Monarch In The Serenity Garden

Monarch Caterpiler

I decided to change the look of the area next to the fence that leads into my Secret Garden. I chose to use silver, orange and purple. This picture is when my Garden Angel first planted the small plants. Boy have things changed. The silver has tripled in size, the red/orange snapdragon have grown also. I also put in 3 blue margarites and  a few purple plants.

A few months ago I planted 2 large milkweed plants which draw butterflies. The yellow and orange flowers complement the yellow  and the yellow and orange Tanzia already there. My Garden Angel (who finally came back for wherever Angels go) got so excited when she saw the Monarch caterpillars crawling all over the plants that her halo practically fell off her head.

Yesterday she suddenly appeared at the back door and her eyes sparkled as she showed me the caterpillar that had attached itself to one of the lawn chairs just outside the back door to the patio. It actually was beginning its cocoon.

I just peeked out in the backyard and we now have our first cocoon!!!



Gail Manishor, Author of

From Here to Serenity, A Spiritual Guide to Transform Your Life


The Oriole’s Visit



In my study of Feng Shui I learned that it’s very important to have animal life in and around your home. Animal life adds warmth and life to our homes. I decided to encourage humming birds and butterflies as much as possible into our garden.

Soon after I moved to Carlsbad I saw the most brilliant yellow and black bird I’d ever seen in a back yard. I called my husband, Bill and we tried to figure out what it was.

The next day we went to the Wild Bird Store in Encinitas and learned it was a hooded oriole. We  immediately bought an oriole feeder and learned that they like sugar water. We brought the new feeder home and installed it near the patio so we could watch these beautiful birds. They are very watchful and more nervous than I’ve ever seen birds behave. They swoop down low, land on the feeder and look around constantly while they are feeding. The humming birds think this feeder is there for them and use it all year round. They come to the window, look in and let us know when it is empty.

Before we were married  Bill had planted a banana tree on one end of the backyard. One day I was out in the garden weeding. I heard some baby birds chirping right above me. I looked up to see where the noise was coming from. What looked like the toe end of a sock was cunningly woven and enclosed in a banana tree leaf. That’s where the chirping was coming from. Mama Oriole was having a fit as only a mother can do. I backed into the house and watched from the back door as mama came to check her babies out.

This began our relationship with the family of orioles that come back every spring and stay until October.

We also feed goldfinches who are very entertaining. We call them little acrobats because they hang upside down while they’re eating.

Gail Manishor, Author of
From Here to Serenity, A Spiritual Guide to Transformation


The Secret Garden

During one of my many visits to Anderson’s La Costa Nursery in Carlsbad. I was inspired to create a Secret Garden. Andersons has a fascinating Secret Garden. The perfect place for mine was on the opposite side of the house from the Meditation area.

The sunny very warm spot challenged me to find plants that could take the heat and be beautiful too.  I planted a graceful princess plant and trained it into a tree. Princess plants have delicate deep purple flowers. I added a sun fuchsia to attract humming birds and butterflies.  To help make it look “secret” I found an archway with a gate at Home Depot and planted a pink jasmine vine to drape it. I love the fragrance that comes from pink jasmine. However, I’ve had quite a time keeping up with the weeds. The minute I turn my back, foot high weeds appear almost overnight.

I decided this is definitely a “work in progress.”

Gail Manishor, RScP and author of
From Here to Serenity, A Spiritual Guide to Transform Your Life
Seaside Center for Spiritual Living in Encinitas, California.