We gardeners have a saying about seeds: when you get a plant growing from seed that is the same as the parent plants, we say that the plant “comes true” from seed. Hybrids often don’t grow true from seed in that you’ll get plants that resemble one or the other parent plant that went into producing the hybrid, but not offspring that resemble the hybrid cross.
I like this saying as I’ve often compared proposing ideas and projects to throwing seeds into a garden. Some germinate, but many don’t. I have pitched far more books to publishers that didn’t get published than proposals that made it into print. I’ve had more ideas that never made it to market, so to speak, than those that came to fruition. And some ideas didn’t exactly come true, but led to other things that did.
In the 1980’s I was an artist working on paper. I was also a garden geek, so it’s not surprising that a great deal of my pieces had plants and gardening as their theme. I made designs for greeting cards, posters, and books. Some of these were printed or published, but many were not. I have a stack of such work in my basement. Yet although these didn’t germinate and grow, they inadvertently led to my current work as a garden communicator.
I never intended to be a garden writer, speaker or radio host. I just wanted to stay in my studio and make stuff. But those wishes didn’t come true. Something else grew instead. I just needed to be ready to see the good things that could germinate, even though they were’t what I had in mind when I planted.