This week I’m joined by great friend, Carol Thomas as she tells us what she loves about her garden. Carol and I share the same publisher Choc Lit/Ruby and are both members of the Apricot Plots writer’s group. Her novel, A Summer of Second Chances is now available for Kindle, in paperback and shortly as an audiobook. I’m thoroughly enjoying reading it at the moment. Over to Carol …
Thank you for having me on your blog, Morton, to share what I love about my garden.
To any gardening expert, my garden would appear unloved. I have Laylandi trees that are out of control, at around thirty foot high. I had the flower borders and vegetable patch removed when I moved in eighteen years ago and had the entire garden laid to lawn except for the patio that is surrounded by a four-foot metal fence with a gate (that keeps the dogs off the grass when it is too wet and muddy).
I am not painting a very pretty picture, am I? So what do I love about my garden? I love the fact it is so versatile. I am not precious about it; it is to be enjoyed. Since moving into this house, my two original Labradors have grown old and passed away, I have had and raised three of my four children (the eldest was already a teenager when we moved in), and I have gained a Labrador puppy and two adorable grandchildren.
All of my dogs have loved the garden. It is big enough for them to run around in, to play fetch and hide and seek with a ball. We have resident frogs – I think left from the fact the house was built where a marsh used to be, call me Princess Fiona – and hedgehogs who use our garden as a walkthrough. Due to the trees, we have nesting pigeons and many smaller visiting birds. We also have in door guinea pigs (who live in our lounge) that also enjoy a garden adventure occasionally.
My children have gone through phases of what they enjoy in the garden, owning at various times: a sandpit, different paddling pools, a trampoline, slide and so forth. Football and swingball remain favourites as we all play them together, and a basketball hoop is a recent addition. They enjoy the garden, no matter what the weather.
Two years ago, my teenage daughter celebrated her birthday by having friends round to camp in the garden. It was great. They sorted everything themselves, including putting up and taking down the tent. I’m not sure how much sleep they got but they all had fun.
And last year, during the first lockdown, my son began growing vegetables. We had successful crops of lettuce, potatoes, tomatoes, cucumbers and broccoli. The pumpkins were eaten before they grew larger than a tennis ball (the bite marks suggested they had been enjoyed by the hedgehogs or a critter of similar size).
During the lockdown periods, I know how lucky we have been to have this space. When we were allowed to meet in gardens, our eldest daughter, husband, and children came to play. It was wonderful with my son playing the guitar and my youngest daughter setting up an obstacle course for us all to do.
I know it is not the prettiest garden, but it is low maintenance – if you ignore the trees as we clearly have 😉 and has provided a whole lot of fun and laughter over the years. Now the children are getting older, I would love to have a writing room out there and to have a wild area – encouraging more animals and insects to take up residence. I’ve attempted to plant wildflowers with little success. I have a few bluebells but I think they have always been there. My nan was green-fingered and used to have the most spectacular garden (before this house, she used to do my garden too). I think my sister got those genes instead of me, but I will persevere, and who knows, maybe I’ll pop back one day to share my success.
(What lovely pictures! I adore how proud Edward looks of his plants Mxx)
About A Summer of Second Chances
A heart-warming romance full of love, friendship and four legged friends!
Does first love deserve a second chance?
Ava Flynn sometimes feels like the clothes donated to her charity shop have seen more life than her, but ‘maximum dedication for a minimal wage’ is what it takes to keep her mother’s beloved wildlife charity, All Critters Great and Small, running especially in the village of Dapplebury, where business is certainly not booming.
But when Ava’s first love, Henry Bramlington, returns to the village, suddenly life becomes a little too eventful. Henry escaped Dapplebury many years before, but now he has the power to make or break the village he left behind All Critters Great and Small included. Can Ava trust the boy who ran away to give both her and her charity a second chance?
Genre: Romantic Comedy
Published by: Choc Lit
Choc Lit: https://www.choc-lit.com/dd-product/a-summer-of-second-chances/
Other Books by Carol Thomas:
Maybe Baby: http://getbook.at/MBAmazon
The Purrfect Pet Sitter: http://getbook.at/TPPSAmazon
Crazy Over You: http://getbook.at/COYAmazon
About Carol Thomas
Carol Thomas lives on the south coast of England with her husband, four children and lively Labrador. She has been a primary school teacher for over twenty years and has a passion for reading, writing and people watching. When she is not in school, chasing after her children, or stopping her dog from eating things he shouldn’t, she can be found loitering in cafes drinking too much tea and working on her next book.
Website and Social Media Links:
Website : http://carol-thomas.co.uk
Facebook Author Page : http://facebook.com/carolthomasauthor
Twitter : http://twitter.com/carol_thomas2
Pinterest : https://www.pinterest.co.uk/carol_thomas2/
Instagram : https://www.instagram.com/carol_thomas2/
Blog : http://carol-thomas.co.uk/blog
Thank you so much for joining me on my blog, Carol and making me and hopefully other readers smile with your active garden and lovely family.
Thank you for visiting my blog – Morton S. Gray – Author. I hope you enjoyed this post. You can also find me on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Summer at Lucerne Lodge was published as an eBook on 20 April 2021 – Amazon Check on my Choc Lit author page for other options here
International Bestseller Christmas at the Little Beach Cafe published as an eBook, audio and paperback – Amazon Kindle, Apple iBooks, Kobo, Nook Books, Google Play and Choc Lit for other options.
Bestseller Sunny Days at the Beach is now available as an eBook, audio and paperback – Amazon Kindle, Apple iBooks, Kobo, Nook Books, Google Play and at Choc Lit for other options.
Christmas at Borteen Bay is available as both an eBook and audio download – Amazon Kindle, Audio, Apple iBooks, Kobo and Choc Lit for other buying options.
The Truth Lies Buried is available from all eBook platforms – Choc Lit, Amazon Kindle, Kobo, Apple iBooks and also as a paperback and audiobook.
The Girl on the Beach published by Choc Lit is available as a paperback and from all eBook platforms –Amazon Kindle, Apple iBooks, Kobo, Barnes and Noble and Google Play.
Thank you so much for having me on your lovely blog, Morton, and for inviting me to chat about something a little different. I do love Edward’s proud face too. Our potatoes are in at the moment and he is waiting for some shoots to appear!
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Our tomatoes and chillies are being nurtured in the dining room!
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What I love so much about this post is the love for family that shines through. Dogs are part of your family, unmistakably, Carol. I can hear the fun in these sentences and love that you are so full of appreciation for what you have. Thanks for sharing. Just as a dog is not just for Christmas, but for life – so are our gardens – and they have to fit in with what we want them for.
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Nice comment from you too 💝
Thank you for reading and for the lovely comments, Angela. xx
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What a wonderful post, Carol, and you come across as a brilliant Mum – to children, dogs, hedgehogs and more. Do you have any visiting foxes too? We have now acquired two, nicknamed Topaz and Jasper, who come up the front garden path every night for their egg and other delicacies. Re wildflowers, poppies are easy to grow, ditto foxgloves. I always try and get seed pods when I see flowers I like and then attempt to grow them on, with varying success. Good luck and keep gardening (and writing, please!)
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Thank you for commenting! I just love the pictures in this post 😀
Thank you for the lovely comments and the wildflower recommendations, Patricia. I get foxes in my front garden occasionally but not in the back (that I see). I love the name Jasper – it is one we considered for Hubble. xx
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