Ghislaine’s next-door neighbour was Clotilde. To be honest, the boundary fence was way too close to Ghislaine’s house. It was only two or three steps away from Ghislaine’s sitting room window. Ghislaine planted some sunflowers in the space between in order to give a little privacy.
This worried Clotilde, not because it stopped her from looking into Ghislaine’s sitting room (she didn’t care about that) but because she loathed sunflowers. There was a good reason for this loathing. When she was seven years old her little sister had died and her parents put sunflowers on the coffin during the funeral. Sunflowers had become the unhappiest of flowers.
It’s not as if Ghislaine and Clotilde were enemies. They didn’t dislike each other at all. In fact, when the sunflowers weren’t there, Ghislaine and Clotilde would chat over the fence quite amiably. Clotilde decided to visit Ghislaine and tell her of her sunflower predicament.
Ghislaine understood perfectly. “Goodness!” she said. “I had no idea.” She pulled the sunflowers out at the height of their beauty despite Clotilde saying she would live with them for the season.
They reached a compromise; they bought a high trellis and together planted a beautiful yellow climbing rose. It was the perfect solution and gorgeous to behold!
This mutual and amiable conciliation reminds us all (surely) of today’s politicians.
Tresnor liked to garden in the nude. She’d always done it. Her parents gardened in the nude, and since she was a wee toddler Tresnor had followed suit. There was a certain freedom! A oneness with nature! It was healthy! It was what tribal ancestors did eons ago! No one got hurt! It was perfectly harmless!
Only once did Tresnor get scratched, and that was when she was pruning a rose bush and she stepped back into the prickly pear cactus. She scratched the back of her leg, and after that, when she was pruning roses, she always wore long socks.
To be honest, a naked person pruning roses next to a prickly pear and wearing long socks is a sight to behold, but Tresnor didn’t mind. There was no one watching through her high fence.
These days, she is older, but she still gardens in the nude. There are no roses to prune, so the long socks have been dispensed with. And on a coldish day she forgoes gardening altogether. There’s no need really to get chilly unnecessarily. But on a sunny day she’s out there weeding and cutting back even though it wouldn’t matter if the garden got a little overgrown. Besides, the retirement village has a permanent gardener to care for the community garden.
You’ve heard of the last rose of summer? Well, that’s not what we’re talking about. We’re talking about the last pear.
Raewyn and Hendrik had planted a pear tree in the garden four years ago. They had nursed it, nurtured it, coaxed it. At last it had produced some fruit; three little pears. Raewyn and Hendrik had one each. They were delicious; ten times more so that they were out of their own garden. The third pear was rather blemished, and a little later to ripen than the others. Raewyn watched it every day. She was determined to pick it before the birds got it. But it wasn’t quite ready yet.
Three days ago she went out to check on it and it wasn’t there.
“Where’s the pear?” she asked Hendrik.
“It was blemished,” said Hendrik. “It probably had codling moth. I picked it and gave it to the chickens.”
Raewyn hasn’t spoken to Hendrik for three days. Hendrik needs to pop down to the florist and buy the last rose of summer.