At the moment I am researching. Yes, really. Lots of reading and a course on gardens with Cardiff university, which is fun and also very useful. Learning things that may go in this book, or the next, or maybe just stay in my head. Research is like that.
When I was studying for the PhD I recall a panel discussion of some of the senior academics from the faculty, talking about that topic. One mentioned that your thesis would probably not contain half of what you know. One of his colleagues admitted that in his case it was more like seven eighths. Like an iceberg, most of it is never seen.
I happen to believe that in-depth research adds richness to the finished product, even if the reader doesn't see it directly. Well - that's my story and I'm sticking to it, and don't anyone mention procrastination!
That conversation between academics came into my mind at the weekend when I was scribbling down a time line and family tree for the people who built and owned the house and garden that are going to be the centre of the work that will eventually be in progress. I knew I had to get it done, as there was a hole in my plans that was keeping me from moving on. By the strange alchemy that happens in writer's brains, bits and pieces from the garden course, books I had read and what I needed for the story melded together and I ended up with a full history for the people who came before her in the house that my heroine inherits. Will it make it into the book? I doubt it, at least not more than a line or two. But now I know, And it's going to make the story of Whitchwood House that much easier to tell.