Isn't she lovely? Wait until you meet this third sister, Tessa Gregory. It is mid-May, 1913, in St. Paul, Minnesota, as our story opens. How much trouble can one person get into, and on her way to seek a gardening position in the city parks systems, especially at beautiful Como Park, with her horticulturist background? Picking flowers, indeed; deadheading is more like it!
As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus
the Lord, so walk ye in him: rooted and
built up in him, and stablished in the faith.
The Marjorie McNeely Conservatory, also known as the Como Park Conservatory, is located in Saint Paul, Minnesota. It was built in 1913 by an architect named Frederick Nussbaumer, and officially opened in 1915. This unique structure includes an acre of flowers and plants with its nine different gardens. A total of approximately 50,000 plants occupy these gardens and encompass over 1,600 species.
Helping instead of hindering, how could she have been mistaken for a species thief? At least a nearby park gardener knew the difference and rescued her from the patrolling park officer. He is on his way to see the park superintendent, Mr. Nussbaumer, too, and escorts her. His name? Reese King.
She is declined.
The Gregory girls promised to support one another's dreams.
Walking home from the streetcar, she is met at Aunt Sam's Summit Avenue mansion by sisters Hannah and Charlotte. Certainly they would help her come up with a plan. She must work at Como Park. They need her. Frivolous fundraisers and committee meetings are out ~ she must design gardens and get her hands in the warm soil.
After a good night's sleep, she is on the streetcar again. With her garden plans in hand, she would keep returning until Mr. Nussbaumer looked at them ~ either out of curiosity or to get rid of her. But how could he, once he sees her proficiency?
When she gets to Como Park, she finds that Reese has a plan of his own ~ to help her, and using her design plans she brought for a new garden he has been given free reign to create. Tessa agrees to have this become a reality with one condition ~ she helps plant.
I like Tessa's perkiness and Reese's overlooking drama as they work side-by-side to gain new blooms. With her designing and his digging and lifting, they complement each other. Could they beyond the gardens?
He studied the area, allowing the plans Tessa had created and he had studied to take shape on the empty land before him. In the end, he'd selected her design for an Arts and Crafts garden. She'd included a nice selection of flower groupings in intense colors. Most of the flowers needed were already propagating in the greenhouse.This is going to take some time...
Her design featured separate garden rooms, which would give each area of the garden a different feel. The little areas, partitioned off a larger garden, would have different schemes. Some would have ornamental additions, some water features, and some hard landscaping.
--As Love Blooms, 33
Back to the sisters promoting each others dreams; Tessa hopes that the input there will bring about the desired results. It will take juggling and spacing all of the coming activities, especially when she adds more on herself. Visualized dreams coming alive.
Enjoy author Lorna Seilstad's third book in The Gregory Sisters series. Visit her website here.
***Thank you to Revell Reads for inviting me to be part of the blog tour for Lorna Seilstad's new novel, As Love Blooms. This review was written in my own words. No other compensation was received.***
Books 1 and 2 in The Gregory Sisters series: