Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Book Launching: Introducing A Guide to Northeastern Gardening and the Story Behind It

A Guide to Northeastern Gardening
All my life I have been an avid gardener and my passion for everything green had led to me start up a landscape design business 20 years ago. The idea of writing a book came to me when I decided that I wanted to share my gardening experiences on a much grander scale and have a legacy to leave behind.

I had some extra time in my life starting in the winter of 2013, after retiring from a career as an educator for 32 years. The writing process started off with an online publishing program that offered writing templates and advice. After two years of composing the book, I finally decided it was time to publish and found that the e-book version was doable, but the production costs of the printed version were way higher than I had anticipated. I published the e-book on a website called Blurb and hired a computer technician to convert the manuscript for the amazon kindle, which published in 2015. My frustrations of not being able to produce the book in print continued to eat away at me, as I had already vested so much time into this endeavor. As time went on I would get numerous requests for a hard-copy form, but had to continuously apologize that it was just not doable, and continued to investigate.

Thanks to my stubbornness and determination, I proceeded to entirely re-write the manuscript in a word format which could be published in print at an affordable price. After numerous visits to the mailbox awaiting proofs, stomach dropping moments when I would find that one error, and after an uncountable number of revisions, I finally was able publish my book in print. After the long journey, I am thankful that I had the drive and willingness not to give up, and hope that my readers will find the book to be useful to them in their gardening endeavors.

A little bit about the book:

A Guide to Northeastern Gardening is a comprehensive guide of valuable information on plants hardy in a range of zones from 3-9, and gardening techniques backed up by my own personal experiences as a professional landscape designer, along with answers to frequently asked questions. Learn about landscape design principles, butterfly gardening, deer resistant plants, long blooming perennials, globe and weeping evergreens, flowering trees and shrubs, native plantings, shade gardening and more. Whether you are a novice or experienced gardener, A Guide to Northeastern Gardening will help you to create your own dream garden. Come along on my journey into the world of gardening!

A little bit about the author:

Lee Miller is a professional landscape/garden designer involved in the horticultural industry since 1996. Having started a gardening blog in 2010, she is the author of over 150 articles on general gardening, landscape design principles, gardening tips, planting, pruning, garden maintenance, feature plants and more. Her published book, A Guide to Northeastern Gardening, is an accumulation of information touching on a wide variety of gardening topics, all backed up by her own personal experiences.

A preview of my book is now online at Amazon and it is FINALLY available in printed format as well as kindle edition. I hope you'll take a look and share this with anyone you know who may be interested in this publication. My heartfelt thanks go out to you for your support! Now..I feel published!

A Guide to Northeastern Gardening: Journeys of a Garden Designer on Amazon 

All the best and As Always…Happy Gardening!

Author: Lee@A Guide to Northeastern Gardening,© Copyright 2016. All rights reserved

Monday, February 15, 2016

Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day & Foliage Follow-Up February 2016: The Winter Landscape

February 2016 Garden
Before we start the tour I would like to make a very special announcement. I am very excited to announce the recent publishing of the printed version of my book A Guide to Northeastern Gardening. There is a link to access it on the amazon website in the sidebar and further information will be forthcoming!
After 20.2 inches of snow from winter storm Jonas on January 23rd, the month of February had gone back to temperatures into the 40's and 50's, resulting in the melting of any remaining snow, and continuation of the mildest winter on record since 2003. Once back to the warmer weather trend we were hit out of the blue with another snowfall, winter storm Lexi, bringing seven inches of glistening white to cover the landscape. Another snowfall followed on the 8th and temperatures have now plummeted into the 20's. Come along on a stroll with me in my winter garden...better bundle up!
Grafted Blue Globe Spruce
During the first week of February the infamous groundhog Punxsutawney Phil did not see his shadow, predicting an early show of spring weather.  Any remaining snow had melted and temperatures were back up into the mid-40's.  More scientifically, the National Weather Service forecast called for the continuation of a mild winter.
Nandina domestica winter berries
For a while the landscape showed hues of greens, golds and blues, along with the brilliant red berries of deciduous shrubs, such as on the Nandina seen here...
Blue Globe Spruce and Weeping Norway Spruce
and the evergreens were dusted with a slight covering of snow, just enough to add a little interest for the winter season but without the severe cold.
Weeping Norway Spruce
There was even a glorious day when temperatures reached into the 50's accompanied by brilliant blue skies...a perfect day for a walk down to the local pond where the ducks had come out of their shelter and were enjoying the warmer weather.
Mill Pond February
Then out of the blue, another blast of snow arrived with winter storm Lexi on the 5th...
February Snow
covering the landscape once again with a fresh blanket of snow, followed by another winter storm right behind it on the 8th.
February Silence
I do have to admit that there is something wonderful about a new snowfall gracing the landscape and turning it into a winter wonderland, but this was unexpected with all the forecasts for a record warm winter.
Winter Storm Lexi
It did create the perfect scenery for an enthusiastic photographer to venture outside and capture some moments. 
Snow Covered Magnolia 
The last storm on the 8th was a heavy wet snow which clung to tree branches, creating a glistening effect in the sunlight...
Winter Storm Lexi
and the branches of deciduous plants had transformed into nature's own artwork.
After the Storm

It looks as if the winter weather is now here to stay...for a while at least.
Doves in Snow
Here are our morning dove visitors. I try to keep the birds fed during the winter months when food is scarce and these morning doves are enjoying the fallen seed from the feeder above. There is much activity at the feeder throughout each day and the visitors are a pleasure to watch.
Blanket of Snow
 On the perimeter of the property snow blankets the fence line and lays heavily on the branches of surrounding hydrangea and Hinoki Cypress...
Crape Myrtle in Winter
 and the cinnamon colored bark of the Crape Myrtle becomes more prominent as it is seen through the covering of snow.
A Curious Visitor
A curious visitor appears on the back patio to get out of the elements as the falling snow graces the landscape. My feathered friends are finally getting used to me over the years as they watch when I bring them food, and are much less fearful than in the past.
Blanket of Snow
I have always admired the landscape after a snowfall, as the sun comes out, blue skies return, and a wonderful silence seems to linger on, except for the occasional cracking of ice as it melts from the trees.

After the Storm-Skyland's Oriental Spruce (Right)

Daily Temperature

Up until now it has continued to be an unpredictable roller coaster winter with many surprises. We have experienced everything from 50 degree days to a record evening low of 0 degrees on the 13th, to temperatures returning into the 40's to bring in Bloom Day.
February 2016 Garden

While there are no blooms as this time of year, I still hope you enjoyed your stroll through my February Long Island garden. Special thanks go out to our hostesses Carol at May Dreams Gardens, who makes it possible to see blooms on the 15th of every month with her meme Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day and Pam at Digging for hosting Foliage Follow-Up.  I am also linking with some other wonderful hosts and hostesses at Today's FlowersFloral FridaysMosaic Monday at Lavender Cottage, I Heart MacroMacro Monday 2, and Nature Notes at Rambling Woods.  Also check out What's Blooming This Week Garden Update.

 My Book on Amazon  

As Always...Happy Gardening!

Author: Lee@A Guide to Northeastern Gardening, © Copyright 2016. All rights reserved