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Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Short Story: Garden Dreams

 It was early, and I pulled my covers over again, but Jane wouldn’t let me sleep.
“Come on, I need to show you something.”

 I followed my little sister, because I knew I would never hear the end of it.

We went outside to our little garden near the house. Today it was very pretty: wildflowers splashed  the lawn  like drops  of  fire,  and  butterflies  hovered lazily like autumn  leaves. Jane obviously didn’t think so; her face was a scowl, and she narrowed her eyes. “I wish we could get rid of it! Or at least make it better.”

“Why wouldn’t you want something so nice?” I asked, shocked.

“Because just think of it,” Jane answered dreamily. “Just think.

“Instead of this old, ugly stone path, we can have a road surrounded with bright azaleas.  And  bordering  that,”  she  recited,  “we can have endless miles of exotic blossoms!”

“Nice vocabulary,” I laughed, “but I think this patch is good enough. I think you’ve been reading too many books with fancy gardens.”

“Have not! Anyway, instead of this dirty fence, we can have a proper hill laced with Old England Roses. Plus, we can have elegant benches, you know, real polished wood, right under it in the shade. And there should be shrubs all around them,” she added.

“I can’t decide what type of garden it should be, Japanese, Chinese or some other. Japanese ones are really just evergreens, so you don’t know time is passing by, but Chinese ones have to be two-thirds up a hill, some other hills in the distance, a smaller pool going into a larger lake…”

“Sounds very specific. But I really think you should be happy with this one.”

“Uh, no…it also has to have a giant maze, I don’t know what kind of hedge, well maybe yew, and there has to be a fountain and statue made of marble at the middle. And I want there to be a lot of streams with bridges crossing over them, and wind chimes everywhere you look. Oh yeah, and birdhouses too. What kind of a garden doesn’t have birds?

“There should also be trees, but they can’t cover up the flowers of course. I like willows, because their branches drape, but mostly anything else would be okay. Oh, and I want pines too, because they never turn brown and they smell nice. Wait, I forgot about having cherry and apple blossoms!

“The garden should be really, really big and I would like there to be hills, but a flat one is fine. The birds need to be colorful, and so should the butterflies. You don’t want any boring ones, do you? And there need to be a lot of trails made of crunchy pebbles, and ponds with pretty fish inside.

“There need to be a ton of roses, and tulips I guess- although I like daisies too, and since it’s my garden, I’ll add them. And I’ll make open fields so horses can run around, so I can learn to ride them-”

“June, why don’t you like our own garden, instead of making up fancy ones? You know you’ll probably never have enough money to make one so extravagant.”

Her face flushed as she answered, “Because the girls down the street laugh at it, and ask why I don’t have a pool there instead. I wanted to make it so good, I would show them gardens are better than pools.”

I wanted to laugh as I answered, “But it’s because gardens are better than pools is why they don’t like it. They just don’t want to admit it and be wrong.”

“Really?” Her voice was small when she said that.

“Really,” I replied with all the truth in my heart.

“Oh, okay, I guess it’s good for now, but I need to start planning, you know; and then I want....”

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