Thursday, March 31, 2016

Celebrate Spring with a Free Book!

by Cheryl Brooks

I went out with my camera on Easter Sunday to take a few pictures of one of the prettiest displays of flowering trees in my back yard in recent years.

In the foreground is a tulip magnolia, which is a purple, later-blooming variety than the pink ones that get really big, but also tend to get blasted by a late freeze. On the right is my only surviving nectarine tree. No matter how much I spray it,  the fruit always rots, but the blossoms are gorgeous!


I picked a few flowers for the table for our Easter dinner and took a picture of them before bringing them inside.


This next picture represents my 2016 springtime success story. For the past two years, the weeping cherry that I planted about 25 years ago has been suffering from a fungal infection that causes brown spots on the leaves in late summer, after which the leaves turn yellow and fall prematurely. Needless to say, when springtime rolled around, I hardly saw any blooms at all. Summer before last, I decided to take action. Since tree surgeons wouldn't come to my house (yeah, I live out in the middle of nowhere), I tried spraying, which didn't help a bit. Then last summer, I used a rose fertilizer that contained a systemic fungicide. While I wouldn't use it on anything that actually bears fruit, this weeping cherry is purely ornamental, so I figured I would be safe using it. I sprinkled the granules along the drip line twice last summer, and this spring, the tree surpassed all expectations. You can bet I'll be doing the same thing again this year!


My son and his girlfriend came down for the weekend, and they wanted to dye Easter eggs. I boiled the eggs and they took over from there. Using concentrated dye and toothpicks, they created some designs that were almost too pretty to eat!


On Monday morning, my UPS man delivered this wonderful box of goodies. If anything could beat flowers and Easter eggs, this would be it! I've been waiting for these even longer than I've been waiting on spring!


What do you say we give away a signed copy? Post a comment below or use the Rafflecopter for your chance to win! US residents only, please! Contest closes on April 1st at 4PM EDT.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

28 comments:

  1. Spring is so magical. I love watching the earth wake from its winter sleep. I like to sit outside and read while the critters are celebrating the end of winter.

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    1. I'm trying to keep the critters at bay by putting up deer netting. On any given evening, there might be ten to fifteen deer in my back yard, eating anything they can find. They seem especially fond of my roses!

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  2. LOL! I live in Florida and we jumped right into summer... It's hot already! One day we were in the 50s and the next we were in the 80s. I'm glad that we can put away our blankets!

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    1. I haven't put away the blankets and flannel sheets yet. Our spring keeps slipping back into winter!

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  3. What gorgeous pictures! I have been wondering what that type of tree (tulip magnolia) is called. There are a couple in my neighborhood, and they're so pretty.

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  4. Spring has always been my favorite season. Green and warmth after a miserable winter is always welcomed. I even planned both my daughter's births for spring and it worked lol. Love your pics.

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  5. I love spring. I love seeing the snow melt and everything start to turn green. I love seeing the flowers bloom and the birds to start chirping. I also love the weather. Not too hot or jot too cold. Plus now I get to sit outside in the sun and read my book.

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    1. I've tried going out on the deck to read (or write!) but I always get distracted by something that needs to be weeded or pruned or mowed!

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  6. New life...flowers, birds, warm weather.

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  7. I am looking forward to the beautiful flowers. I also love the trees coming back to life. The forsynthia bushes in my area are so pretty so far this spring!

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    1. I have one forsythia bush that I dug up and dumped on the edge of the woods because it never bloomed. Now it's blooming like crazy!

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  8. I'm so glad we seem to be done with the snow - I hope the cold is over too so I can put the coats away!

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    1. I have a stack of barn coats by the door, one for almost every kind of weather. Will be glad to put them away too!

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  9. The end of winter! The bloom of flowers, the rebirth of wild vegetation, kids running on the street. Yep, done with winter ;)

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  10. You've made your "middle of nowhere" quite a beautiful destination! Your tree guy doesn't know what he's missing, lol. Great to hear about the success with the weeping cherry...enjoy <3 Thanks for the giveaway and the hours of delightful reading :-)

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    1. You're welcome, Glittergirl!
      The weeping cherry is already beginning to fade, but you should see the nectarine tree now. It's gorgeous!

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  11. I love spring!!

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  12. Well, that was a lovely spring visit--it's 44 degrees as I read it! The pics are wonderful, and I'm with you on loving those boxes of books!

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    1. Yeah. Spring is being kinda shy this year!

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  13. I love the gorgeous blooms you shared with us. I'm especially happy about your success with the weeping cherry. I need to read some more of your books, and this new cowboy one might be a good choice. I think reading your work improves my own. It helps me look with wider eyes.

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    1. Thanks, Claudia! I'll have some books with me next Saturday!

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