Hello hello!

You guys have probably noticed that I like plants, what with Henry’s powers and my springtime obsession with The Secret Garden. There’s something about growing things that excites my imagination.

A funny little basil in my family’s garden (guest-starring an odd view of my hand)

Maybe it’s because I’ve grown up in Southwestern New Mexico, where the color green isn’t something you take for granted. But when green does come…oh, it’s beautiful. When the rains finally come in the summer, the hills can change from the dull dead-grass color they are the majority of the year to a beautiful bright green of new grass in days. Even in the dry times of the year, there’s something so awe-inspiring about the mountains covered in dead grass and juniper, bluffs of dusty purple and red volcanic rock, giving away to the deep vibrant green of the cottonwoods following the river.

And there’s so many kinds of green! There’s the bright, almost neon of new mesquite leaves in spring, the dusty green of junipers and piñóns, the deep green of blackberry vines in the shaded canyons, the queer blue-green of the spruce, the varied shades of the dozens of nameless wildflowers dotting the mountainsides… And I’m not even sure why, but the sight of afternoon sunlight shining through grape leaves makes me think of life. I live in a place where I know how to go without green, but when I find it…oh, when I find a haven of green I feel a little more alive. Like I can finally breathe again.

Larkspur! (also in my family’s garden)

Another aspect of living New Mexico is that we have to fight for every bit of greenery we try to grow, and water is our secret weapon. When I win that fight, when plants grow and brighten up this dry bit of earth I call home, that is a satisfaction I never tire of. I’m still learning how to keep plants alive, but it’s a skill that’s so worth the effort.

Long story short, prepare for more plants in this next book! There aren’t any gardeners in this one (Henry is a bit busy elsewhere at the moment), but there’s plenty of plants! And a bunch of stuff I’m learning about herbs is making its way into the story, too. So much fun!

Do you guys have gardens? What do you love growing? And do you have a green thumb, or (like me) a brown thumb? (Mine’s not black, not anymore, but I’m not quite to green-level either…)