With the spring comes the renewed interest of the time honored sport of gardening. I love gardens -the flowers, the colors, the lush leafy greeness of it all. So beautiful. So, yes, I love gardens... other people's gardens. Gardening, however, I do not love so much.
I confess, I am death to plants.
It's not that I don't try to keep things alive... for a little while at least. Whether my problem lies in simple neglect or unwanted attention, my track record with my green and leafy friends is not a good one. Now normally I would accept my failures and move on, but I unfortunately have neighbors who hire fairies from the enchanted wood to sing sweet melodies to their flowers to achieve magical blossoms. Their lawns look like putting greens from a masters course. My lawn, [sigh] well my lawn had large patches of moss, which turned black, giving it that lovely "scorched earth" appeal. The only patches of green were the dandelions.
You see the problem here. So when our neighbor decided he would rip up his (already perfect) lawn and put down sod (tucked in neatly by enchanted elves) my husband and I were feeling the pressure. Our neighbor had some left over sod, so we had the utterly brilliant idea to rip up the yucky parts of our "lawn" and put down the sod (I did mention we are not gardeners - right?).
So hubby rented a rototiller and went to work ripping up the bad parts. It started small and then there were a few more patches, and a few more, and the more we looked at the yard, the worse the whole thing looked until he had ripped up half the lawn. At this point we had to admit we were in waaaaaay over our heads and had to hire a landscaper (magical creatures take one look at our yard and run away) to come in and fix what we broke. That "free sod" cost us dear.
Writing historical novels can be a little like trying to piece together a lawn with a little bit of sod. I think I just need one bit of history to piece together the background or to figure out how a simple task would be accomplished, and the next thing I know I've spent days researching some miniscule point, taken copious notes, and surrounded myself with pictures, timelines, and genealogy charts all for something that might get one line in the final draft of the book. Fortunately, I enjoy researching history a lot more than gardening, although the enchanted elves don't help me with historical research either.
Ever start a project that turned into much more work than you expected? Do tell - I like to know I'm not alone! And if you know how to contact any of those elves...