A Garden in Cornwall
(A Wedding in Cornwall Book 12)
By Laura Biggs
With their lives exactly what they’ve always dreamed, Matt and Julianne await the arrival of the third member of their family — but their happiness is threatened when their landlady Mathilda announces her intention to sell their beloved Rosemoor Cottage for an impossible value. Devastated, Julianne struggles to accept the cold reality of her and Matt making their home elsewhere.
Matt’s life has taken a new turn as he finally puts aside his academic work to pursue his gardening hobby as a career: his first new job as a landscape designer involves neglected Penwill Hall’s ‘lost’ garden — one with a truly romantic Cornish past. But the task of restoring its legendary beauty from nearly seventy years ago proves difficult among the ruins lost in weeds and wilderness.
With notions of secret gardens and wartime stories echoing in her thoughts, Julianne is determined to help Matt and the estate’s new owner after the discovery of a hidden mural in the hall itself, depicting a breath-taking garden that may well be the lost one. Her efforts to uncover the past lead her to a curmudgeonly local gardener who just may hold the knowledge that would restore the ‘lost garden’ to its former glory. Will Julianne’s quest help her find a way to deal with losing the home she loves?
Hellos and farewells abound as Dinah returns to lend a helping hand at Cliffs House and Julianne relives her favourite memories of her and Matt’s beloved cottage in Book Twelve — the final instalment in the bestselling series A WEDDING IN CORNWALL.
A Garden in Cornwall Excerpt for Room With Books
Thanks so much Patricia for letting me share about my writing with your lovely readers! My latest book is A Garden in Cornwall and the final installment in a series about American event planner Julianne who finds a new life working in Cornwall. In this scene, Julianne and her husband Matt are attempting to pick out possible baby names for their yet unborn child:
“What do you think of Allen?” He had opened a different book, this one lying on the sofa’s adjacent table, with as many marks and creased corners as one of his research books. “Alexander. Anna. Audra.”
“Maybe,” I said. “How about something from the P’s?” If Matt and I were the middle of the alphabet, maybe we should lean towards the far spectrum of A-Z for the third member of our family.
“And have their initials be ‘P.R.’?” said Matt. “No, thank you. Let’s try a different letter, shall we?”
“‘V’?” I suggested. “Valerie? Vivienne? Violet? But if it’s a boy — that would be, what? Vincent? Victor?”
“How about something from the W’s? Warrington, Wilson, Wendy ….” He flipped through the pages, choosing at random. None of these sounded quite right to either of us.
“Maybe we should pick the name of someone we love,” I suggested. “A family member or a good friend.”
“None of my friends would be particularly flattered, I’m afraid,” said Matthew. “Academic minds with their noses buried in books these days, except for those who have children of their own.”
“But they would be if you named a newly-discovered indigenous moss for them, wouldn’t they?” I said.
He laughed. “All too true. Personally, though, I would prefer to have something else named for me. Although having the last name ‘Rose’ makes it rather difficult for anyone to call one of those after me.”
“Do you want a Matthew the second?” I asked. He shook his head.
“Not really. You?”
“No. I think one Julianne is enough in the family,” I said. “What about a mutual friend we both share?”
“Amanda? Gemma? Charlotte?” suggested Matt. “Kitty? Her given name is Katherine, isn’t it? I’ve always rather like that name.”
“Geoff? William?” I recited. “You had some close friends in your university years — what were their names?” I frowned. “Or maybe childhood friends are better.”
“My first friend’s name was Archie,” said Matt, reflectively. “When I was four. I remember playing with him by the shore … throwing bits of shell at the shore birds who stole our picnic’s biscuits.”
“Mine was Lindsay,” I said. “Only spelled with a ‘z,’ I think.” I made a mental note not to use any weird spellings that would cause a headache for our child forevermore.
“You could name her for Aimee,” suggested Matt. “She would be thrilled by it, undoubtedly.”
My friend Aimee would die if I named my daughter for her — of course, she was back at home in Seattle now after a brief stay in Cornwall as part of a shop sitting arrangement with one of her fellow business owners. She would probably be too busy at work to join us for the special occasion. A cross-continental godmother of sorts, I imagined. Could you stand in via webcam as a godparent? I wasn’t sure.
“What about family? We could name it for one of my parents or yours.” I knew either of mine would be flattered by the gesture.
“My mother was never very fond of her name ‘Janet,’ although I never understood why,” said Matt. “I’m sure she would be honored by the thought, although I doubt she would want to pass down her actual name. So perhaps we shouldn’t rush to choose hers.”
“It could be a nice way to preserve your father’s memory, if we named it for him,” I said. Matt had lost his father too young in life to have known him well, and I knew he regretted this fact.
“It might be,” said Matt, quietly, and I could see he was seriously considering this one. “His name was a rather good one.”
David Lucas Rose. I had seen it written in an old book of Matt’s on one of our shelves. I had noticed his son’s handwriting resembled his ever so slightly in the way it slanted its ‘l’s’ and ‘r’s.’
“Let’s definitely put it on the list,” I said, reaching for the pad and pencil we had been using to jot down possible baby names.
Laura Briggs is the author of several lighthearted romance novels and novellas, including the bestselling Amazon UK series A Wedding in Cornwall. She has a fondness for vintage-style dresses (especially ones with polka dots), and reads everything from Jane Austen to modern day mysteries. When she’s not writing, she enjoys spending time with family, caring for her pets, going to movies and plays, and trying new restaurants.