I love everything flowers, gardening, and outdoors so I am excited to be able to post these gardening goodie tips from Rebecca!
Gardening, Writing, and the Between.
By: Rebecca Wenrich Wheeler
Life consists mostly of waiting, punctuated with moments of excitement. It’s in the waiting that we prepare, learn, and change so we’re ready when opportunities emerge. Those times we do not see evidence of growth on the outside are the times we are growing on the inside! Dormant spells are inevitable, for gardens and authors. We cannot expect ourselves to bloom creativity 100% of the time. We must learn to use those dormant times to rest and rejuvenate, so we’re ready to bloom when the time comes!
I like to write about the moments that exist in the between, because that’s where the really good stuff happens; that’s when the growth occurs. We meet people in all stages of waiting: waiting for a birthday, a graduation, the arrival of a baby, for a vacation, better job, a diagnosis, or a new horizon. What makes people fascinating is how they handle the anticipation.
Both of my 2023 releases find characters waiting.
In the YA novel Whispering Through Water, characters wait for their futures to begin and for the truth to be discovered. As the protagonist, Gwyn, finds herself in the between of high school and adulthood, she unearths fundamental truths to understanding herself and her relationships. (released January 4, 2023)
In the picture book When Mama Grows with Me, the parent and child move through all the steps of gardening from seed to flower, and in doing so, learn together to be more patient and grateful. (summer 2023 release)
My childhood was filled with gardening. When I think of my Grandma Helen, I picture large bushes of parsley and rows of crocuses. My mom reminds me of lilies and irises. Now as an adult, it’s truly a joy to build a garden with my own children. In particular, I love creating pollinator gardens, and the kids love it too! Even if you are new to gardening, these steps can help you create your own pollinator garden.
- Know your yard.
I’m sure we have all purchased plants that seem to promptly die as soon as they are planted. To help avoid this, understand your planting zone and research plants that work best in your zone. Link to hardiness zones.
- Learn about your soil.
Talk to your local nursery staff to determine what type of soil you have and what plants work best for those conditions. For instance, if you have clay, it’s helpful to add conditioners. If you know your soil isn’t the best, you might choose to use a raised bed, that way you can add healthier soil. Link to understanding soil.
- Understand your garden’s light.
Does your garden space offer full sun, partial sun, afternoon sun, morning sun? Different areas of your yard might receive different levels of sunlight. When you buy plants, check the tag for recommended sun levels, that will help you get optimum growth! Link to understanding a garden’s light.
- Discover what critters live in your yard.
Have you ever spent money on beautiful dahlias or impatiens only to have them plowed down by bunnies or deer? Save yourself the heartache (and money)! I have so many bunnies in my yard that I only buy plants that bunnies won’t eat, like zinnias, beardtongue, and coneflower. And you’re in luck! Many of the plants pollinators love bunnies stay away from. Link to bunny proof plants.
And one other tip when you are purchasing flowers, perennials come back year after year. Buy perennials and build your pollinator garden over time.
Happy gardening! Follow me on Instagram @rebeccawwheeler_author to watch my yard bloom this spring!