I’ve never been much of a gardener. To be honest, I try to avoid working in the garden as much as I can. I suspect the plants probably tremble a bit if they ever see me coming through the door. I definitely don’t have a green thumb. If anything, I usually say I have a brown thumb.
Unfortunately, ever so often I have no choice. The garden is getting so overgrown that I have to grit my teeth, put on some dirty clothes and old shoes, and get myself out into the garden.
I’m not subtle. There’s no delicate shaping or pruning. It’s usually just whack whack whack until I’ve cut back or ripped out whatever it is that’s causing trouble.
And then there are the other times. The times when I’ve let things go for so long that there’s no way my meagre gardening skills will be up to the job. Like what happened this week. A tree along the side of the house had gotten out of control. It was whacking into the house and the fence, and sprouting seedlings into the gutter.
For the last few years, I’d been climbing up a ladder to pull the saplings out of the gutter. It was all getting a bit ridiculous. Time to say “Goodbye tree.” Time to call in the professionals.
It was surprisingly quick. Just a couple of brawny blokes with a couple of chainsaws. Lots of machinery roaring and quite a bit of shouting as well. And then, no more tree. One less thing I’ll need to do any future gardening for.
While I’m not much of a gardener, I like to think I’m not too bad as a writer. And, as is my usual habit, I can’t help applying my thoughts about gardening to writing. In some ways, a story is a bit like a garden. You need to look after it as it grows, trimming and pruning and cutting things back. Every so often, when things get totally out of control, you need to do some substantial chopping. And there are times when you need to call in the professionals to make sure things get done right.
So maybe gardening and writing are not that different after all. Still, I know which one I’d rather do.
Riptides in Reality
Posted by Jonathan Gould and tagged as