by Julie Carpenter
Recently, I started (re)reading The Writer’s Garden. It has pictures – the best kind of garden book – and long descriptions of writer’s gardens, from Jane Austen at both Chawton House and Godmersham, her brother’s estate, and Virginia Woolf at Monk’s House to Roald Dahl at Gipsy House and Beatrix Potter at Hill Top Farm. I love them all and I would love to visit every one of them. While I love the long avenues of lime trees and lawn of Godmersham, and the sweeping view of the lake at Agatha Christie’s Greenway, it’s the more rambunctious gardens of the children’s author’s that inspire me. If I had to choose for myself, it would be the gardens that inspired the homes of Peter Rabbit and Miss Honey, from Mathilda.
Apparently, at least in my estimation, the children’s authors know exactly what I’m looking for in a garden. Potter’s house crowded with flowering vines and the garden comes laughing up to the door in a big jumble to greet it. There are pots and watering cans and a few flowers which appear to be delightfully misplaced. Of course, this kind of chaos takes planning, but lightly planned chaos is the foundation of my personal philosophy. Hill Top Farm, where the garden is located, looks over a peaceful village and sheep and more rumbly tumbly little gardens. I would happily spend my afterlife in this garden.
Dahl’s garden, with its boxwood maze and gypsy caravan and the quirky American eagles made of stone, looks like a child’s dream. There are swathes of bright purple alliums and poppies. It looks like a marvelous place for an afternoon adventure.
Those are my dream gardens. What about yours?
Maybe when we meet in the quantum fields, we’ll all have our dream gardens. I hope so. Until then, Happy Gardening or garden dreaming.
Julie Carpenter is the creator of the Sacred Chickens website. She is dedicated to telling stories and making sure that indie writers and publishers have a way to be heard. She uses narrative, her own and others’, to help interpret the world. She has a Master of Professional Writing from the University of Memphis, with an emphasis in Composition Theory. She wants to bend reality one story at a time. Julie’s work has appeared in Fiction on the Web and will be included The New Guard. She is currently working on a novel.