There’s an unintended horticultural theme to this week’s blogs – probably influenced by the impossible loveliness of the Chelsea Flower Show. For readers not familiar with this bastion of British blooms, Chelsea is the creme de la creme of Flower Shows for growers and designers alike. All jingoism aside, it is pretty spectacular.
Anyhoo, there I was last night thinning out some seedlings whose identity was unknown because I forgot to label the seed tray and an idea occurred to me – the growing process has much in common with developing ideas. At least it does in my world.
When seedlings are young they need light touch handling and when an idea is young I find there is nothing more likely to make it cock up its heels and snuff it than grabbing it full on and mangling it prematurely into a form for which it is patently unready. No, seedling ideas need time to develop their true form just as plant seedlings need time to develop their true leaves before too much handling.
As with seedlings, when an idea has matured a bit, that’s the time to thin out a weakling and either consign it to the compost or re-pot it and let it develop a bit further. But if it’s grown well you move it on, giving it more space to develop and feeding it with liberal doses of “what ifs?” and “how abouts?”.
This is the time when many ideas will wilt and die; some will have grown leggy and ungainly because you forgot about them; some you will bring into the world of drafts, revisions and rejections where they will finally fade away. However, if you’re lucky, talented and green-fingered, just a few will grow on to become a stunning creation, worthy of that coveted Chelsea Gold Medal and then you can sit back and smell the roses.