Friday, August 6, 2010

The Rose Garden

This magpie is building on last week's poem "Through the Door" and is a work of fiction.

As my cousin Gerald and I were reminiscing about the past, Aunt Abigail came to mind.  Gerald spoke lovingly of his mother, but with much sadness as he related his recent visit to his childhood home.  I had known her well when I was younger, but like most of us, I grew up and drifted away.  She was tall and thin with wispy white hair, and always wore an apron.  For all her apparent frailty, she had the vim and vigor of someone nearly half her age.  She worked in her garden every morning before the heat of the day, weeding her precious roses.  Some of them were descendants of roses from the Royal Garden of Queen Elizabeth, which had been sent to her over 30 years ago. She had tenderly cared for them all those years.  Her most prized bush was the yellow rose, called the Spirit of Freedom, that was presented to her by her husband (known to everyone as "the Duke"), the year before he died. 
Photo courtesy of Magpie Tales

Gerald had moved up north after graduation some years ago.  Now with both his parents gone, he was the sole heir to the house and grounds, and had returned to dispose of the property.  Her garden is hidden behind a high wall, and the gate has been locked since her death last year.

He took the rusty key and slowly opened the lock, stiff from exposure to the elements. 
He opened the gate and stared into the garden. It was overgrown with vines, and small trees sprouting from nuts buried by squirrels.  There upon the stone wall leading to the gardener's shed sat his mother's old watering can.  It was half full of water just as if she were tending her precious roses, her solitary companions these last years.  Gerald glanced around the garden and spotted his mother's yellow rose bush among the weeds.  It had one beautiful yellow blossom that shone with beads of water, creating a miniature rainbow in each drop.  As he turned, he saw a fleeting figure with wispy white hair and an apron freshly smudged with dirt.  



  1. Linda, I really love this continuation of the poem with the yellow rose in the garden. I can't wait to see if Gerald gets to communicate with his mother.

  2. I will speak to willow so the next Magpie is a shovel so he can dig out the yellow rose bush and take it home! Loving story.

  3. yes! Sometimes in the past I would get a glimpse of my Mom and then would remember-this is a lovely story

  4. I love magpies that grow with time. The stories begin to tug at you, revealing more and more, and yet the intrigue builds up.

    Lovely, Linda!

  5. beautiful magpie...i love the litle glimpse and the tie of it to the yellow rose and the rainsbows...nicely payed.

  6. Beautifully crafted, Linda, a wonderful Magpie. This is a marvellous continuation of your brilliant poem.

  7. I like the vision - nicely done - it rings with magic and hope.

  8. This is delightful! I just read through the door and love how you continued the story of it here.

  9. Of course it was Mother..lightly haunting..just my cup of tea!

  10. My own mother has been gentle on my mind ... yesterday would have been her 87th birthday. Your lovely Magpie was greatly appreciated.

  11. love, hope, and the passion for life
    are primary and thanks for making a tale whole and beautiful.

  12. Talon- Thank you. I liked that this week's prompt played so well with the last one.

    Stafford Ray- Thanks. Who knows what will happen next. ;)

    kathew- Thank you.

    ninotaziz- Thanks, I got lucky with these two.

    Brian Miller- Thank you. I did not make the connection when I wrote that line about the roses and rainbows and my blog name.

    Sam Liu- Thank you.

    Tumblewords- Thank you.

    Angie Muresan- Thank you. When I saw the watering can, I knew there was a continuation of Through the Door.

    Lyn- Thanks, glad you liked it.

    Helen- Thanks, I miss my mom too.

    Jingle- I'm glad you enjoyed it.

  13. lovely write and mothers have a way of always being there ....bkm

  14. A beautifully written moving story...
    The memories and objects that are associated wit hour near and dear ones are quite stunning!! My mom LOVES gardening... and everytime I see a friend's lawn or garden, I just have to call mom and ask her how her garden's doing :) Her mild case of Varicose veins does not stop her from trimming and watering and tending to her plants :) Phhewww...
    This was a wonderful post!!

  15. signed bkm- They are always with us, one way or another.

    Kavita- Thank you. My mom used to garden, too. I miss her every day.

  16. Ah, yes, mother was still tending her rose bush!

  17. Linda,
    beautiful reminisence!
    I created a flower bed over my mother's grave and it blooms so out of proportion to my care.

  18. Hi Linda...thanks for stopping by Write in Amazement. I so appreciate your comments. Your story is so charming and the ending was not what I was expecting. Nice turn of events.

  19. We were on the same wavelength with spirits in the garden. Your story reminded me of my grandmother who had the most beautiful rose garden. She favoured pinks and whites. I will never forget the colour or the scent. You took me back to my childhood for a moment. Lovely.

  20. Linda,

    This was another great one. I love that you are writing these stories.

    I'm a great fan of roses. Mine have to be pretty wild as I'm not much of a gardener. My grandmother was and well remember her white roses. They were so BIG. She had a lovely garden.

    I enjoyed this story very much:~)

  21. wow! i love endings like these that seal the piece so greatly! thankyou Linda, for writing of those that we've lost :)


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