♦Welcome to another edition of the Open Book Blog Hop!♦
Do any of your characters garden? Or keep houseplants? How about you?
Welcome back to another Open Book Blog Hop! The authors included in this ongoing series wish to thank you for your reads. We appreciate, even more so, when you share our writings with your friends. If you’re new to the series, welcome aboard. The authors engage and impress weekly. Prepare to become a regular reader.
A four-foot lemon tree sits in my front window, grown from a seed I found in a store bought lemon. It has never fruited. The large pot it resides in is its third house. Fertilizer spikes and plenty of water, along with daily warm and bright sun haven’t bore a single fruit, nor flower. I have yet to figure out why the tee is unhappy. It has gorgeous healthy green leaves and is filling out every year. Those leaves smell like lemons, too. Maybe someday I’ll get it and get some lemons.
Someday, too, I hope that I’ll get to see the gads of lemons in Italy. My great grandfather migrated from Naples to Upstate New York at the turn of the 20th-century, a mere boy, but a love of lemons came with him, I believe. This passed to me, despite being from an indirect line.
Bamboo plants adorn my room (along with one in the living room beside the television), a giant aloe vera sits in the bow window with a new watermelon plant to keep it viny company. I wasn’t about to let the lone survivor of a rabbit raid die alone in the dirt. I rescued it in a pot. Maybe it will survive the winter, too. The backyard is inundated with tomato plants. They now grow without needing to plant. I have lilacs, a rose of Sharon, morning glories, butterfly bushes, climbing roses that don’t rose, tulips, hyacinth, daffodil, delphinium, crocus, ground ivy, the ubiquitous hostas, and a blue flower I forget the name of at this moment. The hollyhocks fought to rise, but again–rabbits.
There’s a lot of green around and I’ve gotten a bit of a reputation for being a Poison Ivy (yes, the Batman villain). I do have red hair, and I do respect plants as lives, as much as any other life on the plant. Green isn’t my favorite color, though. I can’t imagine dressing in a green plant suit!
Having written a number of books, gardening and it’s benefits have not come up much. You won’t find Maiel occupying herself with a garden, although there are garden like features around her home. Likewise, this isn’t a pastime of Claire either. She’s a city girl who’s been busy at finishing school. I don’t think she’s much for hobbies, anyway–unless you count her sleuthing.
Then, there is Emily, the young Miss Conrad from my first novel, who raises many a garden plant in her greenhouse, heated for the harsh Vermont winters. The main point is to provide flowers to the Conrad home, something the Conrad women have occupied themselves with since the farm’s inception. Emily has taken up this mantle, forcing crocuses to bloom weeks earlier than they would in the outdoors. The little blooms make a nice feature in the starkness of late winter, to keep moods high.
Emily is known for her touch of healing. She’s a born doctor of human or animal. Somehow, she is able to nurse the sick with remarkable success. This power, it seems, extends to even vegetable. Is it her energy? Does she just understand the science behind medicine? I never went into any great detail about that. Emily hasn’t studied medicine yet, but has extensive experience nursing. The greatest thing she ever did was remain at Hettie’s side and make sure that the wounds she suffered did not take her young and valuable life. Even though Emily didn’t know this woman was a wife and mother, a great hero for surviving trials as a slave and aiding those on the railroad in defiance of slavery, Emily knew Hettie had to be saved.
Although it’s never discussed, it is possible that Emily has grown herbs and other plants in the greenhouse to use as medicine. After all, it is the 1860s, and doctors were few and far between, with hospitals at great distances. Most homes made due with what they had and the familial knowledge they passed down. Is it possible that Emily is a green witch? Very. But this is never said. Can you imagine, with her deeply religious mother, who also keeps time in the greenhouse? What if Mrs. Conrad were one as well? Perhaps there’s another story to uncover there–an unwritten Easter egg for my ancestors and living brethren.
Regardless of what ifs, Emily does love plants and growing them in a garden, just as much as I do. It helps to keep my spirits high, and to connect with something greater than society and all its problems. Neither of us would commit crimes in the name of the plant world, however. Yet, I can see Emily lamenting the abuse of forests as much as I.
Let’s click on the links below to find out if any of our other authors garden or include the practice in their work and how that might manifest.