Friday Flowers–Fennel Failure

Forgive the alliteration, coffee hasn’t kicked in.

You know what I’ve always wanted? An herb garden. Unfortunately, I am admittedly a  failure at it. I had a slight success with some rosemary a couple years back. Kept it alive for about five years. The basil did okay, but I don’t recall it lasting for more than maybe two seasons. But it went to pot and I’ve never tried it again.  I had lemon balm, it died, tried dill, ditto. (again with the alliteration!)

Recently, I went to this place my mom likes and was tickled pink to find they had herbs. So I found some fennel and thought what the hell.

Fennel, so says Grieves’ Modern Herbal, is: a hardy, perennial, umbelliferous herb, with yellow flowers and feathery leaves, grows wild in most parts of temperate Europe, but is generally considered indigenous to the shores of the Mediterranean, whence it spreads eastwards to India. It has followed civilization, especially where Italians have colonized, and may be found growing wild in many parts of the world upon dry soils near the sea-coast and upon river-banks. It flourishes particularly on limestone soils and is now naturalized in some parts of this country, being found from North Wales southward and eastward to Kent, being most frequent in Devon and Cornwall and on chalk cliffs near the sea. It is often found in chalky districts inland in a semi-wild state.

For the medicinal use of its fruits, commonly called seeds, Fennel is largely cultivated in the south of France, Saxony, Galicia, and Russia, as well as in India and Persia.

Okay, good. If it’s been around in temperate areas for centuries how hard can this be?

I brought it home and repotted it, rocks in the bottom for drainage and such, just like dad taught me. At first, it did well. By the end of the first week, it looked like this:


This is from week one, back in May, with watering it whenever it felt dry. Its previous owner is an organic genius so I figure it’s me and my yellow thumb (yeah, not so good for the druid thing, eh?)

Herm…. A good friend of mine says the stuff grows wild around her but she’s in the Northwest. I asked her advice and followed it…and the conventional wisdom around the web says likewise:

Moreover, it demands little attention from its host or hostess after having been made to feel at home; once sprouted in only moderately fertile, chalky soil, it requires little watering or feeding.

Okay so I snipped the dead piece off (it’s in my herb cabinet right now) and I tried the “dribble when I got worried” method, leaving the soil mostly dry. Yet still. It’s doing it again:


Does this look, like Modern Herbal says:

4 to 5 feet or more in height, erect and cylindrical, bright green and so smooth as to seem polished, much branched bearing leaves cut into the very finest of segments. The bright golden flowers, produced in large, flat terminal umbels, with from thirteen to twenty rays, are in bloom in July and August.

To you??

I wish I had my heroine Caitlin’s touch. Brother, if that don’t make her books fantasies I don’t know what does. 😉 Because she’s better than me, and what I wish I could garden like!

So, I gotta ask, if watering normally (’til the soil’s wet to the touch) is causing it to do this, and if dribbling it with water though letting the soil remain 90% dry  is causing it to do this….how do I save this plant? When you read the conventional wisdom it says “this plant’s easy to care for” and “watch out because it’ll take over!” but …uh, herm. I’m not seeing that in my little plant.  For the gardeners out there: any suggestions? I’m thinking this poor thing ain’t going to make it to the end of August let alone July, at this rate–or the second year that Florida Gardening says it should get to. And surviving to get me some of the seeds? Yeah, good luck with that. I know I’m in zone Hot as Huh…mmm… (that would  be zone 9) but you’d think a plant that’s suppose to take over would be harder to kill. What do I do besides call this another failure?

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The Next Big Thing hop

I’ve been tagged again. So, thanks to Clarissa Johal, here’s my latest project

What is a blog hop? It’s a way for readers to discover new authors! On this stop on the blog hop, you’ll find a bit of info about me and one of my books-in-progress, plus links to three other authors for you to discover.

I’ve answered ten questions about my work-in-progress (giving you a sneak-peek). At the end, there are links to a few other authors for you to discover who have answered the same questions.  Enjoy!

Please feel free to comment and share your thoughts and questions. Here is my Next Big Thing!

1: What is the working title of your book?

Keeper of the Grove

2: Where did the idea come from for the book?

I’d heard Megadeth’s Foreclosure of a Dream on the radio and that kinda spun around my head with the Celtic mythology I’d been reading, and viola!

3. What genre does your book come under?

Paranormal Romance (and there goes half my audience? LOL)

4: Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

Oh, jeeze. I don’t know.  David Wenham (AKA Faramir) comes to mind for my hero.

5: What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

A young woman meets an ancient warrior and learns that her gallery is to be the sacred battleground in a war that will determine the fate of mankind.

6: Is your book self-published, published by an independent publisher, or represented by an agency?

It will be published by The Wild Rose Press. *YAA!* No release date or cover art yet, but all that should be coming soon and I shall let y’all know when to expect it! I’m thoroughly thrilled about it, can you tell?

7: How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

A couple weeks.

8: What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

Good Question. Really I have yet to find one like mine that I’ve been totally happy with… The closest that maybe kinda sorta comes to mind is…um, I Am Legend (except…not) and I suppose some would say it falls into the kind of story written by Karen Marie Moning and some Sherilynn Kenyon, in that they use the gods (emphasis on use) except I took a totally different slant than they. Pagans should not be disappointed with how I treat my gods, let’s put it that way.

9: Who or what inspired you to write this book?

See above. The Megadeth song, and then, my friends encouraged me along.

10: What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

It’s one of very few that treat the myths with respect and the gods *aren’t* the bad guys out to destroy–well, except for the one with that reputation. 😉 And for the girls, my hero’s to die for!

I’ll keep you posted regarding cover art and release dates and such. I’m totally excited about it! I can’t wait for y’all to see it. 🙂

Who’s next on the NEXT BIG THING BLOG HOP?

So glad you asked!

Below you will find three authors who will be joining me by blog, next Wednesday, April 17. Mark it on your calendars and bookmark them! You will be one of the first to discover a new “Work in Progress!”

Happy reading!
Nicolette Andrews
Clarissa Johal
Emily Guido

Strange Saturday: Scientists study ancient Greek pottery to improve spacecraft tiles | Mail Online

In lieu of Freaky Friday…Strange Saturday.

Actually, I suppose you could say this wasn’t all that strange. On the other hand, it is… something I would’ve never thought NASA would do. I hope you find this article interesting.

Scientists study ancient Greek pottery to improve spacecraft tiles | Mail Online.


"Young Girl Blowing Nose" by David Castillo Dominici
Free Digital

Spring is here…How do I know? Allergies are driving me *nuts* this week…


Must go hide in writing cave. Got a sequel to write and the sequel to The Artist’s Inheritance to edit…(I’m not procrastinating, I’m really not. 😉 It’s the allergies, I swear it is!) Maybe this is Easter’s April Fool’s joke for me this year. (Let’s hope!)

And I’ve got a guest coming up on Monday. Romantic Fantasy author Miss Nicolette Andrews will be with us. So, I hope you all will come back by for that. In the meantime…. I’m dying of allergies. Help… *laughs*

Saturday snapshot

I saw this on Book Journey and well, you know me. I like to take my pictures. 🙂 I didn’t get any good flower shots this week…the garden’s a little confused with the weather, methinks (hot and cold so close together does that). But I visited the Dunedin History Museum last month and found many nifty items that of course will work into Caitlin’s next books (whether Drawing Down the Shades, I don’t know since that one’s already finished and in the hands of my critique partner. :)) But! I found this nifty spinning wheel.


Friends of mine work on spinning their own yarn so I couldn’t help bu snap it for her. No, it’s not the best picture, but …oh well. As you can see, the wheel’s kinda jammed into a small space. I’ve been working one into a new story I’m writing or two (one that I’ve planned to submit to The Wild Rose Press! :)). I’m researching/thinking now to see how I might be able to work something like it into the follow up to House of Cards, (Reign of Tarot #1) I’m working on. What I really want to know, is where’s the spindle Sleeping Beauty pricked her finger on? >;) I guess they removed it so princesses couldn’t accidentally get pricked. hehe.

Anyway, the visit to the museum was an off-the-cuff idea a few weeks back but so productive, plot-wise. 🙂 It’s a really neat place too. So…that’s my snapshot.

Ginger Nuts of horror

Sorry I didn’t get a chance to post the Monday movie. I was busy…writing, and blogging elsewhere (and freaking out a little, I must say). Where was I? you ask…Oh, all right. I’ll tell you. Hanging out with a very nice bunch of… well, nuts. 😉 I hope they take that as a compliment. It *is* part of their name, after all. Yes, I was featured over at the great horror blog Ginger Nuts of Horror. Want to learn a little about me and my dark/supernatural fiction works (or just poke around a great site) this is it:

🙂 This was kind of a coup for me. Thanks to Jim for hosting me!