Saturday, October 20, 2018

Mums the Word

by Lilly Jayne
from Pruning the Dead, the first in the Garden Squad series by Julia Henry

PRUNING THE DEAD cover with a picture of mumsI love my gardens. Some might say I'm obsessed with them, but I disagree. Planning, tilling, pruning, weeding and enjoying are my form of therapy. They calm me down, and help me focus when I'm mulling something or the other. My gardens suffered from benign neglect while my husband Alan was dying, but so did the rest of my life. The next spring they welcomed me back, and helped me through my grief.
My housemate, and my late husband's former grad assistant, Delia Greenway helps in the garden, but I know my style of gardening bothers her. Delia likes order, straight lines, and a process. My garden has many sections. Frequently I'll include a piece of art as part of them. There isn't a straight line in my entire backyard.
The front of my house, however? That's Delia's territory. Perfectly pruned hedges, our small patch of grass manicured, bushes balanced on either side of the front door.
The one area Delia and I agree? The marvel of mums.
I love these pops of color that are the last gasp before winter. I have several large pots that we haul out every fall to plant and decorate for the season. If we're lucky, very lucky, they may last until Thanksgiving, but here in New England we aren't usually that lucky.
Delia tells me that my gardens are the talk of Goosebush. I don't mind that, actually. Better my gardens than some of the other goings on in our small town.
Julia Henry writes the Garden Squad series which debuts in January 2019. Pruning the Dead is available for pre-order now!


  1. I love gardens! I don't get to garden as much as I had done, yet just looking at a single flower stirs my heart!
    This is going to be a lovely series and I am looking forward to reading the first book in the midst of winter.

  2. I have a large garden in my yard, made up of perennials since it's harder for me to work in it. Mums definitely bring a joy to the fall season. Looking forward to this new series.

  3. I've had gardens in the past and I love them. However, we moved last year and now it's very hard but I keep trying. You see we moved to Stone County and it's got it's name apparently for very apparent reasons. Seems there is more rock and stone to the ground than any form or soil. I've been able to dig out and create a few little spots but most now are in pots