Spring is my favorite time of the year. As a gardener, I relish removing the dead debris from the previous year and making room for new growth. It’s inspiring to see those tiny yet determined sprouts force their way into the world. In fact, that bright, fresh green of new blossoms is probably my favorite color.
Whenever I work in my backyard—weeding (aka, reestablishing battle lines), pruning, watering, fertilizing—I think of writing. There are so many analogies, but the one that sticks with me has to do with flower gardens.
I so admire flower gardens!
You know a truly special one when you see it: flowers purposefully planted by increasing height and shape in complementary hues, every single one thriving, and something interesting blooming throughout the entire season.
These gardens are a lifetime pursuit. They take decades to grow, nurture, and turn into splendid colorful scenes that are reminiscent of a Monet painting. They require patience, trying different flower types, careful care, and inevitably trial and error (irises are my Achilles’ heel, despite supposedly being one of the easiest flowers to grow).
I’ve been working on establishing a flower garden in my backyard ever since my husband and I moved into our first home 5 years ago, and there’s always something new to learn.
Along the way there are beautiful blossoms to admire—the golden yellow of alyssum, sweet fragrance of lilacs, cool spherical shape of alliums, and tight-knit community of grape hyacinths. But it’s bringing them all together that’s the hard part.
Likewise, writing is a craft that takes a lifetime. It’s only with patience, hard work, continual learning, and perseverance that we can thrive. We must foster new skills while not forgetting old ones, branch out, plant something different where experimental flowers didn’t take, and never lose sight of our vision.
And you know that amazing book you recently read that flowed so seamlessly? It didn’t burst forth into the world as is. It took years of hard work behind the scenes to get to that point.
Do you have a flower garden? What does it make you think of?