Being passionate about the past, I relish a connection to those who’ve gone before us.  I’m fascinated with history and love old homes, historic sites, all that ties us to the richness of bygone ages.  Intrigued with herbal lore, I often use it in my writing.  Herbs influenced every facet of life in pre-modern times and have changed little over the centuries. When I hold an aromatic sprig of rosemary in my hand, I’m touching the same plant beloved by the ancients. Some heirloom roses hail from the glory days of Rome.
To further that sense of oneness, and for their many uses, I grow a variety of herbs.  Thyme, basil, sage, and chives are a few in my kitchen garden.  Lavender and scented geraniums are wonderful for their scent alone.  Ladies once wafted the delicate perfume of toilet water.  Porcelain bowls filled with colorful potpourri scented musty parlors.
Before taking the leap into penning novels, I wrote vignettes on rural life.  I’ve compiled these into a work of non-fiction and may self-publish.  At one time, I also had a modest herb business and gave talks on herbal lore to local groups much as Julia Maury did in my light paranormal romance Somewhere My Love.
Back to my herbal enterprise, with the faithful assistance of my long-suffering mother we grew and dried herbs and flowers for wreath making and potpourri which we sold in the fall.  Herbs and heirloom flower seedlings were raised in the small greenhouse my hubby built me and sold in the spring.  Any profits were swiftly overrun by subsequent visits to the allergist,whom I’ve seen regularly for years now and still get four shots at a crack.  It seems I developed every allergy latent within me by exposure to all these pollens.  *Note, If you’re allergic to ragweed, avoid an herb called Sweet Annie and the Artemisia family.  But I’m considered to rank in the top ten percent of allergy sufferers in the nation, so what are the odds of that?
After being run indoors and my gardening curtailed, I took up writing and have used my love of plants there.  I’m still an avid gardener, though with shots, meds and limits.  Is it spring yet?  My nose says yes. :)

A garden is never so good as it will be next year. ~Thomas Cooper
An addiction to gardening is not all bad when you consider 
all the other choices in life. ~Cora Lea Bell



11 comments

  1. Mona Risk // March 29, 2011 at 10:38 PM  

    Hi Beth, I wish I've known you when I was struggling to learn my spices, barks, leaves and roots in the lab. Eventually you'll make me an expert in botany.

  2. Mary Marvella // March 29, 2011 at 11:13 PM  

    Thanks, Beth! Like you, I love flowers and other plants. Like you, I must be careful which ones I try to get to know up close and personal!

    Good information!

  3. Judy // March 30, 2011 at 7:55 AM  

    Beth, I definitely think you should take all your non-fiction work and package it into a book. It's fascinating and would be helpful to those of us who'd like to have an herb garden but want to know much more about them.

  4. Patrice // March 30, 2011 at 8:02 AM  

    Beautiful pictures, Beth, and such a nice story. I don't garden at all, but envy those who do.

  5. Beth Trissel // March 30, 2011 at 8:27 AM  

    Thanks guys. In between all the remodeling in this old house, I am at work on my nonfiction. Volume one. :)

  6. Nightingale // March 30, 2011 at 9:59 AM  

    You've almost inspired me to plant an herb garden. Pity the poor plants!

  7. Beth Trissel // March 30, 2011 at 10:02 AM  

    Ah Linda. That would be wonderful. Herbs are pretty tough. They've survived centuries. Don't overwater. Of course, if they're outside Mother Nature may do so. But you can always replant.

  8. Anonymous // March 30, 2011 at 12:25 PM  

    Beth, your love of plants and herbs is apparent in the way you write about them. All your info is very useful to us less talented gardeners.

    Melba

  9. Beth Trissel // March 30, 2011 at 4:32 PM  

    Thanks Melba. I strongly feel that if everyone had some kind of garden, indoors or out, including community gardens, that the world would be a better place.

  10. Josie // March 31, 2011 at 3:14 PM  

    Beth,
    You have such a great love of herbs and gardening, and it is reflective in your writing. I've finally taken the gardening plunge, and hope to add lavender to my row of fruits and vegetables.

  11. Mary Ricksen // April 1, 2011 at 12:56 PM  

    Oh Beth, I am so sorry you have developed those allergies. The feeling I get when I grow things and spend time with the things I am growing to care for them, is a soul tender for me. It takes all the angst away and soothes the soul.
    So I am truly upset that you can't continue making the wonderful wreaths! But you are equally good if not better at writing! So maybe there was a reason for it!!!