So I’m in the garden marveling at how all the rain and heat has caused a proliferation of foliage. And so begins the game of identification: are you a weed or a flower? The working premise here is that a weed may produce a lovely bloom but it is not the bloom I want overrunning my garden.
How many weeds, or should I say, non planned plants, pop up at this early juncture in the story line of my garden? That questions stymies me. So much that I stare at them questioning myself “is it a plant I intended for my garden or a volunteer from a seed carried on the wind”?
These garden foes use tricks and mimicry to take hold. At a glance, Quack grass appears similar to Siberian Iris and wild garlic
mustard starts out a lot like Hollyhock, while something else looks like perennial geranium unless you look closely for telltale differences. It easy enough to make the call when the interloper in question is growing on the path through the mulch or somewhere else where you’d never plant it. But when they grow up side by side or mixed in with plants you expect to see, you start to doubt. You might even pull the wrong plant! I’m studying a clump of something trying to suss out its origin—interloper or intended.
When I’m working on a book that already has a back story from earlier books, I have to make sure that everything popping up in my head as I’m writing is supposed to be in that place and time. I admit I use the mimicry of similar character names or initials or appearance to lay in confusing clues that could lead the reader down the wrong path. Why should Mother Nature be the only one allowed to misdirect and confound? In the scheme of my garden, I eagerly make the decision to pluck as soon as the identity is clear. In my writing, I hope the seeds I plant grow well enough and remain in the story long enough to provide several 'aha' moments as readers suss out the truth.