Welcome Spring!

First, it’s been a very long gap on the blog due to reasons. But we’re back!

There’s been a whole bunch going on in the last week or so, and I hope you’ll read the previous blog and consider a donation to EveryLibrary Institute, an organization that fights book banning and library defunding. I can’t stress enough how important I consider this fight for the freedom to read what you choose. And to keep libraries open and thriving.

This isn’t just about my books, and I joined this fight awhile ago. It’s about LGBTQ readers having the right to access books that tell stories with characters who deal with the issues they deal with—and YES, this includes teens. Maybe especially. It’s about books that deal with Black history and the experiences of people of color. It’s about attacking librarians and refusing to let them do the work they’re trained to do. It’s about the right to read what we like without having one person’s opinions and feelings outweigh that right.

As lovers of books, this is your fight, too. Donate. If you can’t, spread the word. You’re on social media or you wouldn’t be reading this. Use social media to stand against the bullies and bigots, and the misinformed.

Now for something happy!

A couple weeks ago, BW and I prepped the garden beds. Prepping included digging out ten million Black-Eyed Susans. I enjoy Susies, but they tend to spread insanely and take over. So we dug, and we dug, and we transplanted where we wanted them to stay.

The happy for me is this cleared more space. So I could get more plants!

And last Friday, I took off work and we headed to our fabulous garden center, Sunny Meadows. It’s so wonderful there, so pleasant, so beautiful. So many pretties, so well tended, to choose from.

We filled the bed of the truck, and then some.

All the flowers. Photo by BW.

Then, more fun! I spent considerable time setting out, shifting, looking over, changing my mind, setting elsewhere until I had what I wanted.

Now dig!

We spent the whole day doing just that. A gorgeous day, a laborious day, a very, very satisfying day. How I love taking a walk after and seeing the color, the textures, the possibilities.

They didn’t have my precious nasturtiums, but they had seeds! Now I wait for them to start popping up.

They called for rain, and as I’m planting, I ask the Higher Power to just give me more time. Just a little more. Can I have another hour?

And minutes after the job is done, the rain comes. So perfect, and now all the new plants get a good drink!

Saturday, I started on pots. I really didn’t realize I had so many I wanted to fill.

33. 33 pots to fill. What fun!

About the time I finished, Jason, Kat and Griffin drive up. Oh, so much more fun.

Kat tells me that earlier in the week there was a day without school. What shall we do? Griffin says—holding up a finger: I know! Nana’s house.

Can you imagine how delighted that makes me?

We play many games, have many chases. Colt’s here, and Griffin insists he join in. Colt is the very best of cousins.

A happy family weekend, start to finish.

The week’s been work-focused. We’re going back to the Derby next week for the first time in three years, and I’ll be so glad to see our Derby family again. But that means nose to the grindstone.

At least until the book banning bullshit happens. But I deal with that because it’s so very important.

Today, I’m making a pot roast with all the trimmings. I deal with the majority of packing for Derby—and that takes time and thought! But I want that mostly done so I can go nose to the grindstone until we leave on Thursday.

It’s cooler and rainy off and on today, so I may not get my walk-about outside. But it’s good for the new plants, so I’ll take it.

I hope spring’s treating you well, and if you don’t or can’t plant flowers, you can enjoy what others have. And that you can spend some of this weekend reading a book of your choice.


44 thoughts on “Welcome Spring!”

  1. What a wonderful, wonderful blog post and a wonderful way to start my day!! And I will definitely donate to EveryLibrary Institute. Thank you so much for starting my day on a bright note!

  2. Just love looking at your flowers and garden
    I made my donation to every library
    All Books should be available to everyone with their choice whether to read or not
    Thank you for the photos
    Enjoy the derby

  3. Thank you for the blog. I’m a reader and as important, a gardener so I always look forward to your blogs on your gardening adventures. I too was able to get some clean-up done and plant a little, herbs so far, it’s a bit cool in southern New Hampshire to go nuts yet. So seeing yours gives me inspiration for what’s to come.
    And, of course, the next book. Pre-ordered so I know what I will be reading next week.

  4. One of my favorite subjects is hearing about, and seeing all your gardening photos…everything here in Maryland is so lush and green right now, and your photos are so vivid. Happy writing, gardening and your Derby reunion!

  5. Thank you for the blog. I’m itching to get to work in my yard… but winter just finished with us and we hopped into early summer weather. Next week looks better for planting slightly lower temps and a little rain in the forecast. Thank you thank you for your support of libraries and reading. Will donate to every library. Reading is one of the most important things a person can do, for and and knowledge. So thank you again for more than 30 years or reading your work. Enjoy your family and your beautiful garden.!

  6. Thank you for posting your thoughts and info about book banning and the importance of libraries, it means ALOT!
    Loved your flower pots and the archer fairies, just beautiful!
    And please post a Derby recap, I just love those! Have a fabulous time!

  7. Thank you, Nora, for always doing the right thing. How dare one woman make parenting choices for hundreds of parent. This is so wrong. If that one woman didn’t want her child to read certain books, that is her right, but it is NOT her right to make that decision for others.

    Your flowers will look gorgeous again this year! And have a safe and great time at the Derby.

  8. I love your gardens, Nora, and your family time. And thankyou for reminding us all about supporting public libraries! It’s a little too early to plant much in the High Country of NC, but my daughter and I are headed to out favorite nursery next weekend to start acquiring plants for this year. Yesterday we trimmed back the forsythia and weeded and mulched around my azaleas and creeping phlox. Time to get the veggie prepped too. Today it’s raining, so I plan to crochet and listen to some podcasts and audiobooks.

  9. We’ve just had our 1st two sunny days here in the Pacific NW. My body is so sore after 2 days of yard work. I absolutely love it. Starting our vegetable garden in a couple of weeks.
    Reading a really good book right now called Bluebird, by Sharon Cameron.

    1. I love your garden! The archer fairy! The dragon! Huge sigh.
      That said, I made my donation because how dare they decide what anyone else’s child can read?
      My daughter just posted about the enormous haul of books she aquired at her favorite independent book store. Made me so proud. The fact that she and my grandbabies can, and do, read any book they want makes me happy and proud.
      The fact that because of some prissy, hypocritical types other people’s children are denied the freedom to choose, ticks me off.
      Yes, I donated. Because they pissed me off. Because I want everyone to have books. Of their choice. Not any one else’s.

  10. Love your gardens. You do such a great job. All my planting is done and I have been enjoying all the color again. I love my library and everyone should have the right to read the book of their choice and no one should be able to stop that from happening. Too much of that going on. Will definitely donate.

  11. Thank-you for speaking truths to the obscene hate in this country today. You are a shining light and I appreciate all you do to fight against bigotry of all kinds.

  12. Your truck looks like.a meadow in spring. Thanks for all you’re doing for Every Library. I am so furious that books are being banned everywhere, especially in school libraries. I can’t believe that a high school banned your books as porn. I am so sorry. Keep fighting.

  13. Love your posts about gardening, although I have a black thumb. Truly, I do. I depend on perennials to provide color in my yard. I gave up on annuals in boxes and planters when we began traveling to see our grandchildren and had no one to water the flowers.

    Rule of thumb for zone 6 (south central Kentucky) is to wait until after Derby to plant annuals to avoid a late frost. That applies to the Louisville area, but I have always adhered to that. Actually, waiting until Mother’s Day weekend is better. My daughter and her family live in Odenton, outside Baltimore, and they are in the same zone as Louisville. Not sure where you live in Maryland though.

    Nora, here is your early forecast for Derby weekend. Both Friday (the Oaks) and Saturday (Derby) show low 70s with only a slight chance of rain. That could change. Most Derbies I remember have been cool and rainy, but every so often, we have really pretty weather.

  14. Thank you for sharing your garden with us, Nora! I love seeing it every year. I enjoy not only the plants, but the statues and whimsies too.
    I’m happy you had that joyful family time, especially Griffin’s lovely choice of Nana’s house. 😊
    I’m sorry you and other authors have to fight the good fight against the ridiculous book banning happening in the US. I’m hoping it won’t make its way across the border into Canada. Kudos to each of you fighting this battle. Wishing you all the success!
    Enjoy your return to the Derby and your reunion worh your Derby family.

  15. I wonder if those so eagerly banning books have actually read Those books. Odds are no!! My mother was a middle school media specialist for 28 years. I will be making a donation very soon. Thank you for your books and all your good work!!

  16. Oh my! That last photo with the fairy? is so lovely.
    Love all the plantings. Can’t do that myself so I love looking at yours. What did you put in the large washtub? We have one just like it.
    Enjoy the Derby. I’ll be watching on TV. Can’t wait to see your photos…especially your hat.

    1. I filled the washtub with annual vinca. I’m hoping it puts on a show!

  17. Donated and shared on FB—in disbelief that this is a thing. Love the garden pictures. In Colorado, the rule is not to plant until Mothers Day. And, as we occasionally get snow on Mothers Day, I wait for Memorial Day, because there’s nothing worse than having to lug all the containers to the garage when Mother Nature is having a bad day. I end up with 55 containers to put here and there. They make such a difference and are a great way to enjoy the annuals. My perennials are popping up and it’s so good to see—know exactly what you mean about the Susie’s. I have some work to do there. Enjoy your flowers and the Derby!

  18. When I was in college in the 70’s and 80’s, I saw a list of books that had been banned in various states. I decided to read each one to see why. (Some I couldn’t imagine why??) Will be donating.
    Your gardens look beautiful this year 💖 And glad to hear about your helpers. 😃

  19. The library is my candy store, I can’t imagine what I would do without it. I will definitely donate. Thank you for all you do for us Nora. Your gardens are beautiful.

  20. As a librarian I can’t thank you enough for your advocacy. Despite efforts by educators and librarians, my state just passed new restrictions for what school libraries may offer under the guise of “protecting children from materials harmful to minors” (the initial version applied to public libraries as well) with criminal prosecution as penalty. You can imagine the chilling affect on school boards and superintendents who won’t want anything the least bit controversial on the shelf to provoke a challenge.

  21. Thank you so much for posting your latest garden . Here in Rochester, NY it is still chilly and rainy. Hopefully we can get planting soon. The garage is filling up with purchases! I so enjoy your gardens and various statues. I myself, am obsessed with gazing balls – 8 and counting. Enjoy the Derby. I am going to a Derby party and have a new fasinater for the occasion. Looking forward to pictures of yours. Libraries are the window to the world of wonder for everyone and I support them in any way I can.

  22. Loved every bit of this post, even the part about banning books, because we can take action against such bullying and bigotry, in a myriad of ways. Hallelujah! I’d add, vote for folks who believe in democracy.
    Love not only the flowers but the beautiful decor and figurines. Thank you! Looking forward to seeing what you’re wearing to the derby. Do you have a favorite horse?
    Stephanie H

    1. No favorite horse yet–but if there’s a gray in the field, I’ll put some money on him.

  23. Do you wash you pots every season before planting in them again.
    Your garden is always so lovely.
    I don’t support book banning or taking books out of libraries, and applaud your fight.
    Thank you for all your hard work on the books you write and that I love to read.

  24. I stayed at Inn Boonsboro this weekend and stopped by Turn the Page. I bought all your banned books. I’m going to put up a little free library in my front yard and fill it with band books. I will make a donation too. Everyone should have the right to read whatever books they want. Happy Spring Nora. Keep being awesome.

    1. Thanks! This means a lot. Hope you enjoyed your stay at the inn, and your time in Boonsboro.

  25. Thank you for letting us know about this charity. I just contributed.

  26. In southern Colorado, it’s usually pretty dry, but you still didn’t put plants out until Mother’s Day, and even that can be begging for trouble. Memorial Day is less chancy, yet one year I lost everything to a hailstorm five days after that. About a week ago we got 4-1/2 inches of rain in about 30 hours. Springtime in the Rockies can have it’s moments. This year, that’s times ten! I’ve got starters everywhere indoors. Reading about your adventure to the plant shop has me nearly smelling the columbine and phlox I’m looking forward to. Thank you for sharing your fun. Take care and have fun at the Derby. I donated to Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library. I remember going to the library with my mom every weekend. I had my own library card, and since mom had two toddlers to wrangle, I had free reign in the children’s section. Good memories.

  27. Hi Nora both activities I adore! Reading takes me out of my headspace as does gardening and boy are they both satisfying. I love my garden and also love my pots. Our Acer tree is looking a bit sad and we’re not sure why? Will investigate! It’s Baltane Blessings today apparently and I’ve learned its the time between spring equinox and summer solstice-hope I’ve got that right as it’s May 1st and UK Bank Holiday!

  28. I don’t believe in book banning either… Your garden looks amazing!
    One thing I’ve been having a hard time with is hearing that some books are being edited because of pronoun use… or re-issued with changes… I guess I struggle with that and wonder how authors feel about it? Not being political here…just not understanding the need to do this?
    In any case, Have a great time at the Derby!

    1. I haven’t heard anything like that, and I’d think I would. Are you sure this is a reliable source? Often people say or claim things on social media that just aren’t true.

      1. Hi Nora,
        It was probably on facebook…I’m not on often.., and I just remembered thinking…What???. I just googled it to try and give an example and nothing comes up….Just Wow… I feel a little silly that I believed it.. I know if it was happening, you’d know about it….. Thanks for clearing this up. I thought it was crazy when I read it, and now I know its fake and am glad it is …Thanks again, Nora.

        Btw Tapit Trice is a gray horse and one of the favorites for the Derby! Good Luck & have fun!

        1. Not sure about the rest of the world but in the UK Puffin have rewritten some of Roald Dahls books removing language that they feel is offensive.
          It’s been in all the main newspapers and even Queen Camilla has got involved and spoke out expressing her dismay.

      2. Google the latest on Roald Dahls books. What a shame to mess with these classics.

  29. I love looking at your garden every year. So much work but a lovely feeling when it’s all planted. Friday I’m getting my few plants to pot. I just have a small space so it’s planters on my patio but it feels good to look at them.

  30. LOVE the gardens!!! I need to get out to mine but spring JUST came to the PNW. I am so sorry you have books that are banned…I can’t imagine and yes, I DO fight and give and protest. Hang in there and have a fun time at the Derby!

  31. Thanks for this preview of Spring, and of your encouragement to defend libraries. I am in Colorado so we haven’t had our last freeze yet. But I have little seeds popping up inside.

    Enjoy the Derby!

  32. Love your post! Love your garden! I always read what I want. I don’t understand people who condemn books without reading them. I once read a male adult western because I was curious – definitely not my cup of tea. Enjoy the Derby!

  33. You have such a beautiful and inspiring garden. This year I’m attempting to do lots of containers. I’m in an apartment. I have window boxes on the porch railing- lettuce, green onions and flowers from.seeds. added a few small flowers. Got a tomato grown for it’s container. Even tho it has gone in and got to miss the cold, it is now back in front of my door with lots of flowers and three tomatoes about half a dollar size. My peas have been a flop. Planted on St. Patrick’s day but they are still only an inch tall. Time to replant. Going to try some zucchini in a window box.
    Libraries are invaluable and I fully support. Horrifying to hear of book bans and all the other ridiculous bans that are tried. Except of course the most needed against guns..
    Enjoy your wonderful garden
    I so enjoy your writing and all the wonderful characters. Thank you

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