Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels

Green and Black Thumbs

Gardening and growing plants is in my blood. My mother, grandmother, aunts, uncle and cousins (all on my mom’s side of the family) were (and are) avid gardeners and houseplant enthusiasts. As a teenager, I used to propagate plants under grow lights in our basement then sell them at garage sales after they’d grown. I can’t imagine I made much money doing that, but it was fun and any cash when you were a teen was good money, right?

My husband’s father also loves plants, and has a solarium attached to his house. Every plant inside (and there are a lot!) go outside for the summer, which is quite an undertaking! While my hubby doesn’t share the same enthusiasm as his dad, he does believe in taking plants out of the house so they’ll grow as large as possible. Not always a good thing!  This huge cactus that he grew as a start from his father’s cactus finally got so giant, there’s no way it’s leaving its current spot. I wish I could show you the spectacle of my sons, my daughter’s boyfriend, and my husband wrestling this very heavy and prickly thing into the house last summer!

And this candelabra cactus is less than half the size of one we had that inexplicably died last year (both also from starts). At first I felt bad about the big one turning brown and going kaput, then remembered how many times I’d been vacuuming and got sharply stuck in the rear by the stupid thing as I bent over 🙂

Most of the plants live in this sunroom in the winter. The room feels pretty empty in the summer, as the furniture goes outside, too. But it’s a very pleasant room to write in when it’s cold outside and the sun is shining!

While many of the plants thrive, I have to admit to failures in addition to the big candelabra cactus, some of it through inadvertent neglect, and some for other reasons. My poor little cactus garden was ignored too long and most of them died, with only these few left. It used to be so cute! But this jade got moved outside too early last year and was zapped by frost, slowly dying bit by bit ever since. It’s a sad sight, isn’t it? Clearly time to say goodbye, especially as we have another large one that’s pretty healthy.

These beautiful phalaenopsis orchids are so easy to grow and love to bloom and bloom! Then there are the standards every house has to have – the long, trailing pothos.

How about you?  Green thumb or black, or somewhere in between? Do you have a favorite plant you like to grow?

By the way, I have a new release this month! It’s called BABY SURPRISE FOR THE DOCTOR PRINCE and it’s part of a duet with Amy Ruttan called Royal Spring Babies. I really like the North American and UK covers, but the Australian one? Not so much – the scruffy guy just doesn’t cut it as my handsome doctor prince, as far as I’m concerned! 😉 What do you think? Which do you like the best?

 

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12 thoughts on “Green and Black Thumbs”

  1. My mom and her mother were great gardeners. They always had large flower beds with peonies, lily of the valley, irises and day lilies, roses and a vegetable garden with table vegetables, rhubarb and mint. My grandmother also had a very small orchard with a couple each of apples, pears, cherries and plum trees, just enough for her family. When I bought my first house it had an established garden behind the garage, I felt bad the owners had to sell before they could enjoy that years crops. I kept it up for 2 years until we moved to Florida. Florida has a growing season all it’s own, and our soil is more like sand. I planted azaleas, hibiscus and crepe myrtles back in 92 and haven’t killed them yet. I grow a few tomatoes in a pot, and I have no indoor house plants, as the cats terrorized some of my original plants and I got tired of looking to see what was cat friendly, and tired of cleaning up the mess after they dug in them.

    1. Sounds like your mom and grandmother were just like mine, Laurie! There’s nothing as beautiful as a lush garden tended by someone who loves to take care of it. My dad was a fruit lover, and even though they had a small yard, there were always a few apple, cherry and pear trees. They also planted gooseberry bushes and current bushes, and my dad and brother loved to eat what I considered to be very sour fruit! 🙂

      I just recently learned about cats digging in potted plants! Our now 15-year-old cat never did that, but my son’s young cat is a terror! He technically doesn’t live here, but when my son is gone or busy, somehow the cat ends up spending many days in a row, and I finally had to try to cover a couple of pots he couldn’t resist digging in, which wasn’t easy!

  2. Robin,
    My thumbs are about like yours, green and black. I can’t grow a violet for love or money. I do have a small garden that does pretty well if I stay at home and take care of it. I have an number of plants, mostly green ones that I’ve had for years. They keep taking the beating I give them. Still I every spring I buy more plants hoping those will survive.

    1. I’m a believer in having plants that can take some neglect, Susan! 🙂 I laugh every time one of my poor holiday cactuses which might have received too little water for too long are gasping and struggling, throwing out massive numbers of blooms. I assume it’s because they think it’s their last chance 🙂

  3. Hi Robin

    Sadly I do not have green thumbs I have a few plants in the yard that tend to grow and look after themselves which is good these days I have no indoor plants although I did years ago but I couldn’t keep them growing so I gave up LOL I love your photos and bringing them inside and taking them out as the seasons change must be a task.

    I too prefer the US and English covers of your new book which is calling to me BTW and I can’t wait to fall into it

    Have Fun
    Helen

    1. So far, my daughter is like you, Helen, and not having much success with indoor plants in her apartment! She hasn’t given up yet, but may be headed that direction 🙂

      I hope you enjoy the book! Always appreciate your reading them xoxo

  4. Robin, those plants are lovely. Unfortunately I’m not good at house plants. My parents grew Dutch iris for a living – 5 acres of them and I always worked in the gardens as a teen. I wanted to join dad full time when I left school but mum made me take a year away first and I got training in medical science and never went back. These days I prefer growing vegetables, the end result of cooking what I’ve grown is fantastic.

    1. I remember, now, your talking about your parents’ Dutch iris business, Sue! That’s fascinating to me. I used to love to grow vegetables, but the deer have become such a problem, I’ve pretty much given up. Unless I’m willing to put up a tall fence, (which a few neighbors have) they devour everything. *sigh*

  5. lol Robin, without knowing anything about the hero or the story I was instantly attracted to the Australian cover, I was actually going to leave a comment about it before I realised you were asking for opinions. I think he looks gorgeously scruffy and its so colourful. But I understand what a bummer it is when we get covers we don’t like so hugs…..

    1. That makes me feel better, Amy! I guess the Australian cover artists know a thing or two about their audience, after all. 🙂 Thanks! xoxo

      1. I also think that the Aussie cover speaks about the sexiness of the relationship between the couple rather than putting emphasis on the product of that sexiness – the baby! 🙂 I think I’m always more drawn to covers that have couples on them because of the subliminal message about content.

  6. Crikey! Those cacti are terrifying! I grow roses. They are easy and you really don’t need a green thumb…just have to make sure they get water and mushroom compost and prune hard annually. Then they give and give.

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