Monthly Archives: January 2024

Watership Down

I don’t love the havoc the many wild rabbits at my farm create, like early this fall when they girdled an apple tree I’d recently planted. I always put protective wrap around my fruit trees before winter sets in to ward off rabbits but last fall they started nibbling mid-September.

But this is endearing. Over the years I’ve planted huge patches, entire lawns, in vinca minor (Myrtle). I clip strands of Myrtle sometime in October, line up dozens of canning jars filled with water, and over the course of the winter, each strand grows roots that I plant in the early spring.

Here is one of my patches, along my back path. It was one of the first places where the snow started giving way last week so a family of rabbits got busy and opened a bistro with Myrtle on the menu. After eating, they played on the dance floor (my deck).

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When the Jessamine Grows

Donna Everhart’s long-awaited novel When the Jessamine Grows has finally launched.

When the Jessamine Grows is set during the Civil War, but it is not a war story. Rather, it is a story about those whose fight for survival took place far from the battlefront, told from the rarely-heard perspective of a courageous Southern woman. It is a story about the impossibility of neutrality in times of war. And finally, set amidst the rugged beauty of rural 19th century North Carolina, When the Jessamine Grows is a story about a farm family and survival and standing by one’s values.

When The Jessamine Grows book cover

“Donna Everhart takes a complicated issue—neutrality during the Civil War—and gives an empathetic portrait of a family that tries to maintain it … compelling, harrowing at times, When the Jessamine Grows will keep you on the edge of your seat.” – Linda Hodges, Fiction Addiction (Greenville, NC)

“Historical fiction at its absolute best! Showing strength, courage and resolve in the face of the many cruelties of the Civil War, Joetta McBride is no demure southern belle. She deals with grief, starvation, and ruin. Everhart has created a new hero in the unflinching, steadfast, and ever courageous Joetta McBride.” – Sharon Davis, Book Bound Bookstore (Blairsville, GA)

“The divide of the North and South was like a great crack in the earth, a gaping maw of distrust, and the self-righteousness and determination that grew with each passing conflict only served to expand the differences. And here she dwelled, in this land divided, impartial, and nonaligned, hoping to remain thus until it was over.” – from When the Jessamine Grows