August 2006

Dear friends of Desert Rose Books,

The calendar has announced that the end of summer has arrived. It's always a bittersweet time as we look forward to Autumn yet, must bid farewell to all of those wonderful things that makes summer so enjoyable. It's hard to believe that summer has come to an end, especially when it's nearly 100 degrees outside my office window. However, the signs of Fall are all around us; kids have returned to school and Halloween candy is on Supermarket shelves. Once again, the holiday marketing blitz is underway. We won't see an end to it, until the Valentine M & M's are piled in the 50% off cart. Sigh... For now, let's enjoy these final weeks of sunny weather, warm evenings and garden tomatoes. A final article on gardening is included in this newsletter. It wraps up the 'Gardening with Herbs Series' featuring a piece on Scented Geraniums.

Time for a little news... I have a book signing scheduled for:

September 23, 2006

10:30 AM - 12:30 PM

At the Bottom Shelf Bookstore

124 S. Mission Road

Fallbrook, California

The Bookstore is located on the lower level of the Fallbrook Library.

A portion of all of the copies of 'Whispers on the Wind' sold that day, will be donated to the Library.

Please, stop by, say hello and support the Fallbrook Library.

As a final note, I achieved a dream of mine and visited Ireland this summer. It was the best vacation I've ever experienced. I posted a few photos from my trip via the 'Community Page' at the Desert Rose Books site.

Scroll down to the 'Article Archive' and you will find an article on Puerto Rico where I had an opportunity to go hiking in a rainforest, as well as the piece on Ireland.

As always, a recipe is included below.

All the best,


Scented Geraniums

by Bridget Geegan Blanton

My garden has been subject to constant transformation over the years. I'm always trying to make the most of the knowledge earned from lessons learned. I can list the brilliant successes and the dismal failures, as well as how much sunlight that plant received. For a gardener, the end of summer is a good time to conduct a review of which plants performed well. For me, not a gardening season passes without introducing new plants into the mix, yet I have my old favorites that appear year after year. Reigning triumphant at the top of the list are Pelargoniums, commonly known as scented geraniums.

Scented geraniums produce highly aromatic foliage and delicate, brightly colored blossoms. There is a vast array of leaf shapes, flower colors and foliage scents available amongst the wide world of Pelargoniums. Scented geraniums are an attractive ornamental plant to add to your landscape. They also do quite well as potted plants. Local availability is usually limited to just a few of the less interesting varieties. During the winter months ahead, search online for a nursery that will ship to your zone and prepare to be dazzled by the scents available. Just to pique your interest, let me list a few of the fragrances that I've discovered: Rose, Lemony Rose, Cinnamon Rose, Mint, Lemon, Ginger, Nutmeg, Apple and Strawberry. The range of variety in leaf shape amongst these plants is as numerous as are the scents that they release. The more vigorous growing pelargoniums have larger leaves. Compact varieties have smaller, more delicate leaves and blossoms to match.

Scented geraniums are fun to collect and with the range of offerings, it's easy to see why! Some of the scented geraniums in my collection were chosen for their scent, others for their blossom. The blossom of the Wildwood, scented geranium, one of my favorites, displays more than a few hues of pink. It is one of the most attractive flowers I've seen on a Pelargonium. I tend to favor the warmer fragrances like nutmeg and ginger yet, the lemony scented foliage is also a favorite.

You'll be happy to know that scented geraniums are relatively hardy, somewhat drought tolerant and easy to care for. When I go out of town on vacation, scented geraniums are always amongst the survivors of the watering drought in my garden. These plants do best in a well draining soil. They are excellent plants for terra cotta pots on the patio. Water a scented geranium only when the soil is dry and keep them out of that hot, afternoon sun. They prefer full morning sun along with a little dappled afternoon sunlight. Scented geraniums can tend to be 'leggy' so keep them pruned. Pelargoniums benefit, as do all plants, when we slow down and spend a little time mixing in some fertilizer with the water.

If you're like me and you maintain an ever-growing number of Pelargoniums scenting the breeze off the patio; you're going to want to use those aromatic leaves for something other than rubbing between your fingers. Toss dried leaves into your potpourri mix. Make rose geranium scented sugar by inserting fresh leaves into your sugar bowl. Raise even more scented geraniums by inserting cuttings into damp soil. This is one time that you won't want to let the soil dry out. Actually, scented geraniums are notorious as excellent plants to propagate through cuttings. I don't know if this is good news or bad, but hybridization of the Pelargonium continues to produce new sizes and scents for the scented geranium fan. If anything, shopping for scented geraniums online in the dead of the winter is a sure cure for the wintertime blues.


Fridge Marinated and Oven Roasted Mojito Chicken


1/4 c chopped garlic

1/2 c chopped onion

2 c orange juice

1/2 c lime juice

1/2 c olive oil

4 t kosher salt

1 T black pepper

2 t ground cumin

2 t dried oregano

1/4 - 1/2 c chopped cilantro

6 chicken breasts with skin and rib bones

At least 4 hours prior to baking or even better in the morning and lots better - the night before...

Mix together Marinade ingredients, add the chicken and let it all hang out in the fridge.

Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees. Place chicken in a large baking dish. Pour most of the marinade over the chicken, into the baking dish. It won't all fit but, go on now and get most of it in there.

Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes. During the baking process take a minute and spoon some of the marinade over the chicken. Do that a couple of times and about half way through, rotate the dish in your oven so that the pieces bake evenly.

Serve with a couple of spoonfuls of marinade from the baking dish on the side. Serve with rice. It's excellent!

And now a parting thought...

I received this simple bit of wisdom from my dear friend, Sister Margaret Kelly...

"If you pray, why worry?"

"If you worry, why pray?"

Desert Rose Books hopes you've enjoyed our brief publication. As always, your comments are welcome.

Please visit us at www.desertrosebooks.com Home of the historical fiction novel, 'Whispers on the Wind' Pick up a signed copy at our online bookstore for just $14.95. Experience the writing style of Bridget Geegan Blanton. Visit the sample chapter page that portrays a portion of the new historical fiction novel, 'Whispers on the Wind'

Enjoy your day. As always, thanks for spending a little time with us. Desert Rose Books