I’ve got them! The true Scottish Bluebell, right here in my garden. I didn’t buy them or dig them up from anywhere either. Let us just say some seeds found their way here.
My little patch has grown over the years. Despite someone mentioning they are just weeds and recommending I get rid of them before they take over. I kept a good eye on them after that just in case a wandering hand hooked them out. I was glad I had spread the seed behind a large bush and they had time to grow and settle themselves before anyone really noticed them.
I love seeing my little group growing a bit larger each year. Much in the way they got here in the first place, I am going to collect some seed and help them spread under my wild raspberry bush. Next year I am hoping for the bright pink of the bush to fade into the bluebells underneath.
That’s the thing about gardening. Even if you know little about the technical side, or are not sure of what would be described as a weed something will always grow. If I like the flower then it’s not a weed in my book, it stays. Unfortunately, that has meant some years I spend a lot of time digging out something that was actually quite invasive. I’d left it the previous year and then the following year it smothers everything. I am getting better though at spotting hard-core invaders.
Writing is a bit like gardening only you get to stay dry and warm if you are lucky. Both require patience, motivation and planning to a degree. I tend to tackle my garden the same way I tackle the first draft. All or nothing. Out comes the sun and I can be found replanting, digging and weeding all day long. Of course, that generally means I have overdone it and the garden is neglected until I can carry on the next time the sun shines. Then I have to recap, replant and shift things around to make sense.
Planning stories are not much different. I know roughly where to start, who the characters will most likely be and where it may end up. The bit in the middle is sometimes a bit hazy. But as I progress it becomes a lot clearer. Often resulting in going back to the beginning and deleting certain storylines, adding in more chapters, or building up a thin plot.
In the end, though the manuscript like the garden matures and develops its own colour, textures and themes. It is no surprise then each week when I contemplate what I will write for my blog subject, I find myself wandering either around my wee garden or taking a walk around the loch into the woods.
One of the other great benefits of gardening and writing is that they both help you look forward. After all, you are planting for the next season or the months to come. In writing, you are working towards a finished manuscript, completing one of the numerous edits or finishing the book. Wellbeing, nature and writing are all firmly intertwined at least for me.
I am contemplating my wee bluebell patch again. Would it really matter if these were Spanish bluebells or the mixed variety after all they are equally bonnie? I believe it would. Especially as our own wee humble ones appear to be losing out to the other varieties.
What this patch is saying to me however is despite my aching back and shoulders from gardening, I need to make an effort to take a walk around one of my favourite places.
The Big Burn Walk at Golspie right now will be festooned in bluebells. I missed it last year with the lockdown but I am determined to get up there and enjoy that magical walk
The air will be thick with seeds and blossom at this time of the year. Not a place to be if you have allergies. For the rest of us, it is indeed a special place. I may even succumb to a wee ice cream in Dornach on the way back. I don’t suppose the dog will mind as long as she gets her share.
In the meantime, I’ll keep a watch on my patch and once the seed is set give it a helping hand.
Good bluebell hunting!