I’m a professional writer and speaker, born and raised in Oklahoma. Twenty-nine years ago, Bill and I married during a thunderstorm. I love thunder and lightning, so I knew good things were on the horizon. Bill doesn’t like to garden, but he helps build nearly all of my garden hardscape. I like it that way. We have four children. Ashley is grown and living on her own. Megan, known in older posts as “the Diva” is now married. Our son, Brennan, formerly known as “ASW,” graduated from college and is now working for my husband in our paving company. Claire, known earlier as “Bear” is in college. Megan graduated with her Masters Degree from my alma mater, the University of Oklahoma. Boomer Sooner!
My children all agree that this blog takes up way too much of my time. They are the center of my life, but I need some form of self-expression, so I type on. So far, the only one who likes to garden is Megan, and mostly, she likes houseplants. Who can blame her?
You could say I’m obsessive. I once grew over ninety rose bushes–until Rose Rosette Virus reared its ugly head–along with over 200 daylilies and other heat-loving perennials, shrubs, and trees. When I started gardening at nineteen or so, I began with three rose bushes: ‘Double Delight,’ ‘Tiffany’ and ‘Queen Elizabeth’ that I bought at the local discount store. Two were Hybrid Teas, and the other a Grandiflora. I built a small raised bed and lavished them with food and chemicals. They were beautiful, and I was hooked. I garden using organic methods now, so I grow mostly disease-resistant roses and drought-resistant plants. Unfortunately, many of my roses succumbed to Rose Rosette Disease, but, with ninety to start, I still have a lot left.
When I moved out to the country to start my life with Bill, I “made” a small vegetable garden. You see, in Oklahoma, we don’t “grow” a vegetable garden, we “make” it. I don’t know why. The bunnies ate that first attempt, but after fencing the small rectangle, I kept trying. In a magazine (does anyone remember Kitchen Gardener?) I discovered a garden plan with geometric shapes like triangles and diamonds. It looked very ooh, la, la, and I wanted mine to look just like it.
Bill built the back garden and it is the center of the acre plus I now tend.
I’m gluten and casein intolerant–no wheat or dairy–hence the gluten-free links on my blogroll. Plus, those women write like poets, so I’d love them anyway. I’m a frequent contributor to Oklahoma Gardener magazine, and I write the “Oklahoma Outside” column for Oklahoma Living magazine. I’ve also written for Organic Gardening, Fine Gardening, flower magazine, The Edmond Sun, The Oklahoman, Oklahoma Horticulture Society’s Horticulture Horizons, and The Daylily Journal.
I wrote my first book,The 20-30 Something Garden Guide: A No-Fuss, Down and Dirty, Gardening 101 for Anyone Who Wants to Grow Stuff (St. Lynn’s Press 2014) last year, and my life has been a tornado of activity ever since. It’s all good.
I’m also thrilled that Red Dirt Ramblings won the Garden Writers Association’s Gold Award for Best Electronic Writing in 2014. Better Homes and Gardens named RDR one of its Top Ten Gardening Blogs in 2014, and Southern Living magazine named me one of its 30 Bloggers to Follow in 2015 and 2016. All I can say is I’m humbled and thank you.
I’m also Catholic, and I’ve been published in The Sooner Catholic, our state Catholic newspaper. Thanks for visiting my little patch of heaven in the red dirt state. I hope you’ll come again soon. You can find me on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and Google+. Please stop by and comment or ask a question whenever you like. I love hearing from you.