Friday Feature Flowers for ALL Seasons via @emmajlane

C.D. Hersh

Friday Features’

Guest talks about

Seasonal Flowers

by

Emma Lane

It is possible to gather flowers for your vases without deliberately planting a cutting garden. Possible, but much more fun to set up a section of the garden for bringing the blossoms inside. Harvesting these blooms will not denude your carefully planned perennial landscape.

In Spring, Tulips, Daffodils, and Peonies are perennial friends who return year after year. One of the best cut flowers is Gladiola. Staggered planting of the bulbs (which are fairly inexpensive.) will prolong the harvest. In temperate climates, gladiola bulbs will renew, but pulling them up and storing will guarantee next year’s bloom.

Other bulbs are simple and, again, fairly inexpensive. Asiatic and Oriental Lilies and other in the same family are excellent mid summer. Day lilies may be used if you understand the stem must contain more than one bud as they open and close…

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A Celebration of Spring

Supporting Writers

WILLOWS IN YOUR GARDEN

from Janis Lane

Recently I overheard a patron mention his willow tree had budded, a sure sign of Spring. I felt a rush of panic. No! I couldn’t be late to harvest the silver buds before the catkins appeared. Whereas the little kitties are sweet, they do not stay on the branches very long. Harvested early, the decorative silver buds will be around as long as you like. Spring finds my vases full.

Once pretty willow shrubs lined our service road and supplied me with an abundant harvest, but borers found and riddled the trunks. I am pinching myself to remember to plant twigs to start them all over. In Spring, when the soil is saturated, a willow branch may be rooted by simply sticking it in the ground where you’d like a nice shrub. Careful. Some consider it invasive. Often willows are planted on the…

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Wednesday Writers–Excerpt from Snapshot Suspicions by Janis Lane

Catherine Castle

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! I hope you’re all wearing the green, so you don’t get pinched, if that’s even a thing in today’s world. It was when I attended school years ago. If I forgot to wear green, I always claimed an exemption because I had green eyes. The potential pinchers didn’t know what to do with that, but it gave me time to escape. Wednesday Writers isn’t celebrating St. Paddy’s today on the blog. Instead, we have guest author Janis Lane who will be sharing an excerpt from her romantic cozy mystery Snapshot Suspicions. Welcome, Janis!

Snapshot Suspicions is an adventure with Abby, beautiful, vagabond wildlife photographer, and Adam, ruggedly handsome, millionaire protector of the environment.

A dangerous wildlife mystery requires the close attention of Adam and the local sheriff as Abby deals with two hired goons stalking her with a grudge. Basking in the rosy contentment of their…

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Thoughts On Being A Gemini

Supporting Writers

TWO for ONE

by Emma Lane

The Digital Artist Pixabay.com

I confess I am a Gemini. That means I do not apologize for having two personalities, two serious interests and two distinct pen names. As Emma Lane (Historicals) or Janis Lane (Cozy Mysteries) I spin tales at my computer happily imagining characters and plots. I enjoy the interaction of readers and writers on-line forming firm friendships that endure. It’s a perfect way to spend short winter days and early evenings.

Ah! But in the mellow bath of the Spring sun, I emerge much like a daffodil and bloom with my favorite plants and gardens. March finds me in the greenhouses coaxing tiny plants to their full potential while the maple trees give up their sap for delicate syrup. May finds me happily breathing the fragrance of perky pansies.

June, ah, June. Who doesn’t love June with a surfeit of…

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Friday Feature bouquets for the season

C.D. Hersh

Friday Features’

Guest talks about

Christmas Bouquets

by

Emma Lane

I love to create festive bouquets for any season, but my personal favorite is Christmas. The holiday colors are vibrant and a joy to bring together in stunning arrangements. So let’s talk a little about how you can create masterpieces for your home and as hostess gifts. The work isn’t hard. It simply takes a little patience.

It looks easy, but the greenery for bouquets is more complicated than you might think. I’m fortunate because there is a veritable forest in my front and back yards. I deliberately refrain from trimming the evergreen shrubs out front until the holidays. That gives me a very fresh start to my bouquet which is difficult to match with store bought greenery. If you have any type shrub in your yard it will work. If not then you are forced to purchase them. I…

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Catherine’s Comments–Cute, Easy Turkey Table Decoration from Catherine Castle

Catherine Castle

Pear-Turkey table decoration/place card

Thanksgiving is on its way, and although you might not have the large family gathering of past, thanks to recent COVD spikes, there is no reason to neglect your table for two or just for your immediate family. I love the holidays, and I love to set a pretty table filled with special touches. I guess I’m a Martha Stewart wanna be at heart.

I also love to make things from greeting cards I’ve saved. So, I came up with this darling turkey to grace the Thanksgiving table. You can use several as centerpieces, set in a length of silk leaves, or add an extra feather to the turkey’s fan and make a place card holder. Either way, it’s an easy craft to enjoy with the kiddos, or by yourself, that will make your Thanksgiving table a little special.

MATERIALS:

  • Greeting cards with a buy print…

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Catherine’s Comments–Age Doesn’t Matter by Catherine Castle

Catherine Castle

I got a text from my daughter the other day. It read, “You’re kind of like Laura Ingalls Wilder. She didn’t get published until 65.”

I took a bit of umbrage to that statement, and pulled a bit of pride from it as well. I’d love to be an internationally well-known writer like Laura Ingalls Wilder, who was one of my favorite authors –as well as my daughter’s favorite author, now and when she was young. I wasn’t so crazy about the 65 bit, however. I was under 65 when my first book was published, and well under 65 in how-young-you-feel-and-look years. (And isn’t that what really counts?)

However, my daughter’s statement got me to thinking about how our accomplishments aren’t limited to age. I was actually in my early 40s when I began writing professionally as a stringer for our local town newspaper. I’d always loved to write and…

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A Writer’s Garden–Garden Surprises of the Insect and Flower Variety by Catherine Castle

Catherine Castle

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 post closes this year’s season of A Writer’s Garden blog series. I hope you’ve all enjoyed your visits and mini garden parties as you’ve virtually strolled through the gardens of 27 wonderful writers and gardeners. I know I’ve enjoyed the writers’ visits and we’ve all enjoyed sharing our garden joys, trials and surprises with our readers this year.

And speaking of surprises I thought I’d end the season with a few of the garden surprises I got this year—of the creature kind as well as plants.

To get the icky factor over for those gardeners who don’t like insects, I’ll start with them.

I should have known this would be an unusual garden year when I pulled my garden…

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A Writer’s Garden–Bringing in Fall by Emma Lane

Catherine Castle

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 Emma Lane. Since summer is almost gone and fall is upon us, Emma will be showing us how to extend our flower season using autumn’s bounty. Welcome, Emma.

But don’t be disgruntled. Bring the outside in with a Fall bouquet. Not sure how, then let me help you. Here are a few tips to help make it easier.

Native and ornamental grasses: What fun to gather them on one of those perfect Fall days when the skies are vivid blue, a soft breeze tumbles your hair, and tick seed clings to your jeans. Best to do your hunt and gathering just before the leaves are all off the trees. Anything interesting is fair game, but do…

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Tasty Tuesdays–It’s Apple Time from Emma Lane

Catherine Castle

from Emma Lane

Photo by Fidel Fernando on Unsplash

Such a gorgeous fruit. Fruit bowl on the dining room table lends a nice fragrance to the room; apple bobbing and caramel apples are for Halloween. Did your mom ever make fresh apple sauce? Nothing like the stuff they sell in the grocery store, is it? At my little Herbtique Shoppe here in Western NY, we sell Gourmet Chunky Rum Apple Sauce. The recipe is a state secret, but here are some hints to make the most of this delicious fruit.

Select both soft and firm apples, ie Courtland is soft, Greenings are firm. One will cook down first leaving the other ‘chunky’. Stir frequently. Burned apples are not delicious and the soft ones cook rapidly.

To peel or not to peel: We leave the peel on at home. Commercially we don’t. Both are good. Taste before you add sugar…

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