- You start with a mess, a jumble of plants/words that you're pretty sure belong together.
- You go over it as a whole, raking off the excess leaves/descriptions to see what lies beneath, to reveal the bones of the garden/story
- You consider the plot. Does it work for what you intend?
- You do some judicious pruning of plants/words, cutting back where necessary.
- You look for gaps, and transplant with complementary plants to fill the gaps in without marring the lines of the garden.
- You look at form/structure, colour/description, variety/character, and location/setting, ensuring that everything works harmoniously together and nothing is forgotten or overlooked. Having a shade plant in full sun is the wrong setting, and it just won't work.
- You add compost or fertilizer to improve what is there, to make it stronger and to help your garden/story flourish.
- You take cuttings and surplus plants/plot elements and put them somewhere else. There will be a place to use them in another garden/story.
- You sit back and enjoy a job well done.
Monday, April 26, 2010
Gardening Your Words
It has been gorgeous weather and I'm spending much of my time in my vast gardens. It struck me as I raked and hoed and spaded and transplanted that spring gardening is very much like editing. It's the same basic steps.