Monday, September 09, 2013

Spring my way—Kandy Shepherd

We’ve had a record-breaking warm winter in my part of Down Under and are basking in summer-like spring conditions.

We usually don't see this flowering plum quite so early

The plants in my farm garden are totally confused—they’re blooming a full two weeks before they’re meant to.

This gnarled plum tree is more than 60 years old and produces the most delicious plums

The pictures I’m sharing here were taken three weeks ago, when the daffodils were still meant to be in bud and the fruit tree blossoms just pale swellings on the branches. 

This iris is blooming weeks earlier than it did last year

Usually there isn’t a tulip in sight at this time of year but they’re about to open and there are rosebuds on the just-pruned rose bushes. (While many parts of Australia don’t have a very cold winter, our little farm is in the mountains and we get heavy frosts and the occasional flurry of snow—not this year, though.)

Our daffodils are early this year--I love the way they just keep flowering year after year

 The vegetables, too, are starting to thrive. Last summer I left a few lettuces to go to seed. Lots of tiny green seedlings resulted and now they’re growing into lush lettuces so fast I’ve actually harvested my first (small) salad.

These lettuces are from a plant I left to self-seed--how nice to get free seedlings!

The snow peas (mangetout) I planted in autumn are now climbing up their supports—fingers crossed for the treat of fresh snow peas come late spring.

It won't be long until we'll be enjoying cabbages

Spring is my favorite season in my garden, though I’ve tried to plant carefully so we have flowers all year round.

Nature provides these lovely wattle blossoms in the bushland part of my farm garden

I particularly love daffodils as when I was pregnant with my daughter I planted lots of daffodils. As I buried those nondescript brown bulbs, I wondered what my baby would be like and counted the months until I would meet her (or him!) knowing by the time the daffodils were in bloom she would be born. The joyous day we brought her home, she was greeted by a garden bed of yellow daffodils.

Jonquils have been blooming for weeks and filling the garden with their glorious scent

The whole upside-down thing of the hemispheres can be confusing to humans, too. Last week I left my spring garden behind and am currently enjoying autumn as I visit England. Sometimes I have to catch myself and re-orientate myself to the season!

I found this little violet vase in a market--perfect for delicate violets

 I’m in England on a quick visit to catch up with friends and family. It’s the first time I’ve been here in 10 years and I’m so glad to be back. (My mother was Australian and my father English and I’ve always been torn between the two countries.)

When I get home it will be time for more planting!

I’d planned the trip before I sold my first book to Harlequin Mills & Boon UK. So now I have the added excitement of meeting my editor face-to-face for the first time and visiting “romance headquarters” at Richmond. I’ll also be meeting some of the Mills & Boons authors I know only online or through reading their wonderful romances. I’m so thrilled to be joining their ranks!

My first story for Harlequin Romance is titled The Summer They Never Forgot. It’s an emotional reunion story and will be out in January 2014. I’m eagerly awaiting the first glimpse of my cover…

Spring, summer, fall or winter—do you have a favorite season in your garden? Or a flower that holds special significance for you? Do you hate gardening but enjoy buying flowers—or being given them! Please leave a comment—I’d love to hear about it!

 Kandy Shepherd writes fun, feel-good fiction.

Her new contemporary women's fiction e-book, Reinventing Rose, is available now at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Apple, Kobo, Smashwords, and other e-book retailers. 

Kandy’s romances include the Amazon bestseller The Castaway Bride, Something About Joe, and the award-winners Love is a Four-Legged Word and Home Is Where the Bark Is.

Watch out for her The Summer They Never Forgot, her first release from Harlequin Romance in 2014.

Visit Kandy at her website


Mary Preston said...

We had a relatively warm Winter here in SE QLD too. No heavy coats came out this year. I fear this bodes ill for Summer.

I do love Autumn. That cool crisp air after the Summer heat is most welcome.

Karen H in NC said...

I'm in North Carolina and we had a relatively cool summer when compared to our normal temps. Hopefully our mild winters will remain mild for this season. Fall arrives late in this part of the US but leaves are starting to turn in Michigan, my home state.

Hope your early spring will not be surprised by a sudden return of winter weather and damage all those flowering trees and plants. That happened in Michigan in 2012 and it severely damaged the apple and cherry crops for the year.

Pat Cochran said...

Gorgeous flowers, I love irises! The only
things blooming in our yard right now are
the crepe myrtles.

Pat C.

Kandy Shepherd said...

Thank you, Mary, Karen and Pat for your comments. I just got back from England. It was a tad disconcerting to see all the late summer flowers and fruits when I'm just planting them here Down Under!