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Thursday, June 2, 2016


Hero and I grew up in West Texas back when trees were considered a luxury. Many old, old-timers incorrectly believed trees sucked up needed water. As a result, you could drive through rural areas and see houses with no trees, no shrubs, no flowers, no grass. Ugh.

You can understand why Hero and I love our yard with lots of trees and shrubs. In fact, one of the reasons we decided to buy this house was because we could sit at the breakfast table and look out on a park-like back yard. I enjoy that sight every day. Not that the house is perfect, mind you. Tiny closets, old carpet, outdated kitchen, yada, yada. Those trees make the difference for me, especially since I’m usually in my little pink writing cave except at mealtime and while I’m sleeping.

Cecile Bruner climbing rose

The problem with a shady yard is flowers. I’m not knowledgeable about shade loving plants, but I’m learning. I love roses, but we have almost no spots where they would get enough sun. My Cecile Bruner and Knockout roses are fine, but I want more and more roses. Dozens would be good. Sigh.

Red Knockout Roses

Right now I’m concentrating on bedding plants for a spot in the front yard. We have a St. Francis of Assisi statue and the plants I thought would be perennial weren’t. Poor St. Francis is standing there all alone this year. When my Master Gardener daughter looked at it, she said, “No wonder, they don’t get enough shade.” What? Evidently, I overcompensated.

This year I plan to plant dark purple petunias in front with a row of white snuggled behind them. Purple and white are the school colors of the university from which our daughters graduated. I think maybe a couple of lantanas behind St. Francis would fill the spot. I love petunias because they remind me of my sweet grandmother’s yard. Her town always had water rationing in summer but she could get petunias to grow with little watering. Even the scent makes me think of her. 

Lantana. My grandmother also grew these.
This weekend I’ll be buying the new batch of bedding plants plus a few more for the back patio. A couple of weeks ago, I bought a citronella and a red geranium for the patio. I also have a century plant that was a gift and a lovely trailing sedum covered in tiny white flowers. I recently bought what was touted as a giant hosta, so we’ll see if it lives and grows to five feet and blooms all summer as advertised. Surely an advertisement wouldn't lie. ☺

What are your favorite flowers? Do you like gardening?

Please keep in mind that CASSANDRA, Bride Brigade book 3, is now for sale on Amazon  If you haven’t tried this series, I hope you will. JOSEPHINE is book one, followed by ANGELINE. Future books will be OPHELIA, RACHEL, LORRAINE, and PRUDENCE. I’ll be alternating them with other series, though, including contemporary western romance and McClintocks.

If you like my books, please do me the favor of leaving a review. I’d also love for you to follow me on my Amazon page. When you sign up for my newsletter, you receive a free novella, HAPPY IS THE BRIDE. My personal blog, A Writer’s Life, is at and I’d be happy to have you there to learn about new releases from a variety of authors.

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  1. Beautiful photos! I love gardening too. I share your problem with too much shade in my backyard, while my front yard gets tons of sunshine. I'm still trying to figure out what's the best flowers to plant where.
    Thanks for the links to your books, etc.

  2. Beautiful pictures. I'm a gardener too. Right now my yard's about to float away with all the Houston rain.


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