Some of our friends who have never been here sometimes imagine that we are surrounded by sand dunes and sagebrush. In fact our Alpine desert setting (designated by the altitude and scarcity of annual rainfall) does support plant and tree life, and we cultivate certain ones to beautify our meditation and cloister gardens. This reflection will be more on the flowers we maintain at present.

Roses (now in full bloom) are among the flowers we have in various parts of our property. Pictured here are some roses in the cloister garden, in the middle of the monks’ residence quadrangle. Other flowers in the cloister include tulips, daffodils, daisies, irises, peonies, and day lilies, in their “order of appearance” each spring and summer.

Of course in the desert, like anywhere, the flowers (and some of the trees) require attention and watering, but overall do very well here throughout the warmer months (May through October). Flowers from our gardens often grace the abbey church on weekends and feast days.

Soon the rainy season will arrive, and nature will take care of the daily watering and bringing to life many wild flowers in the desert as well.