Over recent days I have been spending more time out in the garden than at my computer attending to my writing. The spring weather has generally been wonderful and the spring rain a bit above average. The rain has come at about the right intervals to promote and maintain weed growth, hence the need for me to spend a great deal of time in the garden.
A big garden
Let me hasten to add that our garden is no ordinary quarter acre block common to many Australian homes. We have 5 acres (2 hectares) of land on the edge of the rural city where we live here in South Australia. It’s a challenge to look after and demands one keep on top of things.
Sadly, the property has been quite neglected over the last 3 years while I completed my Master of Arts in Creative Writing. Now that I’ve graduated I can focus a little more on the extras – like gardening. One of the most time consuming tasks in recent weeks has been keeping on top of the weeds. We have planted many native Australian plants – like the one being enjoyed by one of our resident birds shown in the photo above. For these plants to really thrive I need to maintain a weed free zone around them. The weeds have a habit of taking over and choking out the growth.
Weeding my novel
This time last year I was doing a different kind of weeding. I was working very long hours – sometimes 10 to 12 hours a day – trying to get my novel into shape. The novel was my thesis paper for my degree and it had to be as near to perfect as possible. I spent many tiring hours weeding out all unnecessary words, phrases and even paragraphs. Every novel, short story, poem or article needs this treatment. Make every word count, weed out every lazy, useless and careless word.
You’ll stand a much better chance of getting your writing accepted for publication.
I feel stiff, sore and rather tired after a busy day in the garden. In fact, I’ve had quite a few busy days in the garden in recent days. The soil is nice and damp from the rain we’ve had making it easy to dig. The rain has also seen rapid growth of weeds, so weeding has been a high priority. Consequently this blog has been a little neglected in recent weeks.
One of the projects we’ve been working on is renovating our bed of rose bushes. It now boasts a new border made with recycled railway sleepers. These sleepers are ungoing a third life. After many years holding together the rails somewhere they were recycled as a rainwater tank stand in our backyard. This was made by the previous owner of our home. Last year we emptied and moved the tank to a more convenient location, so the sleepers were surplus to needs until this last week. They are now entering their third useful life. I never realised how heavy those sleepers were until I had to move them.
Today we planted another eight beautiful roses, adding to those already in the bed. It looks great and well worth all those aches and pains this evening. Now I have to be patient, waiting for them to come out of our cold winter, grow plenty of foliage as spring comes upon us, and then wait for the blooms to emerge.
In the meantime I’ve included a photo of one of the roses taken several years ago.
It’s a bit like waiting for a publisher to accept a manuscript. You put all that hard work writing that story or novel, weeding out unnecessary words, preparing the manuscript and sending it off. Then the patient wait to hear from the publisher.