Thank you so much to my much loved friend and talented author Sally Cronin, for being my guest here today to introduce her new book, Tales from the Garden. It’s full of wonderful, and sometimes wistful tales, as well as gorgeous photos. It’s joyful to move to exciting new climes but also a little sad to leave behind old friends. This is a beautiful book. I’ve been dipping into it now and will review later, but already I recommend it heartily. I’ll be back to normal transmission here tomorrow by the way, and catch up with comments, but for now Sally’s in charge. Over to you Sal!
Tales From The Garden – Behind the scenes – by Sally Cronin
My deep thanks to my friend Jo for hosting me today. Also for all her support over the last two years for my blog and other projects that I have been working on.
We are leaving our house here in the mountains at some point as soon as we have sold it and will be returning to Ireland and dare I say; more rain than I care to mention. The realisation that I would have to leave this beautiful mountain garden with sun filled summers and dry and sometimes snowy winters; was the inspiration behind the stories that are a record of all the features that I have come to love. Tales from the Garden began as a weekly short story series but the response was so positive I decided to publish as a permanent record. This is particularly important as many of the statues are simply too heavy to move and will have to remain with a new family that they will watch over.
Until the spring of this year we had a wonderful gardener who came in three times a week for a couple of hours and took care of the basics. We inherited Antonio with the house in 1999 and in total he worked in this garden for 47 years. He used to be a beekeeper up in the hills where the wild flowers add such a delicate flavour to the local honey. However, his wife’s ill health resulted in a need to work part-time and close to home. Hence our great luck in having him as a permanent part of the family. At age 82 he decided that he would like to retire. After issuing strict instructions about the lavish care he expected for this garden he had cared about for nearly 50 years; he left us to find our own green thumbs.
Our dog Sam arrived with me from Ireland by car in 2003 when I moved across permanently. He took to Antonio immediately and they would spend all morning in the garden together. Sam would supervise the watering, picking of the tomatoes, chasing of squirrels and general mischief making. The garden is the quieter for both their departures, although I sometimes feel eyes on me from Sam’s favourite bush behind the pool house!
Sam features in the book of course despite already having his own autobiography. He is The Last Emperor and is one of the stories that I found the most difficult to write. Here he is in his imperial glory.
Tales from the Garden is a collection of fairy stories and 80 illustrations, for children of all ages, from five to ninety-five that will change the way you look at your garden forever.
The tales reveal the secrets that are hidden beneath hedges and trees and you will discover what really happens at night as you sleep unaware in your bed. Stone statues and those hidden worlds within the earth are about to share their stories.
The guardians who have kept this sanctuary safe for over fifty years will allow you to peek behind the scenes of this magical place. They will take you on a journey through time and expand your horizons as they transport you to the land of fairies, butterflies and lost souls who have found a home here.
Sally Cronin spent a number of years in each of the following industries – Retail, Advertising and Telecommunications, Radio & Television; and has taken a great deal of inspiration from each.
She has written short stories and poetry since a very young age and contributed to media in the UK and Spain. In 1996 Sally began studying nutrition to inspire her to lose 150 lbs and her first book, Size Matters published in 2001, told the story of that journey back to health. This was followed by another seven books across a number of genres including health, humour and romance. These include Just Food For Health, Size Matters, Just an Odd Job Girl, Sam, A Shaggy Dog Story, Flights of Fancy anthology, Turning Back the Clock and Media Training.
For the last two years Sally has written a daily blog covering the subjects close to her heart including writing, health and music: Smorgasbord Invitation – Variety is the Spice of Life. You can link to it from here: smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com.