Monday, April 7, 2014

Accessorizing with Annuals - Authors in Bloom Blog Hop

Dianne Venetta, thank you 
for organizing this blog hop!
Welcome! I'm excited to participate in the Authors in Bloom blog hop this year!  It gives me hope that spring might actually be coming soon! 

As I type this, there is still snow on the landscape beyond my window--sigh--but I am dreaming of the time when I can finally push my fingers into the earth and start growing things. In Alberta, that is usually on or after the Victoria Day long weekend, which is in late May. At least my spring bulbs should be up before then!
After Annie's move
to Morning Lake, she
dreams about the
opportunities in
her garden too!

We moved into this home in the summer of 2012, but that first year we concentrated on the interior of the house and last year we had a tree stump that fought valiantly to stay as a permanent fixture in our yard. I hate to think of how many hours it took us to deal with that obstinate stump! So this year will be all about the garden and I can't wait!  

For the last few weeks, I have been pouring over gardening books and starting seeds. Although there are a few trees in the yard, I consider it a largely blank canvas, which is perfect for me! I love it! I've already done a plan, to scale, with a few different garden concepts. (Now I sound like Annie, the heroine of Annie's Christmas Plan ... I wonder how that could happen. LOL)  I love this stage--oh, right, I already said that, didn't I? Anyway, this brings me to my first gardening tip. 

Gardening Tip #1: 
Plant your perennials, shrubs 
and trees as if they are their mature size
from the very beginning. 
Give them space to grow and be healthy!

There are a few things I know I will plant in my garden. I'll have raspberries, vegetables, herbs, peonies, hollyhocks, day lilies, bell flowers, blue sage ... well, the list could go on and on. And this planning stage brings me to my second gardening tip: 

Think about complementary colors!
Gardening Tip #2:
Think about the color wheel when selecting 
your plants and choosing homes for them. 
Planting complementary colors close 
to one another to give your planting bed
a little zip. 

But, I never plan everything. (Come to think of it, I write my books the same way.) If the house, the trees and the fence are the body of the garden, and my perennials and shrubs are the clothing, then annuals are the accessories--and I never chose my accessories until I'm dressed and ready to run out the door. 

Similarly, I choose my annuals when I arrive at the nursery. Some people always select the same annuals, even choosing the same colors, every year. I used to walk by a garden that always had a border of pink geraniums and petunias. Every year. Although that garden always brought a smile to my face, I won't be doing that in my space. It is like painting my toenails--I will paint them a strikingly different color every time. Because, well, why not? 

I love going into the nursery and seeing plants I do not recognize. At first glance, I'm not always sure some are even all that pretty, but they are unusual. They are weird. And I want them in my garden. 

They are a dash of the unexpected. 

People ask what the plants are, and I never remember their names (shame on me), but I love that people engage with me about them. 

Gardening Tip #3
Step out of your comfort zone and find a wacky, 
unusual annual to introduce into your garden this year.  
Have fun with it!


ANNIE'S CHRISTMAS PLAN (Morning Lake, Book 2)

Contemporary Romance
Recent divorcee and empty-nester, Annie Bingley wants her family back. Desperate to prove to her ex and her daughter that she can be more than just a craft-obsessed mom, Annie decides to start fresh, move to a small town, and emulate the lifestyle she sees splashed in crafting and home-making magazines. Living from holiday to holiday, Annie works at creating an ideal home and picture-perfect memories full of glitter and hope - and it works. Before the year is out Annie's house is filled with relatives and their pets, but it is nothing like what she'd expected.

And, she certainly hadn't anticipated her sexy new neighbor, John Quinn, changing her carefully constructed plans.

Copies Available Here: All Romance eBooks | Smashwords | Kobo | | |  | Barnes & Noble | Google Play | CreateSpace 


You have the chance to win prizes!  Please LEAVE A COMMENT for a chance to win the grand prize! 

The grand prize is a Kindle or a Nook and a $25 gift card for ebooks! 
Second prize is a $25 gift card. 
(For complete details and limitations, visit Dianne Venetta's site)

For the Authors in Bloom Blog Hop Grand Prize, only those visitors who visit EACH and EVERY stop are eligible for the grand prize ereader and gift card. Eligibility will be verified by hop’s end.  Also, please leave your contact email in the comment section otherwise we have no way to contact you if you win.  

Grand prize winners will be posted on Dianne Venetta's site and Cozy Reader’s Corner website.



I'm also giving away two $5 Amazon Gift Cards!

Use the Rafflecopter form below to enter for a chance to win the Amazon Gift Cards! Winners will be posted on or before April 18th!  Good luck!

Rafflecopter Giveaway


What is your favorite garden "accessory"? 

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Pearce Estate Park, Calgary - Sunday Inspiration

Pearce Estate Park, Calgary ~ April 2012
Lorraine's photo

The trees and grass may not be green yet, but when you walk through the park you can smell spring in the air! It is rich and earthy--promising an explosion of color in the near future!  I can't wait!