An excerpt from my nonfiction book about gardening and country life,  Shenandoah Watercolors, a 2012 EPIC eBook Award Finalist:
“The best remedy for those who are afraid, lonely or unhappy is to go outside, somewhere where they can be quiet, alone with the heavens, nature and God. Because only then does one feel that all is as it should be and that God wishes to see people happy, amidst the simple beauty of nature.” 
~ Anne Frank
(Image by my mother, Pat Churchman. If you look closely you can see my daughter Elise as a child and her little friend, James, peeking our from behind the trees.)
“A cold autumn wind blew as my younger daughter, Elise, and I scurried about the garden in the last of the light to gather in our treasures. She heaped great orange Cinderella pumpkins into the wheelbarrow and picked the rest of her pink and blue Indian corn. Beams of sun touched the crimson cockscomb flowers just coming into full bloom, an antiquated variety that I seeded late and coaxed through our wet summer. (Cinderella Pumpkins, image by Elise taken this fall)
The vibrant color of the plumes stood out against the grayish black clouds like a king’s velvet robes. This wealth will quickly dwindle if the temperatures dip too low tonight. The weather is quite cool here today. Forecasters are calling for the chance of frost tonight, but only if the gray blanket covering the sky clears and bright cold stars come out. Then maybe Jack Frost’s chill breath will silver the hoary earth.
I must get myself to the garden and pick the last of the orange persimmon tomatoes–truly the most luscious variety in the world–and the heirloom lima beans, called Christmas limas. These beans are mottled a lovely wine color and very tasty. Perhaps I can get our dog, Mia, to help me. But I doubt it. She takes no interest in vacuuming or dusting either, just wants to know when its time to eat.
I have this wild hope in the back of my mind that maybe I will wake up one day and find the house ordered and gleaming, all put to rights while I slept. I suspect this delusion comes from my having read The Elves and the Shoemaker too often, and other fairy tales. I have also seen too many Disney movies.”
(Colorful maple tree near green rye field on our farm in the Shenandoah Valley, image by Elise)
***Shenandoah Watercolors is available from Amazon in kindle and now paperback with lovely photographs taken by my family.
***For a seed link to the Christmas Pole Lima Beans click HERE.
***For a seed link to Cinderella Pumpkins click HERE
***For a seed link to my favorite Orange Persimmon tomatoes click HERE.
After your initial purchase you can save the seed.


  1. Patrice // October 26, 2012 at 2:32 PM  

    So beautiful, Beth. You truly love this land, and rightfully so.

  2. Beth Trissel // October 26, 2012 at 3:34 PM  

    Yes, I do. And thanks!

  3. Mary Marvella // October 26, 2012 at 9:05 PM  

    Hey, girl! I get the house not in order, but I am lousy at gardening. I'm thinking you do enough for both of us.

  4. Pamela Varnado // October 27, 2012 at 1:12 PM  

    Virginia is such a beautiful state, Beth. I was born in Montpelier and lived there until I was 10. I love the state and plan to move back one day.

  5. Mary Ricksen // October 27, 2012 at 4:33 PM  


  6. Judy // October 28, 2012 at 7:12 PM  

    Beautiful, Beth! Thanks...

  7. Josie // October 30, 2012 at 8:30 AM  

    Your blogs are always beautiful. The pictures and descriptions are so thoughtful.