How does your garden grow?

Below is this week’s contribution to Friday Fictioneers. The challenge is to write a story in approximately 100 words in response to the photo prompt provided. This week’s photo comes courtesy of ©Janet Webb.

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Friday Fictioneers prompt for December 5, 2014 ©Janet Webb

Genre: Fiction

How does your garden grow?

I never paid much attention to the garden. Young Joshua down the street kept it nice in return for pocket money. He wanted to study horticulture but his mother needed a carer and his father was busy sitting in the pub telling everyone how tough it was having a wife who was ill.
Joshua’s mother Eileen gave me those hydrangeas from cuttings. Theirs flowered a pale blue but mine were pink.  Joshua said it was because their soil was more acidic.
I wish I had offered to take Joshua in when Eileen died. No-one knows what became of him.
I should have paid more attention to my garden.

©Siobhán McNamara

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42 Responses to How does your garden grow?

  1. Dear Siobhán,

    I do believe you’ve written an entire novel in a hundred words. Beautifully written. Heart felt.




  2. Adam Ickes says:

    Regret can be a terrible thing if you let it. Better to think on the positive side of what might have been I say. Maybe he got away from his drunk father and finally went to school. Two birds with one stone.


  3. storydivamg says:

    Dear Siobhan,
    That final line speaks volumes while wrapping up the story beautifully. The details you pack into this short story while sticking to the action is amazing. Well done.

    All my best,
    Marie Gail


  4. Caerlynn Nash says:

    So moving. Sad how we often take things for granted and then regret missed opportunities. This is a great story in a small space.


  5. This comes full circle! Nicely done.


  6. draliman says:

    Wow, the whole story with background and everything in 100 words, nice!
    Sounds like Joshua had a knack for gardening. I hope he fares okay with (or maybe without) his dad, who sounds like he wasn’t coping too well (or was a waste of space).


  7. So much told… the narrators story… the story of Joshua and his family… and so sad. I like the last sentence as well.. sums it up so well.


  8. I agree. Feels like a novel in 100 words – very well done. The description of him in the pub telling everyone how hard it is being a carer is masterful – that is from the standard books from Russian classic literature and their superb psychology.


    • I worked in a few pubs in my youth and heard so many ‘poor me’ stories. Usually near closing time. Sad and all too common.
      I love the way Russian literature gets into character’s heads/motivations etc and then sees them exposed to themselves. Thank you for drawing the parallel 🙂


  9. plaridel says:

    he seems to be a nice lad. i’d not worry about him. as for your garden, that’s a different story altogether. 🙂


  10. Siobhán, this is just wonderful! It says fiction, but reading this was like hearing a neighbor sit over coffee and share a story in our community. Just perfect, in the way you wove this story.


  11. babso2you says:

    I enjoyed this story very much and the message that it contains! Maybe you might like to come and join another writing challenge, one where you are provided the opening line of the story and also a photo prompt. It is Mondays Finish the Story! Again, good story, and be well! ^..^


  12. rgayer55 says:

    Yes, every woman needs a young gardener boy, doesn’t she? 🙂


  13. subroto says:

    There are so many thing we wish we could have done better, I like you wove the story of the boy and the garden. Beautifully done.


  14. Ellespeth says:

    The comforting part of this piece is that Joshua has left a part of himself growing in the garden. Hopefully the narrator will realize this sooner than later.


  15. Nan Falkner says:

    Dear Siobhan, Good story and very moving. Seems like the father just wanted to tell everyone about his ordeal and Joshua really worked to help things. Great job! Nan 🙂


  16. Margaret says:

    I love how you’ve shown her regret, but not let that colour the feelings of the whole plece , which is positive and tender. Lovely story.


  17. Oh! Nice twist on the theme with the last line!


  18. dmmacilroy says:

    Dear Siobhan,

    The golden braid of love and gardening that you wove with your story is still twining around my mind and I am enraptured. I’ve read every comment and must say you deserve all the praise your writing is earning you. Wonderful job.




  19. Such a sad story! Well done.


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