No Trespassing

Sometimes you see a sign. Or a fence. Or both to signal that a certain area is off limits for visitors.

The reasons are numerous. Perhaps the owner is a very private person. Or there is a danger — poisonous snakes or predator. Sometimes the danger is not visible — heed the warning.

Sometimes no sign is necessary.

These plants and sculptures sport an international, multi-lingual “no trespassing” sign. Stay away or suffer the consequences of my sharp spikes. I need space.

Space — and the ability to own land — brought many immigrants to the United States. Check out the story of one small group in the sweet, historical romance, New Dreams.


Fiddle among the Ferns

Is that right? No? Let me try again.

“Among the Fiddlehead Ferns.”

Is that better? Instead of conjuring an image of a violin player standing in a patch of ferns — we have created an image of you, dear reader, in a patch of unfurling ferns.

Translated to glass… the artist came up with this.

Green and graceful the fern unfurls in the spring air.

Can you see the tight coil unwinding as the plant draws nourishment from the soil? If you can identify the fern species the coils make a spring treat — be sure to cook — and have been eaten by numerous generations.

Alas — the glass will only remain in the public garden for a limited time. I do hope I can pay another visit before the exhibit ends.

No ferns cooked by the immigrants in New Dreams, a sweet historical romance. I wonder if some of the native-born in fictional Elm Ridge harvested the treat in early spring.

More book information here:


Please Pass the…

Gorgeous! Huge! Splendid!

I can see it now. This year — these giant, glass, cupped flowers are a hit at the public garden.

A few years from now — will we find the design copied in snack bowls at the local big box store?

I can see it at the outdoor party now. Please pass me the red bowl — the snack mix is delicious. Oh, you have mixed nuts? In the blue bowl. How delightful. The bright dishes liven up the party.

Parties can be held for many occasions. In Comfort Zone, a sweet romance, Janet holds an engagement party for her daughter and soon-to-be-son-in-law. How is she to know that his uncle is the intriguing HVAC customer? More book information here:


Unlikely Companions

Hey! Toss me that chunk of wood. No need to worry if your aim’s not perfect. Wood’s sturdy — only breaks when you work at it.

Careful! Hand, don’t toss, that piece of glass. We break it — we’ll have a mess and a half to clean up. Never mind the explaining.

Glass and wood. Wood and glass. Not the mostly likely pair — unless you think about a window. Or art.

Glass and wood together make this dramatic outdoor feature. Logs supply a sturdy base and a rustic feel. The straight glass — reeds — according to the sculpture title add a touch of wonder and delicacy. The color, in case you wonder, is given by the metal neodymium. (Yes, metals are often used to color glass.)

Humans sometimes come together in pairs as different as wood and glass. Take, for example, a woman who is retired military, busy with a satisfying career, and living near a loving extended family. Would you ever expect her to make the acquaintance — let alone more — of a semi-reclusive millionaire with an attitude of toleration, not enjoyment, from immediate family? Find their story in Morning Tryst, a sweet romance available at major on-line retailers. Click here to learn more:


Beauty in a Small Space

Garden. Flower bed.

The words conjure images of large scale plantings. Or perhaps long and narrow along the length of a building or walkway.

May I present an exception.

This small, precise, medallion garden is found on the grounds of an extensive, public garden.

However, one of my neighbors maintains a similar beautiful spot where a tree was removed several years ago.

Remember, the area of planting need not be large to be a showy spot for the neighborhood.

Janet, the heroine in the sweet romance, Comfort Zone, attempts a more conventional flower bed with plants flanking her home’s front entrance. (With a moderate amount of success.) She’s better at HVAC repair — and living with gusto. Find her story here:


Golden Shrimp, Please

Sorry if the headline made your mouth water. Yes, I enjoy a nice plate of golden, fried shellfish as well as the next person. But I’ve a different sort of Golden Shrimp in mind today.

Shall we modify to Green & Gold Shrimp?

Pleased, and surprised, to find this bed of a tropical/semi-tropical, flower in an outside area of the Missouri Botanical Garden on a summer visit. I knew we were having a warm July — but really — have the planting zones moved this much???

Considering their location, I expect before the frost arrives this fall, the plants (or a portion of them) will be moved to one of several greenhouses on the property. I’ll need more visits to follow their appearance in this outside area.

Outdoor photography is an art — practiced by Serena in the sweet romance, Morning Tryst. Focusing on Missouri State Parks, she captures flora, fauna, and sunrises. Check out her adventure here:


Garden Greeter

Welcome to the Missouri Botanical Garden, 2023 edition.

The “WOW” moments start before you exit the glass doors into the grounds. I knew the glass exhibit would be good — and it did not disappoint.

The artist named this “Vivid Lime Icicle Tower”

I certainly won’t dispute the color. And it’s certainly a tower. But this viewer, and I’m thinking many others, find a resemblance to other things in life. Can you see hints of a barrel cactus? A bottle brush?

Books, like art, let you use your imagination to complete the image. Test your mind with a sweet romance set in fictional place more than a century in the past with New Dreams. Can you see, hear, smell, and taste the people and items presented on the page?

I’m getting hungry for a fresh-baked cinnamon bun.


July Beauty

The purchase was an impulse. I didn’t read the label careful and thought I was buying a different sort of flower.

Imagine my surprise – and delight – when the flower returned the next year. And thrived (a condition which seldom happens in my garden). After a few years, I even moved it a short distance and still it returned in the spring.

The balloon flower, a happy perennial, blooms in July.

For a sweet romance which begins as the balloon flower fades — August, during a heat wave — try Comfort Zone. Will the empty-nester stay in her comfort zone — or live with gusto?


A Corpse to Remember

What were you doing in July 2017?

Do you have prompts such as photos or notations on a calendar or planner to prompt your memory?

When I was looking through photos from past summers, I came upon this:

This huge (or pick another word) flower was not in full bloom yet. However, a few days later, after mention on local radio and television, there was a line of people to see the corpse flower.

Yes, some held their nose (or breath) when they got close. I was thankful for a poor sense of smell — it’s always described as similar to rotting meat.

Have you ever seen one? It’s really an experience — even a few days before fully open. Keep an ear, or eye, out for mention of one at a public garden near you.

Want to treat your mother? Consider an outing to your local public gardens. The hero in the sweet romance, Stare Down, spends a fine day doing that exact thing.

More about the book here:


Spring Buffet

Calling all neighborhood bees and butterflies!

Did you sample our early offering of creeping phlox? We have more sweet nectar plants at the same convenient location. Open around the clock. Most popular dining times are early morning and sunny afternoons.

Don’t be shy. Humans with cameras have been known to frequent the area.

This simple raised bed garden, planted during the first Covid summer, continues to please.

For a May patio read, I’d like to suggest Hiding Places. This sweet, small-town romance features an apple orchard and a marriage of convenience–or is it fate?

Kindle link: