Welcome 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. Today’s writer/gardener guest is Liz Tolsma, who will be sharing the family legacy of her garden. Welcome, Liz!
My husband and I had just purchased our first house, and we stood in a backyard and stared at the overgrown, falling apart dog kennel behind the garage. Because we were on a corner lot, the house faces one street, and the garage faced another. That meant we could see this hideous sight from our kitchen window and our patio.
Something needed to be done.
My father was an avid perennial gardener. His yard was beautiful. So when he had a day off, I invited him over and showed him our mess of a yard. To his credit, he wasn’t daunted by the task before him. He suggested we start in the front. Okay, so he didn’t want to tackle the back! Our bushes were out of control, and he helped me trim them.
Underneath the leftover winter debris under these buses, he discovered hostas. I had never heard of such a thing, but he was excited. He even knew the variety they were – Royal Standard. He told me they were great shade plants and that they would bloom white later in the summer. To this day, he gushes about the amazing find we made that day.
We then went to a local nursery and purchased some moonbeam coreopsis. He thought they would do well in our shady yard. I got quite the education in perennials that day.
And it didn’t stop. Once my husband and I tore out the dog kennel, my father gave us some plants from his yard. He patiently told us the name of each one (usually the scientific name) and how to care for it. Before long, our yard was filled with color.
Apparently, it runs in the blood. My great-grandfather was a gardener. My grandfather started his own landscaping company once he retired from dairy farming. I have cousins who are avid gardeners. I guess you could say we have dirt in our veins.
My dad can no longer garden, but each time I walk to my yard, I can hear him waxing about each plant. It’s a legacy he’s passed to me, and one I hope to pass to my children one of these days. Along with some of the plants now growing in my yard that came from my dad’s.
About the Writer/Gardener:
Liz Tolsma is the author of several WWII novels, romantic suspense novels, prairie romance novellas, and an Amish romance. She is a popular speaker and an editor and resides next to a Wisconsin farm field with her husband and their youngest daughter. Her son is a U.S. Marine, and her oldest daughter is a college student. When she’s not writing, you’ll likely find her working in her large perennial garden, her happy place. To her, there’s nothing better than a little dirt underneath your fingernails and a bouquet on your table. Please visit her website at www.liztolsma.com and follow her on Facebook and Instagram. She is also the host of the Christian Historical Fiction Talk podcast.
The Silver Shadow
By Liz Tolsma
Denver of 1900 is still a dangerous place to be following the silver crash of 1893. And of out of the dark comes a shadow intent on harming women. Ambitious young Denver newspaper reporter Polly Blythe is searching for the big story that’s going to launch her career. On Friday evening, August 24, 1900, she gets her break when two women are cracked over the head within a two-minute walk of each other. But policeman Edwin Timmer thwarts Polly’s ideas of a serial criminal. . .until the shadowy figure strikes again. Will the reporter and the policeman team up to find the culprit before he strikes too close for comfort?