A Writer's Garden, author Catherine Castle, Author Catherine Castle's garden blog, Bidding on the Bouquet, garden tools for bad backs, long-handled pruner, spring cleanup, sweet contemporary inspirational romance
Welcome back to A Writer’s Garden where writers who are gardeners or just love gardens will be sharing their garden and flower stories, as well as a bit about their writing gardens—aka their books.
I have a great lineup of authors this year, some who’ve been on the blog before, and some who are new to A Writer’s Garden, so I hope you’ll join us every Thursday between now and October to learn about their gardens, flowers, and even see some gardens they’ve visited. You never know what you might find on the blog, but whatever it is, it will be garden related.
I’m starting the garden ball going with a peek at some of the spring garden cleanup in my garden. Spring hasn’t quite sprung in my neck of the woods. The grass isn’t rize, but I am wondering where the warm weather is.
What you see in the photo above is only a small part of spring cleanup I’m facing—the back hill. All that beige stuff is ornamental grasses and dead iris and day lily clumps. And if it doesn’t quit raining, snowing, and get warm enough to get out and work soon, I’m going to go nuts!
If you take a closer look below you can see the tall, dead weed stems that never got cut down last year.
My plan to hire landscapers to do a monthly hill cleanup died after the second hill cleanup bill came and I was suddenly out of money. So, I’m back to a do-it yourself-a bit-at-a-time plan. About 30 minutes at a time, because I’m a year older and my poor knees and back feel five years older and bend even less than they did last year.
And to top it all off, the hubby and I have decided that we—I should say he—has to build a small retaining wall at the bottom of the hill because the gully that carries the rain water from the houses above us is filling up with mulch and dirt rolling down from our hill.
Have I mentioned getting older as a gardener sucks? Especially when the siren call of the garden lures your poor aching bones outside and you see all those weeds and spring work! One of my life goals has been to garden until the day I die, and since I don’t plan on dying anytime soon, I’ve got to figure out how to accomplish that with an aging body.
I spent a great deal of time surfing the internet this winter looking for gardening tools for gardeners with back backs, and I found a couple of handy-dandy tools I’m going to try this year. One is a long-handled pruner that I plan to use to dead head and clip tall weeds with from a standing position.
I’ve already deadheaded the mums along the front pathway and clipped a few dead daisy stems on the opposite side of the path, reaching into the back of the bed, which is usually hard to get to. So far, I’m pleased with the results. The pruner is very lightweight and has a one-handed motion that isn’t too tight, so my hand doesn’t get tired. And with my raised beds I can stand in the garden paths and easily reach the flowers to deadhead them.
The other tool I bought is a push-pull hoe, also called a scuffle hoe. I saw a hoe like this at Disney World a couple of years ago and it looked like a dream to use. The Disney gardener was whacking off weeds in a mulched bed with a simple back and forward motion, which seemed to be much easier than hacking at the weed root with a traditional hoe. Yes, it doesn’t uproot the entire weed, but if I can hack them off below the mulch level, and do it standing without straining my back, I might be able to keep working in the garden all summer without injury. This particular hoe came with a long handle and a short handle, so I can work standing up or seating on the edges of my raised beds.
It’s been too wet to try the hoe, so I’m anxiously awaiting a dry spell when it’s not raining cats and dogs and hail, or it’s not snowing. Don’t laugh. It’s been doing all those in the span of a week–well, maybe not the cat and dog part, but it has been raining hard and flooding areas. We had 30 degrees Monday, 70 degrees Tuesday, a tornado watch that evening, freeze warning for Wednesday, 50 degrees today, and now they are predicting snow for Saturday. The only good thing about the temperature swings is when the snow does come, it’s a “Camelot” snow—it only stays on the grassy areas, leaving roadways and driveways clear.
Well, that’s all I have for today, but I’ll leave you with a quote from my garden calendar…
“You never saw anything so beautiful! It has come! I thought it had come that other morning, but it was only coming. It is here now! It has come, the Spring!”… Burnett
Hurry spring! Hurry!
Has spring come in your area yet?
About the Writer/Gardener:
Gardener/writer Catherine Castle has been gardening all her life in pots, plots, and wherever she can find dirt. Her favorite thing about gardening is the satisfaction she gets from a well-weeded flowerbed. She’s a passionate gardener whose garden won a “Best Hillside Garden” award from the local gardening club. When she’s not gardening she’s writing sweet and inspirational romance. You can find her books The Nun and the Narc, A Groom for Mama, Bidding on the Bouquet and Trying Out for Love boxed set on Amazon.
Her newest book, Bidding on the Bouquet, is a sweet, contemporary inspirational.
The chance to catch a bridal bouquet containing a solid gold rose makes underprivileged, down-on-her-luck grad student Marietta Wilson pawn everything she owns to come up with a bid to win a bridesmaid spot in the most prestigious wedding of the season.
When he discovers his sister is auctioning off bridesmaid spots in her wedding party, wealthy, elitist Chip Vandermere is appalled. Not only is it in poor taste, but no self-respecting lady would stoop so low as to bid. Convinced Marietta is a gold digger, Chip sets out to thwart her plans.
A social climber and a social misfit. Can a bridal bouquet unite them?