What comes to your mind when you think about gardening? An aching back? Throbbing knees? Chipped nails? Or, do you think about the end result . . . the sweet fragrance of delicate white Margaret Merrill roses bordering a frontwalk, the flaming red petals of Caroline Testout roses as they scale a wall, or the crisp, thirst-quenching crunch of your favorite cucumbers, or crisp, sweet carrots? For some, it’s reality–probably even BOTH realities–from toiling in their personal gardens to sitting down to a satisfying home-grown meal at the dinner table.
And then, there’s us writers, who must help you to smell, taste, see and experience the gardens in our novels. For instance, on page 91 of my novel of suspense, The SEED (that can be found at www.annrichduncan.com) you get to “see” Dr. Bascomb’s gardens thru Evie’s eyes as she storms over the big hill: . . . the contrasting foliar effects were further evidence of the owner’s skills in working with plant life–from the bursts of tall, waggling grasses to the sheared conical evergreens, every inch had been coaxed alive with the colors and the mingling scents of flowers and herbs. An assortment of climbing roses laden with cream, pink and deep red buds spilled from the tops of stone walls in anticipation of a riotous blooming season. And to Evie’s far left? The delicate Japanese honeysuckle vines released their sweet fragrance into the fresh country air to blend with the heady scents of lemon verbena and golden sage. This scene takes place in Massachusetts, in the Berkshires, where you can see the tower on top of Mount Greylock (the highest peak in the state) in the distance.
Mount Greylock? Massachusetts? I spent twenty years in that area, working and raising my girls. We lived in Adams, North Adams, and finally in Williamstown, before I moved to Vermont in 1998. The Berkshires are beautiful and the Green Mountains of Vermont are gorgeous. And then, there’s the Adirondacks in New York (where I grew up). They’re amazing.