I do have interests other than writing mysteries. Now that I golf three days a week, you’d think my handicap would be in the single digits, but it isn’t. I am involved in our ladies’ groups and organize our club newsletter.
For years I had a black thumb. Couldn’t even get an air fern to live. But here in South Carolina after joining a garden club, I’m finding plants are taking a liking to me. Zone 8 is a lot different from Zone 5 where I lived in Illinois and Indiana. For one thing, some plants that were annuals up north are perennials down here. Encore azaleas bloom three times a year. Camellias smell heavenly and bloom in the fall, although some versions are spring bloomers. Curcumas die back in the winter and come right back in the summer. I even have two Meyer lemon shrubs, one potted and one in the ground. Still waiting for lemons, though.
My latest endeavor is plumeria, also known as frangipani. These are shrubs/trees (can grow over 12 feet) whose blossoms are used to make leis in Hawaii. Mine are potted since it will keep the size manageable. They can be grown in the ground but since they don’t like temps below 50 degrees, they would have to be dug up. They go dormant in the winter and can be kept in the garage or attic until spring. I started by purchasing cuttings online and rooted them. After six weeks they started sprouting leaves. I shared two of them with the garden club and planted the remaining three in their own pots.
And then there are orchids. Yes, they do try one’s patience. Cattleya, Dendrobium, Phalaenopsis, and one called Darth Vader (an Aristolochia) are those on my floral bench. Brassavola is my newest and very fragrant. Mine is known as Lady of the Night because after 6:00 p.m. it gives off this wonderful fragrance. It blooms in December.
Naturally, I haven’t been successful in getting all of these to re-bloom, but I keep trying!
When we first visited South Carolina, I saw my first Crepe Myrtle. These trees come in all sizes and colors. Mine is lavender and blooms from June until fall.
As described in BURIED SECRETS, which is set here, there’s nothing more beautiful than driving down a narrow road under oak trees draped in Spanish moss. The trees seem to throw a protective arm around those venturing down these southern roads.
Enjoy your hobbies, whatever they may be!