The Southern Fall!

Just because we live in the south doesn’t mean we can’t celebrate fall too.


The thermometer may be saying 85° but in our hearts it says Fall! October is almost on the calendar and that means autumn and whether we admit it or not we really could use some of that cooler weather.

So maybe we can’t snuggle up in nice warm sweaters or put on some nice boots. A fire in the fireplace might be a bit over the top right now, but we can create little oasis of fall with some simple decorations using natural materials. Even though in my last blog I complained about the use of Mums, they do have a purpose for short-term usage especially for creating fall arrangements and vistas. Other Seasonal Plants are often brought into the garden centers at this time, such as Ornamental Kale, too. Adding in a few pumpkins & gourds, some corn stocks maybe even a discreet scarecrow or two and you’re on your way. A local feed store will be able to provide you with bales of hay and adding a few for broom sticks of cinnamon to your front entry; and you got a fall welcoming.


You can easily add in some creepy Crawley type of decorations to give it a Halloween feel or just keep it simple and fall-ish. Even if you don’t go with Mums, using summer annuals in that shades of fall colors will give you the same feeling. If you use a few ornamental grasses, they can give you the feeling of a field of wheat. Add in some preserve fall leaves around your display, and don’t for get to add some lighting to finish it off. Lanterns, strings of yellow or orange lights and of course the traditional Jack-o-Lanterns would be perfect to light up the front gardens and paths.


Even if you can’t physically lower the temperature, by putting together this little fall display, you’ve created a feeling of coolness. You have created an ambience that says “fall is here and I want to celebrate.” So get creative, bringing together your flowering colors of oranges, reds, and yellows.

Have some fun with fall with your fall decorating, it doesn’t matter if you’re from the north or the south!


Sleep? Not Me!

Pen In Hand, Words on Page

It’s happened again!

lost in thought

I’ve  caught myself staring off into space, not really paying attention to what’s going on around me as I formed the thoughts of the next scene of my book. I’m oblivious to what people are saying and doing. I’m sure every author has gone through this: that constant state of thinking ahead of what you want to write. Sometimes the make-believe world gets in the way the real world.

Have your ever had one of those nights where you just keep thinking of something over and over and over until finally nothing is going to solve the sleeplessness but to get out of bed, sit in front of the computer and write down what’s going on in your mind? And isn’t it amazing how once you’ve written that last word and click enter, you’re ready to go back to sleep with no problems? Your mind has released…

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Don’t Add to the Crime Wave!



If not a law, than at least a warning in big bold red letters for everyone to see. There’s nothing more irritating than going to garden center and seeing novelist who loves gardening, but may not have the experience to pick the right plants, searching the benches looking and choosing a plant that is wrong for them. As a professional in the landscape business, it infuriates me to see garden centers selling plants that are really not meant for the climate you live in or are being sold out of season.

Everyone likes try new plants and colorful plants just called you to try. But it does the gardener an injustice when you try to sell them plants that are out of season or out of the climate zone that they should thrive in, without explaining to them what they’re getting into.

Seasonal plants should be displayed as seasonal plants! With the explanation to the consumer that they are not hardy plants and might need some extra care. Down here in the South a perfect example are potted Chrysanthemums.

mums in gc

Oh, I’ll be the first to admit I’ve bought a Mum or two out of season, and who can blame me? Their bright colors just screams fall is on its way. If you happen to live in the north you know that this is perennial fall plant. But, I know what I’m doing and I realize these plants are not able thrive in heat of South Florida for long without blooming out. One of the biggest complaints I hear from customers is that they bought a Mum and it only lasted a few weeks, at the most. I honestly think if people knew ahead of time that these flowering plants had a short term flowering cycle in a hot climate, they wouldn’t be so upset. They would still buy them because they are beautiful and enjoyable, but their expectations would be lower and they would be treated more as a florist type of plants, then a gardening plant.

So, you’ve heard my personal rant and I hope that somebody out there will take note and at least put up a sign in front of those benches of Chrysanthemums, warning the poor southern consumer that they are short-term plant and enjoy them while you can.


Gardening should be an enjoyable experience. Whether you’re in the South or the north and part of that experience is picking out the right plants for your garden. As a consumer, don’t be afraid to ask questions if you don’t know the type of plant that you are interested in. Most employees working in a garden center love to talk gardening and would be happy to answer your questions.

So, the calendar says that fall is here, even if the weather hasn’t cooled down. Go ahead and grab a big pot of Mums and put by your front door. Here are couple of hints for its care: try and keep it out of the hot afternoon sun, keep it well watered and be prepared to replace it a few times over the fall season.

Enjoy that Mum, and know that the cooler weather is just around the corner!