In May it will have been twelve years since I started growing it. The garden in the backyard is my pride and joy, although I never let anyone in. Its rows of foxgloves and its exquisite maple tree whose branches teetered over the fence and onto the street behind it, were my getaway. The lilacs in rows, the roses growing up the fence, the greenery perfectly placed. It’s all mine. Until, about five years ago. A family had moved in across the street, a young couple and their eight year old daughter. In the sixty years before I had the garden, no one had wanted to stay in that house for more than a year or two. It had never been a home, just a house.
I didn’t care much for neighbours anyways, I had no business with their small talk and brunches. I had no business with the new neighbours until the day their little girl knocked on my door with a smile on her face and a pie in her hands. “Hi! My name’s Ava, and my family just moved in across the street. We baked you an apple pie!” she announced. I thanked her, and sent her off as the sun was setting. I placed the apple pie on the coffee table and let its sweet scent smother the halls of my home; from the breakfast nook to the window seat of the spare room.
I woke up to the scent of apples and fresh fallen rain, the classic recipe for a good day. The smallest things set my days on their paths. The lack of adventure that they held, left little to be enjoyed; so details like a storm or a bird’s song put my days in the right or wrong direction. I made my way down the ancient mahogany staircase that I knew so well, while the dew strung cobwebs outside my windows twinkled in the sunlight like stars on a string of twine. I then made my way to the garden, and watered a couple of sections, as the sky had done my work for me.
The rest of my day was not so picturesque. I made an omelette and drank my tea while filling in the sudoku of yesterday’s newspaper. I devoured the second half of my Edgar Allan Poe complete works book, and drank another cup of tea. The sun had started it’s journey to the other side of the world, leaving a deep rosy sky, splashed with coral here and there. All of a sudden, there was a knock on the door; it was Ava. I opened the door to her ear to ear grin and a look of excitement. “Hello Miss! I saw that you have white roses growing out of the corner of your backyard and I just wanted to say they are so cool! I’ve never been allowed to grow my own garden and my parents are much too lazy to keep up with theirs.” She spat out. “Well thank you very much Ava. I’ve been growing the garden for almost twelve years now.” I replied. I had an idea in the spur of the moment. I was hesitant to vocalize it. “Would you like to see it?” I blurted out. Her eyes lit up right as she said “Could I?”. I nodded and led her to the rickety barn wood door.
I pushed on it lightly, and it opened with a creak. We stood in awe, eyes wide, like we were both seeing it for the first time. White roses surrounding the perimeter, and sunflowers touching the sky; it was beautiful. Ava looked up at me grinning, and I gave her a nod. She ran into the garden, and for once I didn’t care about the flowers getting ruined, as long as the garden was making someone else happy.“Can I climb it?” she said pointing distinctly at the tree. “Of course”, I smiled back. She climbed and climbed until she teetered over the fence on one of the trees branches. She looked at me, looked back over the fence, and giggled; as if she was looking at a whole new universe.