A Garden Story
A few years of my childhood, we lived in a flat. We had one neighbour below us who despite being kind enough to invite me in for tea every so often was decidedly disagreeable. Unfortunately, we shared a garden with this neighbour. The garden was large and surrounded by a thick hedge on nearly all sides. Besides the four towering pine trees, the garden was most unremarkable. It had a manicured lawn and flowerbeds at each end. The flowerbeds contained a few dotted blossoms, nearly as affected as the neighbours themselves.
Dreaming of gardens with overgrown bluebells, climbing vines, blooming roses, spiraling honeysuckle and lilac’s humming in the breeze, I had a mission. Every day after school I would collect seedlings on my way home and plant them throughout the garden. By the time half a year had passed, the garden was a fairy’s paradise. Primrose, rosemary and sweet woodruff laced through the grassy slope, moss covered every stone, pansies and rose buds bobbed in the flowerbeds. Schoolmates over for a visit would beg to see the garden - so full of life and enchantment. Little hedgehogs, fluffy bunnies and cuddly kittens would pass through on occasion. It was perfect.
One afternoon, after a particularly grueling last day of school, I arrived in the garden with lavender seedlings in hand. I was in process of preparing the soil when a hand lit down upon me, spilling the seedlings in the process. Clutching my stinging cheek I sprang back - it was the neighbour. The neighbour - who was most displeased with the lively garden swore to “get things back in order.” Over the following week, I watched in tears as flowers were clipped and roots were upturned. After the garden appeared listless once again, the neighbour was satisfied.
Summertime found me with mates in the countryside. I received a letter from my mum who detailed that frogs had been creeping onto the neighbour’s patio and jumping through their windows at night. “Fairies will get their own revenge” I mused. Upon coming home I found the garden far more lively - apparently there had been a change of heart.
Photo: Mottisfont Abbey Gardens, Hampshire