Gardening Q & A

Question:  How much winter clean up should I do for my perennials?

Answer: Depends on how tidy a gardener you are and how much you enjoy the birds feeding on the summer seeds. If you like a tidy garden, cut the old seed stalks. Pull out all annuals and compost. You can rake a few leaves over the more tender perennials, but pull the leaves away in spring. I leave purple coneflower seeds along with rudbeckias for the birds to feed on during the lean days of winter. In spring when it’s still too cold to plant, I clean out the rest of the dead stalks.

Janis Lane Is A Gemini

Janis Lane is a Gemini. She is both creative and has two distinct sides to her personality. Janis loves to write contemporary “cozy” mysteries while her alter ego Emma J. unfurls her parasol and has been known to occasionally simper. (Yes, simper! If a gentleman like Mr. Darcy strolls by, you would too.)  She writes Regency Romances and can be found loitering over high tea at www.emmajlane.com waiting for your visit.

They (she?) both hope you will visit often. They share a love for gardening and intend to wax eloquently (or gush, whichever) over new and exciting plants, gardens, and yes, we must include it, fertilizer. Fellow gardeners please join her, discuss, or send her gardening questions. She welcomes all the above while everyone tries to solve the mysteries as they present.

Connect with Janis and post gardening questions on her Facebook page or send her questions via email, and she will post a new gardening Q & A every Tuesday.

Also just finished and close to release is her newest romantic mystery called Murder in the Neighborhood

Home town princess, Beverly Hampton, is a reporter for her father’s newspaper. Handsome Detective Kevin Fowler is a blue collar cop skeptical of love. When a serial killer vents his rage on a quiet neighborhood in a peaceful town, the two must find a way to work as partners before another middle-aged female dies on her front steps in the middle of the day. Shielding his heart from hurt, the detective makes a decision that he rapidly regrets. Will his love forgive him or will the two of them decide their differences are too great to bridge.

Can a killer unleash his venom unchecked on typical small town America? Halloween Trick or Treat can take on a terrifying meaning in Hubbard, NY, a town perfect for raising a young family.

Excerpt: A young woman competently filling a pair of gray slacks and a blue sweater was backing out of a bedroom with her hand still on the door. She was slightly built but of medium height with a thick mop of curly brown hair cut just at jaw line. A tiny waist and the snug slacks accented a firm, rounded bottom that strained and rippled the material as she stepped backwards from the room. He thought he had seen those hips someplace before, but he waited patiently for the intruder to turn around. Would she recognize him outlined against the light at the entrance to the kitchen? She finally did and gave a visible start and a squeak of surprise.

“Hey, Detective,” she said warily by way of greeting. “I came in the back door from behind. I parked my car over on the next street because I knew the short cut through the yards. Used to ride my bike through here to get to school,” she babbled. “I guessed you would have all the official vehicles out front. I said hello to the police earlier,” she added, winding down and giving him a slightly apprehensive look. He knew she knew she shouldn’t be here. 

She clutched a notebook to her chest nervously but tilted her chin up slightly. So, she wasn’t sorry she’d intruded herself into a crime scene. Just as he knew she’d monitored the calls to the police. 

“Just because your daddy, a mannerly gentleman, by the way . . .” He gave her a hard stare. “. . . owns the newspaper does not give you the right to contaminate a crime scene, Miss Hampton, and you are perfectly aware of this fact,” he said between clenched teeth. He strode past her and walked through the house.

MURDER IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD coming soon in October @ Soul Mate Publishing. Preorder for a scary Trick or Treat night.