The Writing Life

Nature’s Glory (and a distraction from writing…)

HydrangeasA few weeks ago, I loosely connected the editing process to the emergence of the beautiful oak tree discovered hiding in the ugly shrubs in our backyard. Maybe the analogy was a stretch, but it worked for me.

I could tie a dozen other analogies to nature, I’m sure (anything to keep me from dealing with actually writing my books!). But sometimes nature needs to be appreciated simply for what it is, without making it into a story.

So, while I give my energies to my writing this week (have I mentioned that I’m writing TWO books at once?), let me just share some of the beauty from my garden with you. Next week you’ll get a sneak peek at what I’m working on, I promise.

I planted these hydrangeas two years ago, and last year didn’t have a single blossom. Not one! It was disappointing, but hardly a surprise, since I am “She-Who-Kills-Plants“. I figured the spot I selected to plant them was too shady or too dry or too something, and I had no idea what to expect this year.

Well, let me tell you – the hydrangeas have outdone themselves! The pastel shades are incredible, and watching them blossom has been so much fun for me. I want a whole house and wardrobe of just these colors. Wouldn’t you?

(click to start a slideshow)

My Life

She-Who-Kills-Plants Tries Again

Every spring, I get the fever. The fever to plant and bring forth green and flowered life from the earth. There’s only one problem.

I can’t grow stuff.

Seriously – I am the world’s worst at plant care. I finally gave up on houseplants completely. If I get a plant as a gift, I immediately re-gift it to someone less likely to kill it.  Which would be anyone, really.

Compounding my inability is the fact that the few plants I do like and don’t kill are considered “deer crack” here in our neighborhood where the deer population is pretty much equal to the human one. Seriously – my first spring in North Carolina I planted three flats of pansies (one of my favorite flowers) in the small garden around the flag pole. Three flats, all carefully arranged by color for the prettiest arrangement. The very next morning, every single blossom was gone. Just leaves and stems sticking up. They quickly died. If there was any doubt who the culprits were, the deep hoof imprint in the soil solved it.

So Himself and I have come to an agreement. The lawn is his, and I can play with the containers and the flag garden. That’s it. Although, when he wasn’t looking, I added a small perennial bed behind the house last year. He allowed it to stay, with the admonition that it was mine to care for (don’t worry, despite his bluster he often waters it for me – probably out of pity for the plants).

Forever optimistic, I have planted flowers again this spring. In the flag garden, I’m changing things up and planting perennials that are supposedly not deer candy. Coreopsis and lantana (with a few geraniums as filler). They’ve survived two nights so far, but we’ll see….

The planters are supposed to be a mass of pinks – geraniums and petunias. Even I should be able to keep those alive. Right?

Hmmmm. Stay tuned, and I’ll let you know how it goes!