Wednesday, May 21, 2008


"They were standing by a waist-high wall bordering the driveway. Soft gray thymes and golden yellow sedums cascaded over its flat top, while above it spiky clumps of purple irises and cushions of deep pink dianthus bloomed. Elizabeth absently pulled out a few encroaching weeds while Hawkins moved forward." (Signs in the Blood p. 52)

This is the place I was writing about. You can't see the dianthus or the thyme in this picture but the weeds are there. In the book, Ben and Cletus built the wall but in Real Life it was my son and our friend (and my son's rock wall mentor) Doc Adams. (Who is, of course , also a character in the Little Sylvie story and in Old Wounds. Oh, dear, how complicated.)

"Behind the blue bench her most recently acquired rhododendron -- a 'Gomer Waterer' -- was thick with blooms. The creamy blossoms were tinged with gold and pink -- just like a sunrise -- and just like the catalogue promised." (Signs in the Blood. p.53)

The bench is a Lutyens-style bench made by my husband and the rhododendron is, indeed, a 'Gomer Waterer.' Readers have asked about the blue bench -- we actually have several scattered around the farm, but this is the only fancy one and this is the one I had in mind for Elizabeth and Phillip to sit on.

Write what you know, they say. It seemed obvious to use our farm as the model for Elizabeth's (with some strategic changes.) Makes it a lot easier too. When I invent a place -- like Mullmore or Phillip's house in Weaverville, I usually go on line and find a picture that fits my idea -- even a floor plan, in the case of Phillip's house. I really need to be able to visualize the setting my characters are moving around in.

I wonder . . . could I claim those plants I bought yesterday as a deduction? Hmmm . . . Maybe if Elizabeth does some landscaping. . .
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Tammy said...

I want your wall. ;-) I love how beautiful and old it looks. I bought your book online yesterday. I wanted to wait until I went to the 'big city' again but I wasn't sure when that would be, since I've just put umpteen miles on my truck with Mom's surgery (she is doing real good!). So I thought I would just 'treat' myself this way. :-)

Vicki Lane said...

That's the great thing about rock walls -- once you plant stuff near them, within a year they look like they've been there forever.

I'm so glad your mother's doing well -- and I hope you enjoy your 'treat'!