Gardening and Writing au naturel

Our instinct is to push back. Unfortunately, our energy level can’t keep pace with either the instinct or the desire, so year-by-year the wildness surrounding our rural home has encroached on the lawn and gardens.

It’s a tapestry of textures, weeds and wildflowers amid original plantings. At one time I’d be stressed about not being able to keep ahead of them, but … it is what it is. This is rural living and at this point in our lives it’s never going to look like a well manicured city property unless we hire a professional gardener, and THAT isn’t going to happen.

So, buttercups mingle with cranesbill, salal creeps beneath the canopy of maple branches, ferns pop up in the midst of hostas and iris, and we embrace the au naturel look.

The whole gardening endeavour here is a little like my writing. I admire the works of many published authors — words neatly gathered on the page and polished to present the perfect story — and wish mine could be similar, but I’m not them; I’m me.

My method of writing is a lot like my method of dressing, of entertaining and of dealing with daily routines — a little haphazard and a lot informal — so it’s not surprising that I write ‘by the seat of my pants’ and face queries and submissions so casually that they often don’t happen. It’s not surprising that my garden is a little on the wild side, too.

Some days I look at the results (of both) with a degree of discouragement, wishing I could produce something better, but other days I acknowledge this is the way it is. I remind myself there are good things to be said about the au naturel lifestyle.

And as the poster in my office says,

“Be yourself.
An original is always worth more than a copy.”

~  ~  ~

4 thoughts on “Gardening and Writing au naturel

  1. Helga Bolleter says:

    Nice analogy, Carol. I can relate. In fact I prefer the same approach to writing. I find it usually turns out better than using a more organized method. It sounds less comprised. And because it’s spontaneous, it becomes more ‘me’. The writing somehow feels more authentic.

  2. Darlene says:

    I love your garden. I much prefer the natural look.

  3. I love your garden, too. Wish I could see it in person. I think we’re too hard on ourselves sometimes. Critical. Where did we learn that? I’m learning setup is very important. In that I mean, taking a few moments of quiet to be prepared for what you’re about to write. Because we operate on inspiration, there’s no reason why we shouldn’t have an intimate conversation with our muse and give thanks in advance for the wonderful prose that are about to unfold.

  4. Sue Harrison says:

    All the more beautiful, Carol. I love the post and I love your garden and I love your attitude!!!

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