Tag Archives: garden

2591. Old Mrs Handisides’ garden

Old Mrs Handisides (Hannah to her friends although her real name was Allison) lived alone in a little cottage surrounded by what was once a cottage garden and now was a substantial plot of weeds. Once, a few years back, she had made an effort to do something with the garden, but she was not a gardener by nature. She had known a farmer up the road who let her collect buckets of cow manure which she spread on the garden. All that succeeded in doing was to propagate species of weeds that weren’t there before.

Mind you, having an unkempt plot of land didn’t stick out a mile in the neighbourhood. Most of those with some sort of lawn and garden space around their house had let things go more than a little bit. In fact, the street had quite a reputation.

Young Ocean McDonald lived with her parents next door to Old Mrs Handisides. She was all of twelve and interested in gardening. Unfortunately her parents had no garden whatsoever. Ocean McDonald visited Old Mrs Handisides and asked if she could have a little garden – on her side of the house – so they could see it from where they lived.

Old Mrs Handisides was delighted. “You can have as much garden as you like. And I’ll get you some pretty flowering plants you can use.”

“My father has already got me some flowers as well,” said Ocean. “So it’s all go.”

Within weeks the side garden was a picture. Ocean spread to the front of the house; and to the back of the house. It was a veritable symphony of colour! People would stop in the street and say WOW!  Sometimes Ocean McDonald’s father would come over and give his daughter a hand. He seemed as keen about gardening as his daughter. That was when the police came and arrested Old Mrs. Handisides for growing marijuana and opium poppies in her flower beds.

2573. An immensely ordinary day

It was one of those immensely ordinary days where nothing happens and then…

John was out weeding the garden – his beans to be precise – and Natalia was busy in the kitchen making cabbage and bacon bones soup to freeze for the winter. Don’t get me wrong; sometimes Natalia could be out weeding the garden and John could be in the kitchen whipping up a soup for freezing.

A car slowly went by on the road. Natalia came out to the garden.

“Did you see that car go slowly passed? It’s done it twice.”

“No. I didn’t notice.”

John stood to look.

“Here it comes a third time. It”

2571.  Body on the lawn

Lucas didn’t have to be the brightest star in the sky to know that the dead body lying on his lawn with a severed head had not been put there by himself.

It was the body of his neighbour, Barney Parker. Lucas couldn’t say he was sad. Barney Parker had had an affair with Lucas’ late wife a few years back. And now, there was Barney’s body and severed head lying slap bang on his lawn. It was, in Lucas’ view, poetic justice.

The trouble was Lucas wasn’t that keen to call the police. He’d spent considerable time in prison not long after his wife had passed on. If he called the police they might easily think he was the number one suspect.

The mystery of why the body was on the lawn deepened. Lucas dragged Barney’s body into the garden shed and locked the door. It was where he had left it in the first place.

2567. City life

Serenity’s husband was away on a business trip – for the whole working week. It was no bother. Serenity was at work herself during the day. Upon finishing work she would go home, cook something to eat, watch a bit of television, and go to bed.

It was on the Tuesday night, around eleven o’clock. Serenity was awoken by noticing a light left on in the shed in the garden. It wasn’t a very big shed. Her husband used it mainly for storing tools and the ride on lawn-mower. (Yes, even though they were a very liberated household, her husband was still the one who mowed the lawn).  It had been a handy shed when the kids were growing up; a couple of bunks when they had friends stay over was a Godsend.

The light being on bothered Serenity; mainly because she had not been into the shed for a while and if she didn’t turn it off it would continue to stay on all week and chew up a bit of the grocery money in electric costs. So she got out of bed and went out into the dark. She opened the shed door, walked in, turned off the light, and returned to the house.

As she got into bed she noticed something. The light in the garden shed was on again. It was strange, but not enough to bother Serenity. She would turn the garden shed off properly in the morning. She went to sleep.

In the morning she had forgotten about the light being on in the garden shed. She put a few vegetables and a couple of tough meat chops in the slow cooker and left for work. The cooked result would be enough for her and her cat!

That evening when she got home someone had been in the house and eaten her dinner and left a mess in the kitchen. This was the straw that broke the camel’s back. When her husband returned at the end of the week they were leaving San Francisco whether he liked it or not.

2547. Gabriella’s tomatoes

Gabriella took up gardening with a great deal of enthusiasm. She had never had the space before. Her marriage had broken down and broken up, her daughter was safely tucked away at university, and the place Gabriella now rented had a large, in-need-of-a-weed, vegetable garden. There is nothing nicer than a home-grown freshly picked tomato, thought Gabriella. Besides, she needed a hobby to take her mind off things.

She purchased a packet of tomato seeds; “Grosse Lisse” the variety was called. The back of the seed packet said they were best sown in trays inside and kept moist for quite a few weeks before the estimated last frost. There were six compartments in each tray so Gabriella sowed twelve seeds in her two trays. Each day she carefully watered them. To a first-time gardener it was an exciting and interesting venture.

The “official date” of the last frost came and went. Not a single tomato seed had germinated. Not to be beaten, our intrepid gardener got in the car, drove to the garden centre, and bought twelve healthy tomato plants.

Throughout the season she had tomatoes coming out her ears. Which just goes to show that some stories don’t lend themselves to murder.

2544. A quiet retirement

Ethan lived a quiet life. He was retired now, but had worked as a grocery deliverer for the last eight years of his working life. It was for a huge grocery chain. People would place their orders online, and Ethan would take the orders, wheel a trolley around the shop gathering what had been ordered, and then drive with the goods to the buyer’s place for delivery and payment.

The job had suited Ethan down to the ground. He wasn’t the gregarious type, but a few cheerful words when delivering the goods was all he needed to brighten his day.

These days he potters in his garden and does some water colour painting. Enthusiasm rather than talent might be the better word to use for his painting skills. He continued to live his quiet life and then suddenly, as if out of nowhere, there was a murder in the street. His very street! It wasn’t an ordinary murder; the victim had been hacked to pieces by some sharp object – a knife perhaps or a machete. It was enough to make ones hair stand on end. Ethan didn’t know what to do. He went back to his gardening to take his mind off things.

But first he cleaned the sickle and put it back on its shelf.

2537. Natalie’s garden

Natalie’s garden plans were not astronomical, but they were pretty big. They comprised several acres of undulating land with the house at the end on the highest hillock. She could look out her window and “survey the estate”.

Naturally there was a ride-on lawn mower to skim around the loveliest of fish ponds, and flower beds, and the wonderful vegetable garden beautifully cared for between two delightfully rustic garden sheds. One wouldn’t really call then “sheds”; there was wisteria hanging down the front of one, and the other had a vigorous grape.

The orchard was as productive as an orchard could get. There were plums, peaches, apples, apricots, and pears; two varieties of each so that they fruited at slightly different times in the season.

The entire property was well fenced, with automatic front gates that welcomed any visitor who wished to enter. It was perfect because Natalie had a dog that liked to roam free, and this fencing arrangement kept her dog free but at bay.

Of course, her husband maintained the vegetable garden. It was his hobby, but Natalie mowed the lawns and carried out the rest of the tasks. It was an ideal arrangement, because even though he liked gardening Adam was a busy lawyer in town. He certainly raked in enough money to support their lifestyle. Occasionally too he would trim the box hedging. It was a task that Natalie did not enjoy. Adam didn’t enjoy doing it much either, but they worked as a team and there wasn’t a great deal of box hedging anyway; just a circular hedge around the weeping flowering cherry.

Such was the perfect existence. Now all Natalie need do is make some money, buy some land, build a house, find a wealthy husband, get a dog, and begin her adventure.

2521. Ezra’s lily plot

Ezra Connell had a lily garden. It was quite big. Lilies were his hobby. And what a picture it was when they were in flower!

When his wife was alive she had an allergy to lily pollen so certain varieties of lilies were banned. But now that she had passed on he could cultivate whatever variety of lily he wanted.

He had Asiatic lilies in one section of the garden and Oriental lilies in another. He had even tried to cross an Asiatic with an Oriental but the result looked a bit like someone had dragged the bloom through the mud. Another area was for Martagon lilies, and these were probably his favourite. Another area was for Tiger lilies, and yet another for Trumpet lilies. He even had quite a range of Patio lilies growing in pots and placed against the garden wall.

Thank goodness he had all this because Ezra Connell’s lily plot is the only plot you’ll find in this story.

2516.  Roses

Hudson loved growing flowers. To be fair, no one was sure he was into flowers in a big way because he liked gardening or because he won every bloom competition there was and he was into the glory of winning. Be that as it may, Hudson grew flowers and would spend an inordinate amount of time in his garden.

Coming up was the annual rose competition. There were a number of categories but the prize that Hudson had his eyes on was “The Supreme Rose Trophy”. The winner’s name each year was engraved on a little metal plaque and attached to a large shield hanging in the local hall. Hudson had the perfect rose. The timing was going to be perfect. It was as if the Fates had conspired for him to be the winner.

Two days before the rose exhibition something phenomenal happened. Hudson was in his garden and an alien space craft landed on his property. Two aliens emerged from the craft. They approached Hudson. Could he spare a little sugar? Their highly sophisticated craft ran on sugar and they were out of such fuel. Just a cup would be fine.

“Of course,” said Hudson. “I shall go into the house and get it.”

A few moments later Hudson reappeared. He carried a gun. He shot the two aliens dead.

They had landed on his roses.

2447.  A lethal posy

Anthea had always been a keen gardener. Now in her retirement, if the weather was fine, she was out pulling weeds, or planting seedlings, or watering the vegetables. Her garden was admired not only from the street but by the many neighbours who profited from Anthea’s generosity. Not only would neighbours benefit from boxes of fresh vegetables left on their doorstep, but bouquets of gorgeous flowers arrived if there was a happy or sad occasion.

Anthea knew fairly fast the tastes of neighbours. Charlene had pollen allergies so lilies in a posy were out. Gloria and Dick detested broccoli. And so on.

Now it so happened that one family of neighbours moved away. The house was bought by the nastiest couple imaginable. When Anthea welcomed them with a box of fresh vegetables, all they could say was “About time”. The husband (or the male in the relationship) had an obsession with drones. Anthea wasn’t the only one on the street to detest the invasion of her privacy with the neighbour’s wretched drones going here and there.

Enough is enough. Anthea whisked up a delightful salad from the greens in her garden. She included quite a few chopped up foxglove leaves – by mistake of course.

As Anthea said to Prue at the funeral, “Let’s hope any new neighbours are a lot lovelier.”