Thursday, June 30, 2022

Barbara Ross's MUDDLED THROUGH: Miss Rumphius and Lupines

 

HALLIE EPHRON: It's a very happy day indeed when we get to welcome the lovely and talented (and funny an super-nice...) Barbara Ross to Jungle Red with a new book - the tenth in her delicious Maine Clambake Mystery Series, MUDDLED THROUGH. The series is great fun and you can't find a more authentic Maine experience, short of being there.

Welcome Barbara!

BARBARA ROSS: Hi Reds and Reds-readers! I am so happy to be here. Many of you will already know that several Reds have been friends and mentors to me over the years, especially the New England crew. Lucy and I share a birthday (same year, one week apart) so we celebrate together in Key West. This year we celebrated our January birthdays in March due to babies who arrived later than expected, covid, and the general messiness.

My latest book, released Tuesday, is Muddled Through, the tenth Maine Clambake Mystery series. One topic while researching for this book, I particularly enjoyed was discovering more about Barbara Cooney and her classic children’s story, Miss Rumphius. In the book, published in 1982, Alice Rumphius tells her grandfather that when she grows up, she will go to faraway places, and when she gets old, she will live in a house by the sea. Her grandfather tells her she must do one additional thing: She must do something to make the world more beautiful.



Alice does go to faraway places. An intrepid, self-directed single woman, she travels around the world. Then she goes back to Maine to live in a house by the sea. Once there, she makes the world more beautiful by dropping lupine seeds wherever she goes.

I based my contemporary character, Alice Rumsford, on Miss Rumphius. My character also travels the world, returns to her family’s cottage on the Maine coast, and endeavors to make her community more beautiful.



Barbara Cooney was born in 1917 in Brooklyn. She went to Smith College, married, had two children, discovered her husband was a “cad” and a “womanizer” and divorced. Her father and brother had disowned her when she married, so she supported her family as a children’s book illustrator. She later remarried, happily, had two more children, and traveled widely to gain inspiration for her art. She won two Caldecott Medals and a National Book Award (for Miss Rumphius). She eventually lived in Damariscotta, Maine, which is, happily, the next town north of my fictional town of Busman’s Harbor.

Cooney almost certainly based the character of Miss Rumphius on Hilda Edwards Hamlin, born in 1889. Hamlin arrived in Christmas Cove, Maine, very near Damariscotta, to visit an uncle in 1904. Like Barbara Cooney, she graduated from Smith College, thought a generation earlier, married, had children, and divorced.

(In perhaps a coincidence, or perhaps an illustration that the world of educated New England WASPs was very small, Barbara Cooney’s second husband was Charles Talbot Porter. Hilda’s ex-husband was Talbot Faulkner Hamlin. In another coincidence, in typing this, I just realized Hamlin must have been at Smith with my grandmother. I will look for her in the yearbook)

Like Miss Rumphius, Hamlin traveled widely and then settled in the little cottage in Christmas Cove. In Maine, she made the world more beautiful by scattering lupine seeds wherever she went. She didn’t drive and neighbors who gave her rides would discover her surreptitiously tossing seeds out their car windows. Yankee magazine ran an article on her in 1971 that included the quote, “If friends of Hilda Hamlin would tote a few sticks of wood to her cottage they would be doubly welcome.” In a later issue, they had to print a plea for people to stop visiting her.

The lupines that Hilda Hamlin seeded are not native to Maine. They come from the west coast. Even though their beauty on roadsides and meadows between Father’s Day and the Fourth of July has come to symbolize Maine, they didn’t start appearing until the 1950s, when Hilda Hamlin was in her sixties. These new lupines have crowded out the more modest local variety and in so doing extirpated the Kargan Blue Butterfly.



The lupines are an excellent metaphor for incomers to Maine. The investment, enterprinse and support for local businesses they bring is welcome, but the non-natives are difficult to cultivate and impossible to contain. The natives worry about being crowded out, swallowed up by the wolves for which the lupines are named.

Dear Reds and Readers: What do you think? Native plants only, or can you beautify the world with non-natives? Feel free to treat the question literally, as a metaphor, or both.


Barbara Ross is the author of the Maine Clambake Mysteries and the Jane Darrowfield Mysteries. Her books have been nominated for multiple Agatha Awards for Best Contemporary Novel and have won the Maine Literary Award for Crime Fiction. Barbara’s Maine Clambake novellas are included along with stories by Leslie Meier and Lee Hollis in holiday anthologies from Kensington Publishing. Barbara and her husband live in Portland, Maine. Readers can visit her website at www.maineclambakemysteries.com

77 comments:

  1. Congratulations, Barbara, on your newest book, “Miss Rumphius” was always a favorite book of my first graders; I love the idea of a character based on her.

    Native or non-native? It’s a tough question, especially when there are valid points on both sides of the issue. It’s certainly possible to beautify the world either way, but bringing in non-natives essentially creates more to appreciate and expands the surrounding beauty . . . .

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We have Australian pines at one of the best beaches/state parks in Key West. They aren't native but they are beautiful and allow you to have a wonderful, shady-covered picnic on a tropical beach. There's a fight on-going for years because Florida law prohibts non-natives from being replaces as they age and disappear. Personally, I love them.

      Delete
  2. Congratulations on your newest book!

    I knew the story behind MISS RUMPHIUS but had no idea her seeds were non-native. That news saddens me. There are so many stories of "escaped" non-natives that have created havoc, from starlings to purple loosestrife.

    I myself have been battling ground elder /bishop's weed /goutweed, marketed as a ground cover, on my farm ever since I accidentally carried the plant here in some gifted garden divisions ten years ago. Ground cover indeed! Goutweed is a horrible thug that would smother my farm like an evil carpet if I were not vigilant. Nothing will eat it, mowing invigorates it, and pulling it is only a temporary check, as every scrap of root left behind will grow a new plant. Meanwhile, all the freshwater marshes that were cattails in my childhood have been overtaken and replaced by phragmites australis, which doesn't provide food for wildlife. It's discouraging to see acres and acres of these reeds swaying beautifully in the breeze and to realize I'm looking at a desert. There are so many of these stories. I'm not against non-native plants in gardens if they are not invasive, but so often we seem to learn our lesson after the horse is out of the barn.

    A farmer's aside: lupines are poisonous to grazing animals so I admire them elsewhere.

    Best of luck with your new book. I will look for it!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Goutweed is awful! I'm sure the former owner/gardener of my property thought it was a pretty ground cover. NOT. We completely dug up a 6'x25' back flower garden about six years ago. We even sifted the soil, then replanted. It came back with a vengeance and I've now given up. Bad, bad, bad goutweed. FYI for others - anything with a triangular or square stem is going to be bad news in terms of spreading (think mint...). I'm sure master gardener Karen from Ohio will chime in!

      Delete
    2. I have read that even Round-Up doesn't work on goutweed, so there's a toxic substance one can thankfully skip. The only thing I've found that works is covering with weighted black plastic (or metal roofing if you have it lying around), with the cover extending beyond the borders of the infected ground, and letting the sun GRILL the area for an entire growing season. It's a slow (very slow) process.

      Delete
    3. admilkmaid, I've read that clear plastic works even better than black. I forget the reason, but it seems I read that in Mother Nature News, back when I was trying to garden in the country. Every noxious weed in the state took firm root every time my back was turned.

      Delete
    4. Sounds like the lemon balm that I (painfully) dug out of half my front garden over Fathers Day weekend. I must have done a good job, though, because there aren't any signs of it coming back - knock on wood.

      Delete
  3. BARB: Yay, congratulations on the recent release of MUDDLED THROUGH! I have been anxiously waiting to see what happens next in Julia's life & to virtually visit your gorgeous part of coastal Maine.

    Here in Ottawa, we have both good & bad non-native plants. Ottawa could not have over 1 million tulips bloom every May for its tulip festival without imported bulbs. The Netherlands have been sending 100,000 bulbs each year in gratitude to role in WWII.

    BAD non-natives that grow along our river banks include purple loosestrife and giant hogweed (very dangerous to humans).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Even daffodils are not native to North America!

      Delete
    2. I love tulips! Such a hopeful sign of spring. Hogweed, I think I poisoned someone with it in a book. I remember because Lea Wait also poisoned someone with it in a book that came out almost at the same time and I had to tell her. She laughed and said no one would think anything of it and she was right.

      Delete
    3. Giant hogweed has a toxic sap that causes second-degree burns when touched or even blind you. So it's really hard to eradicate since it's not safe to handle the giant hogweed by hand (even when wearing gloves).
      https://www.nytimes.com/2018/07/02/us/giant-hogweed-nyt.html

      Delete
  4. Waving hi to my blog sister and sending congratulations on the new book!

    What a wonderful story about both Hamlin and Miss Rumphius, which I've never read. But too bad about the native lupines - and the butterfly. I'm doing my best recently to only plant natives in my garden. Right now we're battling the invasive Japanese knotweed and I'm not sure we're winning. Like with Admilkmaid, goutweed is another scourge on my property, one I've kind of given up on, alas.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We had such a huge fight about invasives in our little severn-unit condo association two couples moved out.

      Delete
  5. Barb, looking forward to your new book!

    What a story about the lupines. Coincidentally, a Finnish American friend just returned from her annual visit to her family in Finland. She shared a photo of a large field of blooming lupines, and when commenters said how pretty they were she also shared that they are non-native, and need to be eradicated. The Law of Unintended Consequences at work.

    Over the first year of Covid road crews were unable to keep up with maintenance, and many parts of the country have gotten overrun with non-native species. I was shocked to see long swathes of draped-over woods near DC. Think of the kudzu in Tennessee and other parts of the south that has swiftly swallowed entire forests. The same thing is happening with other alien vines like porcelainberry vine, which can grow as much as 30' in a single season. We have this on our property, and it is utterly lovely, and utterly vile. It was covering trees and over the power lines at one point, and it's back to threatening to do so again. The berries are beautiful: pink, aqua, and lavender, and the birds do eat them. However, this is the curse, because since they aren't native, the birds can't get nutrition from them, and they pass unharmed, spreading even more. It has deep roots, and is really hard to get rid of.

    Another horrible scourge here in Southwest Ohio is Lesser Celandine. It looks like a shorter version of the native buttercup, but it spreads so easily, likely in deer hooves, and it's really hard to eradicate, too, since it has a deep bulb. The only way is to use glyphosate before it flowers in the spring, and that option also kills anything around it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The warmer planet doesn't help with these issues, either. In Maine we have more and more plants and animals that "shouldn't be here."

      Delete
  6. Welcome Barb and hurray for the new book, which I have lying on my nightstand. (In face I think I have another one coming because I forgot about the Barnes and Noble promotion.) Now I can't wait to start it after reading your lovely blog. On a side note, sheesh, we have a big birthday to celebrate next year so we better plan something special!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have been thinking about our big birthday!

      Delete
  7. Here in Massachusetts volunteers are searching and pulling garlic mustard, nonnative - it forms dense patches which dominate and displace native wildflowers, tree seedlings, and other native plant species of intact forests. And there's an ongoing battle against loosestrife so pretty and pink, but not good for the banks of local waterways where it takes over.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Loosestrife is beautiful and people confuse it for lupines.

      Delete
  8. Congrats on your book release Barb. It is the next book in my queue and I can't wait to discover what's happening in Julia's life.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Dru. I hope you like it.

      Delete
  9. Congrats on the new book, Barb.

    I think you can beautify the world with natives and non-natives, but the non-natives have to respect those who've been there (applies to people and plants).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree--and thank you, Liz.

      Delete
  10. Congratulations on the book, Barb. I'm definitely old when a classic children's book is from 1982! Here in the lovely Pacific Northwest, volunteers in Forest Park pull English Ivy on a regular basis. In my neighborhood, volunteers have been working on a half mile section of trail below a ridge and above a golf course (part of all my walking and jogging loops unless it's really muddy). Last fall they planted over 100 native plants in an area which had been blackberry vines (they've been working on the blackberries for years) It's lovely, although the blackberries are very persistent and are reappearing in some of the cleared areas.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My older was born in 1981. We had this book and somehow I assumed it was much older.

      Delete
  11. Congratulations on the new book! I really enjoyed the Jane Darrowfield stories so, clearly, I must now delve into the Clambake mysteries. I love it when I find a new series I can go live in for a while, and spending the summer in Maine sounds like a whole lot more fun than spending the summer in Texas, even if the travel is only in my imagination.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love that too, when I find a series and there are several books and I can live in the world for a while. It's one of my favorite things.

      Delete
  12. I love Miss Rumphius and am happy to learn of your new book in your series, Barb. Congratulations! As for non-native invasives, their beauty so often belies their choking-out nature, and it's unending hard work to rid the garden of them. I'm dealing with a lamium that appeared in my front bed (likely through bird droppings) and, while I like its effect as a ground cover, I have to stay ferociously on top of it (aka, slash it mercilessly) to ensure it doesn't choke out my mostly native perennials. Gardening is not for the faint of the heart!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There must be non-natives that stay where you plant them and don't try to take over the world. (Definitely talking plants here, not people.)

      Delete
    2. Have just looked up the lamium in my front bed; one of them is White Nancy: Vigorous grower but non invasive. Shear back to 4 to 6" if it gets leggy or cut back to new leaves at base of plant in midsummer. Can be divided as needed in spring or fall. Will self seed but seedlings may not grow true to parent.

      Delete
  13. Congratulations on your book!

    Invasive species - ugh. And don't forget the waterways. Lake Champlain basin program identifies 51 invasive species such as alewife, eurasian milfoil, water chestnut, and zebra mussels.

    That said, as a gardener, I have non-native species. I just go for those that are not invasive. I wish I had the space for lots of natives. Pollinators may get food from all sorts of flowers, but butterflies still need their host plants to complete their life cycle.

    Right now I am happy to say that cedar waxwings, robins, and catbirds are gorging on the fruit of the six Amelanchier we planted.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I had to look up Amelanchier. They look lovely!

      Delete
    2. Yes. They are. White flowers in the spring, fruit for the birds, and glorious orange-red fall color.

      Delete
    3. And the berries of Amelanchier, aka Serviceberry, are delicious for humans, too.

      Delete
  14. Congratulations on your latest. Looking forward to a great read, but wondering if I should wait for next year's mud season!

    I've never heard of Miss Rumphius, but now I'll be looking for her at my local bookstore. Sounds like a delightful read!

    We've got a bumper crop of lupines up in The County this year. More than I have ever seen. In fact, they have overtaken my front garden. I had no idea they were not native. I prefer native plants to the interlopers. They are hardy and preserve traditions!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They're not native, but they've become so emblematic of Maine that they feel like they belong here. I think you will love Miss Rumphius.

      Delete
  15. When we planted bushes in our yard we opted for a native species: viburnum. Then because I love them, a hydrangea. The viburnum never needs watering and grows fast and vigorously - the hydrangea needs constant watering. Water isn't an endless resource but oh my those hydrangea are pretty.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I believe that only Hydrangea macrophylla (big-leaved Hydrangea) need a lot of watering. But they are also the ones with that gorgeous blue.
      We grow Hydrangea paniculata - shrubs and standards (tree form). We don't water them any more than any other tree or shrub. But the colors are only white to pink to red. Still pretty. Quick Fire blooms earlier than others, Firelight has the deepest red, and Pinky Winky has large two-tone panicles (white and pink)
      All of them just covered with pollinators! I could watch for hours.

      Delete
    2. JC, I have a couple of hydrangea arboresense (Smooth hydrangea) in my landscape and it does beautifully with no help whatsoever. I'd like some showier versions, but I'm definitely going to pick a North American native when I add to the garden.

      Delete
    3. Hallie, there are native Hydrangeas, too: oak leaf or hydrangea quercifolia, and smooth or hydrangea arborescens (Annabelle, the "snowball" type). Not blue, but still beautiful.

      Delete
    4. Karen and Julia - we have several H. arborescens as well. H. quercifolia wouldn't survive our winters. Each are beautiful in their own way.

      Delete
  16. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Hopeless--no idea who Miss Rumphius is! Off to look it up. SO agree Hallie, our hydrangea is SO needy, but the viburnum just chugs along. And we have a huge crop of milkweed, which the butterflies love, right? Am I supposed to leave it?
    YAY Barbara! (You know I am one of your very first fans, right? That all seems like SO long ago, and indeed, it was, but I knew you were a star!)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You were! And it was SO long ago, but happy memories!

      Delete
    2. Hank, I had never read a lot of the New England children's classics until I had three Maine children. Then it was Miss Rumphius, Blueberries for Sal, The Little Island, and when they were older, The Witch of Blackberry Pond and Lost on a Mountain in Maine.

      Delete
    3. It's Barb. Yes, Julia! All of these books.

      Delete
  18. Tough question indeed! I always loved Miss Rumphius and have tried scattering lupine seeds myself, to no avail. Maybe I don't have the right kind of soil. My dream used to be to live on my own island off the coast of Maine. I have since more or less, given that idea up. Around me are summer places owned by downstaters who really don't do anything to improve the beauty of the area, unless you consider Posted signs an improvement. So I really understand the feelings of being crowded out by people from away.

    I suppose now it is funny, but there was a lot of resentment in the first part of the epidemic when those people seemed to arrive in droves, buying up all of "our" toilet paper! There were many letters to the editor at the time.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My husband and I bought an island in New Brunswick. We are infrequent summer visitors, and try to be respectful. We have made friends there - most of the folks we meet are very welcoming. Our neighbor sees us rowing out to the island and hollers at us to come over for drinks. He said he's tired of the same old stories from his regular friends. We provided some entertainment because we built the camp ourselves.
      Another interesting thing - our island is off Deer Island, which lives up to its name with a huge deer population, some of whom are white. It reminds me of the white deer population that developed inside the fence of the Seneca Army Depot in the Finger Lakes region of New York. Nature is funny.

      Delete
    2. Hi--Barb here. Blogger has decided I can't sign in as myself today. My books are about a family that owns an island and frequently deals with the issues of locals vs. those From Away. In Muddled Through, we have four points of view represented: Locals who are tired of being crowded out by tourists, locals who make their living off tourism and want as much as possible, long-time summer people who dream of the town as it was 50 years earlier and don't want any change and in-comings who were attracted to the town, moved in and immediately tried to change it.

      Delete
    3. Barb, that is THE universal Maine experience. Every town's population falls into one of those four categories!

      Delete
    4. Barb, that is also the Lake Placid experience. The Airbnb wave has hollowed out the town with rentals (many to groups of young athletes who are partiers) until now the divisions are very, very bitter. There is zero to rent OR buy here unless you can afford huge sums.

      Delete
  19. Congratulations on your latest release! I love lupines. Once upon a time, I brought two potted lupines from Cape Cod to NE Ohio. Same winter climate as Maine, right? Except I didn't consider the hot, humid, Ohio nighttime temps. They literally melted in my garden.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi--Barb here. Blogger hates me. Lupines are very hard to cultivate and leave an ugly mess of blackening stems when the plants die. They're better off in the fields.

      Delete
  20. Barbara, congratulations on your latest Maine Clambake Mystery. I look forward to reading it this summer!!

    This is a very timely topic. When I think of non-native plants and animals, I tend to focus on the destructive ones such as Japanese beetles (a scourge to my flowers) and bamboo, brown trout in the Rockies and those flying fish (escapees from a fish farm during a mid-west flood, can't recall their name) that are devouring native species as they swim up the Mississippi towards the Great Lakes.

    I suppose that native people could consider us with the same misgivings. I just finished reading Iona Whishaw's latest mystery in which the plight of an entire native population provides the background for the story. Today's blog conversation is starkly parallel to a book I closed this morning. Wow.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi-Barb here. I am going to go immediately to look up Iona Whishaw's book.

      Delete
    2. JUDY: I hope to meet Iona in person in Montreal next Saturday as part of her book tour.

      Delete
  21. Barbara, congratulations on the new Clambake! And such a fascinating story about Miss Rumphius. My daughter was born in '83 but I can't remember reading this. I'm very much a champion of natives. We've had a mostly native and mostly organic garden for more than 25 years. I'll try to imagine Miss Rumphius scattering bluebonnet seeds instead of lupins:-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi--Barb here. I'm not sure we have blue bonnets this far north. At least I've never seen them. My son's family live in Virginia and my daughter-in-law makes a pilgrimage to see them locally every year.

      Delete
    2. Or you could picture Miss Rumphius as Lady Bird Johnson, Debs! In fact, I'm sure I've seen a children's book highlighting her fierce advocacy of native Texas flowers and plants.

      Delete
    3. Our Texas wildflowers are indeed amazing, and we owe much to Ladybird.

      Delete
  22. Debs, Lady Bird Johnson is the native flower champion of Texas! I think of her when I think of wildflowers.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Hi--This is Barbara Ross. Hallie let me know my comments are coming through as Anonymous. I an so sorry! Blogger won't let me sign in or change the tag. I've never had any trouble with Blogger before! Anyway, I am Anonymous. (Which sounds very diminishing when one has a book launch.)

    ReplyDelete
  24. Welcome back to JRW;s Barb, and thank you for introducing me to a new word. "extirpated.' What a sad but useful addition to the lexicon. Here in Florida, many of you we deal with critters and plants that have been introduced, sometimes willynilly I think. You may have read about the recent constrictor from the Everglades, she weighed in at 215 pounds, and had over 120 eggs when she was captured. Now we have more snakes and less panthers and deer in the glades.
    Another invasive cycle is hydrilla. This plant is 'very cute' in an aquarium and quite nasty in a nearby bayou. Too bad that lion fish don't eat hydrilla.
    I am a great fan of the clam bake series, each book leaves me wondering how far I would have to travel for the full experience. Better off staying with you and Julia.
    Finally thank you for mentioning the mentoring you received as a young author. This support of the newbies that is emphasized by our magnificent seven, keeps me encouraged. So much of the arts have people who thrive on jealousy. It is refreshing to see love and support as a part of this group.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Coralee--Barb here. The mystery community is so giving and supportive. As Lawrence Block has said, "Nobody has to fail so I can succeed."

      Delete
  25. I'm happy you have another book out in your series, Barbara. As for native versus non-native, when it comes to people I've been a non-native almost everywhere I've lived, so I have strong pro-foreigner feelings (not to mention being descended from mostly relatively recent immigrants to the US). But I strongly agree with Liz Milliron that non-natives have to be respectful of native ways and values. And when it comes to plants, I agree with JCHull--the problem isn't really non-native plants (after all, I think roses were originally native to the Middle East) but invasive ones! As a twenty-year-old, our son had a four-month job battling Japanese knotweed, five days a week, morning till evening, usually in waders, since knotweed grows around ponds and in wet areas. Hard as he tried to get all the roots out, he said the knotweed definitely won!

    ReplyDelete
  26. Hi--Barb here. I think this non-native versus invasive distinction is so important. After all, apples were originally from the Middle-east!

    ReplyDelete
  27. This book is fabulous!

    Non-native plants can be beautiful. But they can also destroy things. So I'm in a it depends situation.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi--Barb here. Completely agree.

      Delete
  28. Excited to see a new Maine Clambake Mystery, Barb. As someone who is a nonnative transplant here, one of the things I've always loved about your books is that they show the pretty, happy Vacationland side of Maine - but also you never shy away from the real experience of those of us who live here after the Labor Day weekend.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That was supposed to be my name and somehow I goofed it. It's Julia.

      Delete
    2. Hi--it's Barb. Also anonymous. Thank you so much, Julia! That means so much to me.

      Delete
  29. Hey Barb! Congratulations on your latest. Native v Non-native can be a challenge. As a Houston native I groaned at all the changes that had taken place since I'd left Houston and then returned. Peoplewise, the changes have been good. Houston is a very international city now as opposed to being the big small town of my childhood. As of the start of May I am now a non-native living in Virginia. I was happy to learn from a neighbor what the trees were in my backyard and the fact that they are all natives. I am ignoring gardening until I find out what is native that I might like in the flowerbeds.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi. Barb here. So you have been transplanted. More than once it sounds like.

      Delete
  30. Congratulations on your new book, Barb. I do remember reading Miss Rumphius to my kids and loving it. It's a lovely story.

    In the literal sense of bringing in plants not native to an area, I rather feel that each place has its own unique mark, its beauty and splendor, without the need for interference. However, metaphorically speaking, as in blending in different peoples to an area, I see an enrichment there.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi. Barb here. What lovely thoughts. Both of them.

      Delete
  31. Sorry I'm late to the party! I was the librarian at the Desert Botanical Garden so I tend to think species from other areas are fine - so long as they are contained! I think that works with people as well. LOL.

    ReplyDelete
  32. Also, congrats on the latest. I love this series so much!

    ReplyDelete