Ever since we moved to our new house, we’ve been landscaping our backyard. Now in our third year I’ve come to realize how similar gardening and landscaping is to writing and editing a book. As with writing, you start with an idea, main plants, and perhaps a brief plan. As you work on the gardens, you get more ideas, bring in more details such as plants with a variety of texture, colors, and bloom times.
The next year, as plants grow bigger and fill-in, you might find that you need to move some of them to different spots, or you might see the need for adding in some annual blooms in an area to give more color and excitement.
Maybe you’ll decide you want more shade, and will build a gazebo or pergola or arbor. Then, of course, you’ll probably want some benches to sit on while you admire the nature around you. Now this is somewhat like creating a second or third draft of a book.
If you’re like my husband and me, you might want fountains to give the peaceful sound of bubbling or cascading water, a shed to house your gardening tools, and a vegetable garden to give you tomatoes and lettuce and peppers. And then, when you think you’ve almost got it done, the intense summer heat or the frigid winter ice takes its toll on some of your beauties, and again you have to buy new plants to replace the ones that didn’t survive.
Finally, when it’s all done, you’ll walk around and find weeds that have crept in through the supposedly weed-preventing mulch, somewhat like the pesky little typos we all find in our books.