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2nd Annual Authors in Bloom Blog Hop!

Welcome to the Authors in Bloom Blog Hop where some of your favorite authors & bloggers share their gardening tips, recipes and give away prizes!  As many of you know, in addition to my romantic fiction, I write a garden blog called BloominThyme.  What began as a victory garden (when victory gardens were cool :)) has now blossomed into a full-fledged hobby.  I love gardening!

I mean, who doesn’t love to be among flourishing beds of lush leaves, plump fruits and colorful vegetables?  From the bright fiery shades of hot peppers to the calming lavender of maturing black beans, my garden provides a glorious array of eye candy followed by a belly full of sweet harvest.

Okay–while that sounds wonderful and delightful, I’ve learned gardening doesn’t always work out so “gloriously.”  Sometimes the weeds take over, the tomatoes rot, the broccoli bolts, the ants eat the potatoes…  You get my point.  But once you learn a few secrets of the trade, you’ll be off to the hardware store buying a slew of lumber for your produce stand.  You’re gonna need it–especially after you’ve perused the myriad of gardening tips and fresh recipes over the next 10 days.  And remember, if my compost pile of oak leaves can grow sweet potatoes and parsley all by itself–so can you. 

Now for my tip:  for vigorous growth in your garden, try adding mushroom compost.  I don’t know what it is about this stuff, but I’ve never had sweet peppers grow so big and beautiful as I did when I amended my soil with mushroom compost.  It’s inexpensive, too, if you have a mushroom processing plant nearby.  We purchased a trailer bed full for $10.  Yes, you read that right.  Ten dollars.  Check your local listings–you might be surprised!  For a start, see if our Monterey Mushrooms has a plant near you.

While you’re gathering tidbits of wisdom, you’ll earn the chance to win some really great stuff–like a copy of my latest release Ladd Springs for your reading pleasure after you’ve tended your garden and these beautiful Bloem Boxes filled with seed strips for your garden. 

For vegetable lovers, you’ll adore the Heirloom Beefsteak  Tomato ‘Super Marmande’, Basil ‘Genovese’ and Italian parsley set.  If you’re not into vegetables, it makes a great gift for the gardener in your life.  For added beauty in your world, the butterfly garden box comes complete with Orange Cosmos, Dahlia Flowered Yellow Zinnia and Red Annual Phlox to attract those ethereal creatures your way.  Each box contains three 5′ seed ribbons made of plantable biodegradable tissue paper filled with premium seeds for effortless planting.  How’s that for easy? (Retail value $40)

Grand prize:

Ereader (Kindle or Nook) and $25 gift card (Amazon or Barnes & Noble).

Keep them both or share them to the delight of your friends!  To enter my giveaway, leave a comment with your contact info, follow me on twitter, facebook or subscribe to receive email notifications from my website, ensuring you stay up to date on the next release, Ladd Fortune….coming June 2013.  Once you leave a comment, you’ll be eligible to win our grand prize!  The more sites on the hop you visit and leave a comment, the better your chances to win–so don’t miss a single one!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

For added fun, join my Facebook party going on now!  It runs through Sunday and will be filled with tidbits about Tennessee (setting for Ladd Springs), more gardening tips/recipes and of course–giveaways.  You can also take part in naming an upcoming horse in the series, as well as a character’s favorite southern comfort food.  Mmmm…we’ll start with cornbread and take it from there. :)

Interested in joining my street team whereby you’ll receive special promotions, swag, sneak peeks and the like?  Subscribe to my website for email notifications and be the first to know about upcoming releases and news (found at the upper right hand of my sidebar) and your invitation will be “in the mail!”  Full details can be found on my Bloomin’ Warrior page. 

And the winner is…

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Congratulations, Christine! And a huge thank you to everyone who participated. :) It was fun and we hope to see you next year!

77 thoughts on “2nd Annual Authors in Bloom Blog Hop!

  1. Amber Terry says:

    My favorite flower is the peony. Thanks for the chance to win!

    1. dv says:


  2. Maria D. says:

    I’m a rose girl…lol…love rose bushes and have a bunch of them at home – but I also like veggies …lol …and my favorite is the tomato – thanks for the idea on the mushroom mulch – I’m willing to give anything a try:)

    junegirl63 at gmail dot com

    1. dv says:

      LOVE roses! “Stop and smell the roses…” I often do around my house and the scent is divine… :)

  3. Leanne Tyler says:

    I will share this tid bit about mushroom compost to my dad who is the avid gardener in our family. We actually saw a mushroom compost truck the other day and we speculated about what that would do to the soil. Now we know.

    1. dv says:

      Stinky, but the stuff REALLY works! Just watch your ph levels and have your soil checked. :)

  4. I’m not a great gardener, but we do grow a few vegetables. Mainly tomotoes, cucumbers and Zucchuni!.
    hschrock24112 at yahoo dto com

    1. dv says:

      Working on a zucchini fritter recipe, myself! :)

  5. Oh, I forgot to add, my fave flower is the Cala Lily!

  6. Savannah miller says:

    My favorite flower is a hyacinth I love the way it smells :) My kids get me one to plant in my yard every year for Easter.

  7. kate says:

    I love the box presentation for the seeds – they look great! Looking forward to reading all the blogs today and the next 9 days.

    1. Dianne says:

      Be sure to stop by my facebook page where you can WIN some flower boxes ~ the more the merrier!

  8. Great ideas!! Had never thought about some of those. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Dianne says:

      Glad to be hopping with you, Christie!

  9. Barbara says:

    I love gardening.
    I clean all of my beds last weekend.
    Now I am just waiting for the weather to add additional plantings.
    Who knew mushrooms?

    1. Dianne says:

      It was my local hardware guy that shared the bounty with me. :)

  10. Edie Ramer says:

    I’ll have to tell my husband about mushroom compost. I never heard of it before. I’m sure he’ll be interested.

    I love tomatoes from the garden! My sister-in-law told me she cries when the season is over. I understand her tears.

    1. Dianne says:

      Totally. I’m so happy my tomatoes are in ground! Will post pics on my facebook page tomorrow!

  11. Jennifer says:

    I love roses, zuchini, and cumbers. Yum getting hungry now!

    1. Dianne says:

      Me and you, both!

  12. Chrissy says:

    My favorite flower is the daisy. To paraphrase Kathleen Kelly, “They are the friendliest flower.”

    I love my vegetable garden though. We grow mainly tomatoes and peppers for salsa.

    1. Dianne says:

      I can now make my own salsa ~ completely from veggies and herbs in my garden! **so proud**

  13. Jenna says:

    I love love love cucumber, always my favorite veggie (err, fruit.. hehehe)

    1. Dianne says:

      You should try my cucumber soup recipe. You’ll find it on my garden blog at

  14. laurie goudge says:

    i adore roses

    1. Dianne says:

      The redder the better, the sweeter the more delightful. :) Though I wouldn’t turn any color away.

  15. Valarie Lee Gentry says:

    I love Sunflowers!

    1. Dianne says:

      Me, too. And there’s not a more FUN flower to grow–especially with kids around!

  16. bn100 says:


    bn100candg at hotmail dot com

  17. Sue Fitz says:

    flowers – was just getting out my seeds to see what I wanted to plant this year

    1. Dianne says:

      These gift boxes would be perfect!

  18. Sharma Darby says:

    My favorite veggie ( some call it a fruit) is homegrown tomatoes. and corn on the cob love them.

    1. Dianne says:

      Delicious. Just had some roasted tomatoes for dinner last night…

  19. Martha Schlegel says:

    We just bought our house and made a raised planter box…this is my first year at attempting to grow my own veggies so any and all tips are beyond helpful!! Oh an my favorite veggie (I think it’s a veggie and not a fruit, some would disagree) are tomatoes! Fresh tomatoes from a garden are to die for…so looking forward to them coming up!

    1. Dianne Venetta says:

      Me, too! Mine are now in the ground and adding eaves every day!


    We had a bad storm yesterday and it knocked out our Internet and everything for a while. We are still having some problems getting blog back up. They can get it through Facebook, twitter and google plus link. We think lightning messed up a line. Working to repair. Meanwhile, it seems the link to my name is broken as well. sorry for this problem.

    1. Dianne Venetta says:

      I’ve heard the storms have been HORRIBLE. Hop back when you can! The important thing is–you’re safe. :)

  21. Jane says:

    My favorite flower is the tulip and tomatoes are my favorite veggie.

    1. Dianne Venetta says:

      Tulips are my favorite, too.

  22. Mer says:

    Thanks for the tips, especially about the mushroom compost! Pansies are my favorite flower, and tomatoes my favorite vegetable. At least right now. Ask me at the end of tomato season and, if the crop’s as good as last year, I may say differently!

    1. Dianne says:

      Will do! Do you ever use Epsom salts and eggshells when planting your tomatoes? It’s another one of my secrets to blossom-end rot FREE tomatoes!

  23. We love to grow sunflowers. Those are adorable gifts. Thanks for the tips. Heather

    1. Dianne says:

      LOVE to grow sunflowers. They’re so massive and beautiful! The kids and I make bird feeders with some of their seeds. :)

  24. Kristen says:

    My favorite vegetable – currently – is caufliflower, although I’m looking forward to planting my garden soon.

    1. dv says:

      Mmmm… We have a great cauliflower and cheese recipe to make it taste like mac and cheese for the kids!

  25. theresa n says:

    Tomatoes they’re my favorite thing to plant.

  26. Tiffany Drew says:

    Peas, I love em! Favorite flower? Probably the sunflower, it’s just so cheery and welcoming.

    1. Tiffany Drew says:

      forgot my email, sorry!


  27. dv says:

    GORGEOUS. I’ve never heard of it and had to look it up! Totally worth it. :)

  28. dv says:

    My neighbor grows amazing orchids.

  29. dv says:

    Mmmm…you’re making me wish my cucumbers were in ground!

  30. Lorelei says:

    I love roses, but Iet me add Tulips to the list and sunflowers.

    1. Dianne says:

      All beautiful…

  31. A friend gave me some rose cuttings yesterday. They are for a rose called the Knockout. Do you think these can be rooted at this time. I am trying to do so. I usually have pretty good luck with cuttings, but our weather is 80 degrees and then down to 35 degrees.

    1. Dianne says:

      That’s a tough weather pattern but knockout roses are a wonderful addition to your garden. They can be rooted, but better yet, once you get them started they’re an easy to grow variety of rose and one of my personal favorites. I have a bunch of red ones around my house!

      Good luck and thanks for stopping by!

  32. JanD says:

    My favorite vegetable is bean sprout.
    bituin76 at hotmail dot com

    1. Dianne says:

      Getting ready to plant a few of those myself!

  33. Thanks for the wonderful insights Dianne. I didn’t know about mushroom compost. Sounds like a great tip. Thanks for arranging this wonderful blog hop!

    1. Dianne says:

      Appreciate your kind words AND your participation!

  34. Thanks for holding this! I love gardening and don’t do nearly enough of it. My favorite fruit is oranges! I hope you’ll stop by my page, too, for some chocolate cake!

    1. Dianne says:

      Chocolate cake? You know I’ve already been there and done that! And oranges flourish here in Central Florida…as does chocolate! :)

  35. sarah p says:

    I think this book sounds like such a good read! Thanks for an amazing giveaway to go with :) I would have to say that I love a classic red rose

  36. Dianne says:

    Romance. Most definitely a good choice. ;)

  37. Rose Milligan says:

    My favorite flower is a tulip…yellow. My favorite veggie is cauliflower.

    1. Dianne says:

      Definitely with you on the tulips. :)

  38. Things have been pretty crazy over at Sweet pea’s chatter house. Storm blew out blog and internet two days basically. So had to fix it, and restore blog since some of it wasn’t working right. Anyway, finally things are working out so having a Square Dance over there to celebrate this blog hop and people still commenting on our blog and sharing how much they enjoy this April in Bloom Hop. Telephone repairman gave us good advice, next time we unplug our computer because of storm also unplug phone lines because a lot of lightning comes in on the lines. We now know this.

    1. Dianne says:

      Wow. Sorry to hear about all the problems but glad to know you’re okay!! Thanks for the tip about the phone lines. And wonderful that readers are enjoying the hop. I know I am!

      Thanks for your patience, Anna. :)

  39. Love the gardening tip and the prizes are awesome. Thanks

    1. Dianne says:

      Thanks for taking part, Teena!

  40. Shadow says:

    Hi! Thanks for sharing! Beautiful pics! My favorite flower is bleeding hearts. I think there so unique and pretty! I love em! :) Thank you!

  41. Dianne says:

    Those bleeding hearts are fast becoming my second favorite–right after my beloved tulips!

  42. Love those green peppers! Beautiful. (I logged in the raffle copter so don’t count me twice) :)

  43. When I originally commented I clicked the “Notify me when new comments are added” checkbox and now each time a comment is added
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    1. DianneV says:

      Have you tried going back and un-checking the box from your original comment?

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