Perennials: A Picturesque Portrait

Breathes there anyone with a soul so dead,

Who would not admire a perennial bed?

Most of us start gardening too late in life. When we are young and sprightly, we have too many other interests. The middle years are taken up with furthering our careers and/or raising families, so that by the time we should be hitting our stride, our stride has turned into a totter; bones are creaking and backs are aching. The spirit might be willing, but the knees are weak. However, it’s never too late to start. Procrastinating about doing a project is like looking at a wheelbarrow; nothing will happen until we start pushing.

Planning a Large New Border:

Study the photos in gardening books then choose the layout and the plants you most admire within them. Like Agatha Christie’s Hercule Poirot, we must use the “little grey cells” in order to choose the best plants. Picture this large border as a stage and like Cecil B. de Mille you’ll soon be directing a cast of hundreds.


Roses are reddish,

Violets are bluish,

But they won’t grow in soil that’s glueish!

Gardening is 10% preparation and 90% perspiration; most of the latter comes from digging.

  1. Make sure the soil is soaked but not soggy.
  2. The tines of the fork should go in the full length. Large clumps should be broken up with the back of the fork or spade.
  3. Spread large amounts of compost, peat, and manure then dig again. The soil will become friable. (For a vivid example of this, read page 39 of Too Late for Regrets.)


Place the plants in the area where the holes are to be dug. Move them around until you’re happy with the result. Container plants bought from the nursery might have become rootbound; tease out some of the roots and spread them out before planting. Water thoroughly, and make sure that any weeds appearing are eradicated promptly.

Sun-Loving Perennials

  • Aurinia (Basket of Gold) – low growing, mid-spring
  • Rock Cress (Arabis) – showy racemes of pure white, late spring. Ideal for rock gardens.
  • Centranthus Ruber (Jupiter’s Beard) – has upright stems bearing fluffy clusters of pink flowers. 2 feet, needs staking.
  • Rudbeckia (Goldsturm) – Black-eyed Susan. Stunning orange flowers with a black center. Shasta daisy makes a spectacular splash of white, mid-summer.
  • Coreopsis (Tickseed) – “Early Sunrise,” “Sunray,” charming yellow flowers at the end of wiry stems, 1-2 feet
  • Heliopsis (Helianthus) – False sunflower, long blooming, 2-3 feet. Plant at rear.
  • Phlox Paniculata (Garden Phlox) – “Eva Cullum,” exquisite clusters of deep pink flowers on sturdy stems, stake. 2 feet, mid-late summer.
  • Aster Frikartii – lilac daisy-like flowers, late summer
Kniphofia (Red Hot Poker)

Kniphofia (Red Hot Poker)

Stacys 1.5 Feet, Upright Stems

Stacys 1.5 Feet, Upright Stems

Achillea (Yarrow) "Paprika"

Achillea (Yarrow) “Paprika”

Aster Novae-Angliae

Aster Novae-Angliae

Sandwort, Early Summer, Low Growing

Sandwort, Early Summer, Low Growing

A Well-Planned Perennial Bed

A Well-Planned Perennial Bed

Black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia)

Black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia)

Too Late for Regrets

Being an author and writing a book is much like being a gardener and tending to a garden. And you all know how much I enjoy my gardening.

Just like gardening begins with good soil preparation and the scattering of seeds, writing a book begins with a simple idea that is planted in the mind.

As long as the soil in the garden is fertile and full of nutrients, the seeds will begin to grow. As an author, I carry the idea for a book in my mind where I continually mull over it. I nurture the idea with thoughts of plots, characters and themes until I am finally ready to plant the ideas on a piece of paper – and that is when I begin typing.

Much like gardens thrive when showered with constant attention, including food, water and light, a book begins to grow from words into sentences, sentences into paragraphs, and paragraphs into chapters, until finally a novel is born.
In a garden, the first sighting of a sapling which has broken ground and transformed itself into a beautiful flower is a remarkable and magical experience.

Writing a novel requires much patience and belief in an idea whose time has finally come. It requires dedication as it is involves the investment of precious resources, such as time and energy, which appear to be in short supply for everyone these days.

But the rewards are great. When I sit in my garden under the shade of a tree, I delight in the beauty and simplicity of the flowers that surround me, the very seeds that have grown, developed and matured over time.

Much like now. It is with great joy that I sit back and watch as my novel, Too Late for Regrets, is brought to life.

Too Late for Regrets tells the story of Elizabeth, a beautiful woman, and Timothy, a handsome police officer, who meet in unlikely circumstances. Even though they are from two different worlds, fate brings them together and they embark on a journey of love and lifelong devotion. But as we all know, the path to true love is never smooth, and their love affair is marked by fateful decisions, mishaps and misunderstandings that alter their lives forever.

Humor and heartbreak, rapture and remorse, passion and perfidy – to paraphrase Bette Davis in the movie All About Eve, “Fasten your seat belts, it’s going to be an interesting, exciting and bumpy ride.”

I hope you will enjoy reading the book as much as I have enjoyed writing it. I wish you many happy hours of entertainment and I look forward to all your feedback and questions. The book is available in various formats including the print edition on and e-book versions on Kindle, Kobo, iBooks, and Nook.

Be sure to write a review as I always enjoy reading your insights and comments. I am also happy to send my readers an autographed note once you have ordered your copy online. Just email me a copy of your receipt of purchase and I’ll send you the personalized note.

Fasten your seat belts as you enter the world of Elizabeth and Timothy!