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BETWEEN A ROCK AND A HARD PLACE: A Potting Shed Mystery ~Marty Wingate

Monday, July 27th, 2015

Here we go again with a delightful story in Edinburgh, Scotland full of flowers and gardens, interesting characters and strange activities, and of course a great mystery surrounded by Pru and Christopher’s love story.  What could be better to pull you into a great read.   This is Marty Wingate’s third book in her English Garden series moving Pru, our Dallas, Texas Master Gardener, back to England to connect with her roots and explore the gardens of the UK.

I have reviewed the other two books in the potting shed mysteries and found them delightful and fun.   Also this spring, I reviewed a first book in a new series called THE RHYME OF THE MAGPIE a fun read with a good mystery; more of the UK revealed.

Pru has taken a research position in Edinburgh to authenticate a journal written by a famous botanist, explorer, and physician who travelled with Captain Vancouver on the Discovery.  There are several mysteries about plants and seeds that were collected.   Her position is stepping on the toes of the plant historian at the gardens, and this sets up a rather tense relationship.  When the historian is killed, Pru once again becomes a suspect.

Christopher is back in London as an Inspector for the Police and working in homicides.   Because the couple is planning to marry at the end of Pru’s posting they are connecting over the death of her co-worker and making wedding plans.

The wedding dress experience becomes quite funny and I could just see these creations by Fiona in my mind’s eye and they provided quite a chuckle.  Also walking through the town brought me back to my one-day experience of Edinburgh and seeing all the sights and the castle during the festival period.  This made the read even a better experience.

Wingate’s books are scenic and informative and have a lovely flow to the words.  They have an interesting story line and they follow through without leaving out the little details and the garden descriptions almost allowing the reader to breathe in the fragrance of the soil and the blooms.  I put her books on the delightful list and try to tell all my gardening friends to keep them reading during the indoor seasons.  I think many, many readers will enjoy these tales and I am very happy that Netgalley sent me an uncorrected proof to review.  BETWEEN A ROCK AND A HARD PLACE.

From the book:

“In addition to the Potting shed Mysteries, Marty Wingate is also the author of The Rhyme of the Magpie, A Birds of a Feather Mystery.  A well-known speaker on gardens and travel, she has written numerous non-fiction books on gardening, including Landscaping for Privacy.  Marty’s garden articles have appeared in a variety of publications, including The American Gardener, and Country Gardens.  She is hard at work on her next novel.”


Potting Shed Mysteries:
The Garden Plot 
The Red Book of Primrose House
The Birds of a Feather Mysteries:
The Rhyme of the Magpie

Blossoms To Discover Peace and Joy

Monday, June 4th, 2012

Orchid buds

Early on in my blogging practice I wrote a post about how much I love flowers.  They speak to me with their simple and profound beauty.  They amaze me with their fragrance and sexy spirits. Flowers are a part of so many rituals, traditions and practices in our lives. I know I am modest photographer, yet I wanted to share my Easter Orchid which has been part of my morning healing practice.   Flowers cause us to remember and now they console me.

Free Columbine

Today, I did my morning practice and deep breathing around the Columbine blooming all over my yard.  The deep purple and light pink are free spirits and just pop up indiscriminately in the garden beds and sidewalk cracks.  I sat and watched them move in the breeze and thought of the Columbine Shootings.


Red Columbine 2012

I moved to where the sun was breaking through the clouds and saw the lovely Red Lady and I sent energy and compassion to the people in Seattle who experienced a fatal shooting of 6 people in the University District this week by a young man trapped within a mental illness.  The tears were fresh.

Memorial Columbine

The Memorial Columbine was planted to remember a young mother kindergarten teacher whose husband thought her joy and popularity was the work of the devil and ended her life and then his own. How can a religion be so full of hate and woe?
I thought about the hate promoting Baptists coming to town this week to demonstrate because of our Marriage Equality decisions – at a local high school.  I will cheer on the students who have designed a program of anti-bullying and tolerance within their school.

Columbine 2

I wanted to dance free so sought out the dainty ballerina in the bunch and rejoiced in her petticoats of white and by now the gentle wind touch was becoming an enthusiastic breeze of delight.

Yellow Columbine

This bright beacon remains  tossed in the wind as the sun disappears behind the grey – more rain.


I need flowers to bring me home, console, delight, remember, ground and progress, how do flowers play a part in your living?

Related Reading
How Hard Is This? (The Comma Blog)
I Love Flowers
Spring is Sexy


Thursday, May 19th, 2011
Long view of poppies to lake

Long view of poppies to lake

I start most wedding ceremonies with these words:  You have been given a gift; you only need to see it to believe it.

Today I have the gift of sunshine, the gift of hanging laundry on the line, the gift of a great walk and the gift of a memory of a great discussion on Peace and Gratitude from last night.

How lucky am I?

orange poppy close up

Orange poppy close up

Now look at the magnificent gift that greeted me when I went into the yard.   I have not planted a single one of those happy poppies.  The forget-me-nots do not come back every year, and this year there is not a one in the yard.  But there are poppies everywhere.

I am grateful for this gift and bathe in their sunny disposition.   By being mindful and seeing the gift, I find contentment.

What do you see?  How do you find contentment?

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Related reading:
Beauty On a Sandy Beach
I love Flowers
Spring Is Sexy