Pondering Spring Gardens

I love to turn on the tiny lights in the bedroom and read for hours, until I get sleepy.

Last night I started a book by Greg Iles that Harper Collins sent last week. I don’t believe I’ve read his books before. 

But once I started, I read about 200 pages out of 704. When I picked it up to read, I thought to myself: Well, this one is going to take me awhile.

And: Great, this looks like the last book of a series.

But I was engrossed from the get-go. So I don’t think it will take very long to read it at all.


#1 New York Times Bestselling Author

The endgame is at hand for Penn Cage, his family, and the enemies bent on destroying them
in this revelatory volume in the epic trilogy set in modern-day Natchez, Mississippi—Greg Iles’s epic tale of love and honor, hatred and revenge that explores how the sins of the past continue to haunt the present.

Mississippi Blood is the enthralling conclusion to a breathtaking trilogy seven years in the making–one that has kept readers on the edge of their seats. 

With piercing insight, narrative prowess, and a masterful ability to blend history and imagination, New York Times bestselling author Greg Iles illuminates the brutal history of the American South in a highly atmospheric and suspenseful novel that delivers the shocking resolution his fans have eagerly awaited.


I was quickly immersed in the plot, which I promise you doesn’t drag along. But instead moves at great speed. So that you don’t want to put it down.

Just one more chapter, I’d keep telling myself.

Have any of you read Greg Iles’ books?
Looks like it rained last night. The sky is gray and the wind is, for once, not present. 
It looks like we’re going from being hot for a couple of days back to the freezer. Such is the weather in Oklahoma.

I don’t know about you, but my mind is on springtime and my gardens. Which typically happens this time of year. I’m thinking I will plant more seeds this year.

The one place I’ve ordered from that I was really pleased with, though it’s been years, was Renee’s Heirloom Seeds
Have you ever ordered from there?
I remember ordering Hyacinth Bean Vines from there quite a few years ago. I had enough seeds from the big purple beans at the end of the season that I sent them to bloggers all over the country!
Her website and her seed packets are delightfully colorful. Just what I want to see when the skies are gray and spitting cold rain.
So I think today I will go online to her site and peruse the flowers and herbs and vegetables. Something befitting a cold winter day when springtime seems but a distant memory.
For me, it is customary, when the earth is too hard and cold to dig, to instead dig into online seed catalogs and plan and ponder what I might plant and where.
I will make endless lists, with visions of colorful blooms dancing in my head.

Ah, and the water gardens I created last year! I can’t wait to set them up again.

From last year:

Last year I went around the corner to Ace Hardware and found two galvanized tubs to create my water gardens. 

I bought a couple of water fountain kits at Home Depot.

Being in a garden with the sound of water bubbling and bees buzzing and butterflies going from flower to flower. True bliss.

Sitting under the gazebo sipping iced tea while the pupsters snooze in the chairs. Looking out over the patio gardens I have been creating here for three years.

Nothing more satisfying.I have always been a gardener. I will always be a gardener. It is one of the true joys in life, to putter in a garden. 

That, my beloved pupsters, books to read, and morning coffee. What more could a person possibly need or want?

Are you planning your gardens yet?

You can garden most anywhere. On an apartment balcony. On a patio, as I do, in containers. 

I hope I’ve planted the seed that will become your garden!

Note: Someone asked me how to keep mosquitoes from laying eggs in container water gardens.

Answer: Mosquitoes seek standing water, preferring stagnant conditions. Water that stays fresh and in motion with a pump system doesn’t attract them as a breeding ground.

To save energy, consider using a solar pump. In addition to goldfish, mosquito fish, minnows, koi and guppies eat mosquito larvae.



  1. Brenda, Oh thank you for redirecting my brain from these dark and dreary days of winter! We are just north of I-44 in Joplin and we are covered in ice. Your garden was an inspiration last year, can't wait to see it this year!

    1. We had ice. But I don't think it's bad out. At least not that I can see from the patio. I haven't been out anywhere driving for five days.

    1. Last year I didn't have an Hyacinth Bean vines and I missed those pretty purple beans and lavender blooms. Will have to order it. Yeah, there were hyacinth bean vines blooming all over when I sent them out. Those beans were prolific!

  2. I enjoy most of Greg Iles books. some of the far-fetched ones are really good and keep my interest so much that they are hard to put down.

    Your patio and garden pictures are great! And this time of the year is perfect for garden dreaming and plotting the next garden adventure. A few orders for the garden have been placed already and I really have to be careful that I don't over order otherwise, I will be digging up more grass.

  3. Love your patio garden! The older I get the more I like planting in pots..easier for me to dig in and move around for a different look. Can't wait until Spring! Enjoy your books..with all this icy weather coming into Oklahoma perfect weekend to stay in and snuggle with a good book. Stay warm!

    1. Container plants are easier for lots of reasons. No weeding, can control the soil better, etc. Yes, it's that kind of weather in Tulsa and I'm getting ready to fix supper and get back to my book!

  4. So enjoyed your patio garden pictures. In years past my husband and I had big gardens, however we will have to be content with mostly container gardening on our deck and scattered around our yard. I love the water container garden in your pictures. Could you please teach me what plants to use so that we can do one. Blessings, Carolyn in Florida

    1. I used cannas in the water gardens. The ones I dug up from the rent house 3 years ago and brought here. I plucked off some of my mint and planted it in the water to smell good. As for the others, most of them I went to the local nursery I liked and they had a grouping of water garden plants. My areas were not big enough for lilies. But I adore water lilies.

  5. I have not planned any gardening yet because I am not sure what is going to happen to the house here this year. I do love gardening -especially small space gardening. I think your little patio is just perfect.

    I have not read anything by that author but I do like a good mystery. I will add him to my list. xo Diana

    1. Well, that's kind of a bummer. I hate that waiting to sell a house thing. As for books, all I like to read are mysteries and women's fiction. No romances, no historical, no science fiction.

  6. I love Renee's Garden seeds and the packets are little works of art. I also love Johnny's Seeds, too.

    Brenda, you sure have a green thumb. Your patio garden is beautiful each year and I draw lots of inspiration from you.

    The simple things in life truly are the best.

  7. Gorgeous is the only word I can think of for your patio and gardens. You give the word "creativity" a whole new meaning! I wish that you would consider doing a series of posts on how you achieve all of this.

  8. the sweetest sound in the world… little fountains of water amid greenery and shade in a beautiful garden.
    and I too love your ordinary extraordinary life! well done dear bean!

  9. I ordered all my seeds last year from Johnny's – they were amazing, almost 100% viable! I'm already considering what seeds I'll be ordering for my veggie garden, and I'll be starting them indoors again, downstairs in my utility room where it's warm all the time. I can't really get started until March, though….it seems so far away right now, with the icy cold wind that's blowing right through me today!

  10. I LOVE Renee's Garden seeds, especially her sweet peas! Looking forward to seeing what's new in your garden (and mine!) this year ~

  11. I got intrigued with gardening when I was a little kid in the 1960s, watching my grandparents and the other older people in the neighborhood tend their gardens. None of the young parents like mine had gardens, since they got vegetables from the older people or from the grocery store. So I thought only old people had gardens! I did have my first vegetable garden in the 1980s when I was in my mid-20s, so, I finally figured out that anyone of any age could grow things. We just moved into a house that has very little landscaping, even though it is 65 years old — just a Bradford pear tree and two taxus bushes. So, I'm caught up in thinking about trees and shrubs as well as flowers and herbs and tomatoes. I love all of your water gardens. I'd like to have some feeders and some sort of water feature for birds.

  12. Oh Brenda, you always inspire me! I didn't have a deck garden last year, tried to plant a few flowers out front – didn't work out, probably the soil. This year, thanks to you, I'm going back to my deck container garden … and I'm going to make some water gardens like yours! Thanks for the inspiration.

  13. Renee's Seeds are very good. My deceased husband & I had the pleasure of attending an organic gardening seminar she taught in Pasadena, CA, abt. 20 yrs. ago. You will not be disappointed, the seeds grow true as advertised. I live in Frazier Park,CA,
    at 4800 ft. & my growing season is short & erratic. My food & flowers are so good.
    As you can see–I think you'll love her seeds. Good luck.
    Your patio is so beautiful! I wish we lived closer together & could beg to come see it. & you, in person. Yes, I know you"re reclusive. So am I. I like people, but one at a time (it feels safer). I've blabbered enough. Happy garden planning. Sandy

  14. I too love to gardem. I need to start planning for spring. Even though it is foggy and cold here in Utah, spring will come it always does. Love your blog and your posts of ordinary life, that is actually extraordinaty. Have a wonderful day. Karie

  15. Goodness, Brenda! Has it been three years since you moved! It sure doesn't seem like it has hardly been a year since we met. I received my first seed catalog yesterday. I don't like this particular company but I always look forward to the catalog!

    Grace & Peace,

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