I'm now laying out the issue. I open up the daily paper. Wham, bam. All across the front of the Home section is a photo spread on this garden along with an indepth interview with the gardener. I cringe and set it aside for a few days. Mulling it over. Her personal essay is much different than the interview she gave, but still would that make us look like the copycats for using it so soon? Should I set the story aside and hold it for a future issue?
The added wrinkle, this gardener is 97. If I hold it, I'm afraid it may turn into an In Memoriam piece and I'd rather this gardener get to see and enjoy it with her family while she lives.
The upshot is, I'm going to roll with it. I hate to look like those news organizations I always mock for not doing any original reporting and just reading off the stack of daily papers or linking online to others stories, but I think this feature is different enough and complementary to the other piece that our readers will really enjoy it.
Pictured here is the gardener in question, Kathleen Williams of Chevy Chase, MD, in her front yard explaining her preferred pruning technique for the Harry Lauder's Walking Stick.