The Gardens prompt is all about creativity. What picture comes to mind when you hear the word ‘garden’ – the spectacular beauty of carefully landscaped tiers – the fresh delights of a new snowfall on frozen branches – or the haunting beauty of shadows and wilted plants at dusk on a fall night.
Please share your poetry, photography, artistry, or writing skills in a flash fiction piece inspired by a garden!
Your choice of medium, genre, word count (1000 maximum) and how the prompt inspires you!
First I have to confess that I love admiring beautiful plants/gardens but I’m useless when it comes to actual gardening. I don’t have green fingers. Not at all. Truth be told? I once killed a cactus. How difficult is that? Very difficult. I mean, these plants can survive without water for days on end. So there you have it. End of that story.
Back to the blogfest. My contribution is an assortment of items. First I’ll share some pics and facts about the local Botanical Gardens. Then I have a short non-fiction piece inspired by the gardens. Lastly, I discovered a prompt-based piece written a while ago and decided to include it in this post.
DURBAN BOTANICAL GARDENS
It is currently the oldest surviving botanic garden on the African continent and our city’s oldest public institution.
It was developed in 1849 as a botanic station for the trial of agricultural crops and has progressed as part of a network of botanic gardens internationally to focus on core areas of biodiversity, education, heritage, research, horticultural excellence and green innovation.
It offers a herbarium, an orchid house, a cycad collection, a garden for the blind and a charity tea garden.
It’s famous for the original specimen of a Cycad (Encephalartos woodii) that is still widely acknowledged as probably the rarest plant in the world, as well as for its extensive collection of South African cycad species.
The herbarium contains an impressive collection of over 100,000 specimens of dried, pressed and catalogued plants, most of which originate in KwaZulu Natal. (the province in which I live)
Africa’s oldest surviving botanic gardens, on my doorstep, is the ideal spot…a beautiful, tranquil getaway. Situated close to the hub of the city, it is like another world, unhurried and laid-back. I always remember the frequent visits to the gardens during my childhood. It represents a haven, the perfect retreat; an ivory tower of lavish, overflowing greenery in the perfect sub-tropical climate. It boasts a herbarium which contains an impressive collection of over 100 000 dried, pressed and catalogued plant specimens; an orchid house; the fern collection of local and exotic species and an extensive Cycad collection! The lush grass carpet promises more therapeutic value than the $34 million seventeenth-century Persian rug sold at Sotheby’s three years ago. Besides the R&R it offers, it could definitely tempt the creative muse, lure her out of hiding. All that’s required is a pen, notebook, the warmth of the sun on your face as you lie on the expanse of lush green carpet!
Word count 160: NCCO
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Here’s a kiddies story written in response to a picture prompt.
ADVENTURE IN PLANTSVILLE
“Do you think plants have feelings?” Four-year-old Philippa blurted, eyes glued to the miniature pot plant. Granny Megs paused, looked up from the paper she was reading. She was lost for words!
“What do you think?” she answered. It was best this way, since the child would arrive at her own conclusion, one way or the other.
“Well, I was just thinking… plants are living creatures, aren’t they gran?” Her little head rested on her arms, eyes still glued to the plant.
“Yes, they are. Plants are a living and growing part of nature which is God’s creation.” Hopefully that answer should put an end to that.
“How do they stay alive? Do they breathe?” Her little brow puckered in concentration .
“They breathe but not in the same manner as we breathe,” Granny Megs put down the paper and proceeded to leave the room.
“But where are their lungs?” Her little index finger moved up and down against the leaflet. There was no reply. Granny had already left. She looked around and sighed. Then she rolled her eyes upward.
“Why the sigh?” A tiny voice responded. She looked around. The room was empty.
“Over here… in front of you…”
“Where, I can’t see you.” Her little head darted from left to right.
“The plant, silly!” The volume had risen a notch. “And give the old lady a break would you?”
The magical voice seemed to come from the plant in front of her.
Her eyes opened wider, a priceless expression on her face. “You can talk. I knew it! I just knew it!”
“Of course I can. I’m alive, remember?”
“And I do have feelings. You are one smart young lady.”
“So how do you breathe? Do you have a family? And a home? Where do you come from? Do you have a best friend?” The string of questions tumbled out, one after the other.
“Of course I do. Would you like to meet my best friend?”
She nodded vigorously.
“Why don’t you come with me. I’ll show you everything!”
“Just close your eyes and concentrate on my voice…”
Philippa closed her eyes. The tiny lilting voice was hypnotic. She felt herself drift.
Word count 371: NCCO
(Any thoughts/comments on the direction this story should take?)