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 Caroline Warfield who is sharing the good things that COVID did for her garden. Welcome, Caroline!
Gardens are one thing; gardening is another. I generally say I love the first, but I’m not fond of the second, nor particularly skilled. Covid turned that on its head. We could no longer plan visits to the public gardens we’ve known and loved—from Longwood near Philadelphia to Versailles and the Vatican Gardens. Worse, we had no way to visit ones still on our bucket list, such as Kew. All we could do is stare at our own piece of earth. Perhaps that was a blessing.
The plantings across the front had to go first. At the very beginning of the pandemic, we hired a crew (masked and outside) to remove ugly yew bushes and plant flower beds. We thoroughly enjoyed the sequence of blooms all spring and summer. Four little plants, short and unassuming in the very back puzzled me. I didn’t recognize them and worried they were unrecognized weeds. They weren’t. Imagine my delight this spring when they shot up into glorious bloom—Foxgloves.
We spent weeks staring at sprawling patch of grass out back. We removed the dead and dying pines that lined the back lane, and planted four trees.
Charging into the second spring, we raised the vegetable patch three inches and filled it with mushroom compost.
Then we plunged into a tougher project, a flower border along our back patio. Removing sod to create a new bed exhausted us, particularly when we realized the spot was heavily clay. We learned about the uses of gypsum and hard work, but we did it. We used the rest of the compost, and lined the patio with bee balm and other hummingbird-friendly flowering plants. I’m rather proud of it!
By then restrictions were lifting and a visit from a friend gave me an excuse to visit Longwood Gardens again. Next year it will be back to visits to great public gardens, but our own ground will be much the better for our year of Covid.
Book Two of The Ashmead Heirs has a pivotal scene in a rose garden… but that is a story for another time.
About the Writer/Gardener:
Award winning author Caroline Warfield has been many things: traveler, librarian, poet, raiser of children, bird watcher, Internet and Web services manager, conference speaker, indexer, tech writer, genealogist—even a nun. She reckons she is on at least her third act, happily working in an office surrounded by windows where she lets her characters lead her to adventures in England and the far-flung corners of the British Empire. She nudges them to explore the riskiest territory of all, the human heart.
The Ahsmead Heirs
About the Series
When the old Earl of Clarion leaves a will with bequests for all his children, legitimate and not, listing each and their mothers by name, he complicates the lives of many in the village of Ashmead. One of them grew believing he was the innkeeper’s son. He is the first of The Ashmead Heirs.
Book One: The Wayward Son
Sir Robert Benson’s life is in London. He fled Ashmead the day he discovered the man he thought was his father had lied to him, and the girl he loved was beyond his reach. Only a nameless plea from his sister—his half-sister—brings him back. He will not allow a ludicrous bequest from the earl who sired him turn him into a mockery of landed gentry. When a feisty little termagant with flashing eyes—and a musket—tries to turn Rob off the land—his land—he’s too amused and intrigued to turn away. But the longer he stays, the tighter the bonds that tie him to Ashmead become, strengthened by the powerful draw of the woman rooted on land he’s determined to sell.
Lucy Whitaker’s life is Willowbrook, its land, its tenants, its prosperity—and her precious apiary—but she always knew it wasn’t hers, knew the missing heir would come eventually. When a powerful man with military bearing rides up looking as if he wants to come in and count the silver, she turns him away, but her heart sinks. She can’t deny Rob Benson his property; she can only try to make him love the place as she does, for her peoples’ sake. A traitorous corner of her heart wishes Rob would love it for her sake.
His life is London; hers is Ashmead. How can they forge something lasting when they are torn in two directions?
Available on Kindle Unlimited or for purchase: