lot of attention this time of year. While usually white, the hue of the bloom is affected by the acidity of the soil, producing a range in color from lavender to orange, blue, and green. As the blooms age they become even more beautiful, taking on an ombré effect.

Mourning Dove

The mourning dove, turtle dove, or rain dove: A bird of many names, it exists in abundance across North America. A close relative of the passenger pigeon, hunted to extinction in the early twentieth century, the mourning dove’s ability to adapt to human environments as well as its prolific reproduction rates have insured its survival. The dove's mournful call gave it its more common name; its wings also emit a soft whistling sound during take off and landing. Both a devoted parent and mate, mourning doves are monogamous and may raise as many as six broods a year. A gentle presence and one of our garden’s favorite residents.
Photos and captions by Kate O'Donovan-Cook


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