I’m currently doing a Creative Writing course for which we get writing assignments. I thought it’d be fun to post some of these whilst I’m doing the course and see how you like them. If you do, I may continue to write more of the particular story. So here’s the first.
Our assignment was to write a short piece of descriptive writing about a beautiful garden that started “I arrived at the garden gate”:
I arrived at the garden gate. It was one of those tall slatted wooden affairs set back into a thick beech hedge. There was nothing about it to catch the eye. Time and air had camouflaged the metal numbers on the gate making it barely visible.
I peered at it.
“22 – this must be it,” I thought. She had said it was easy to miss. “Probably best if you come round the back,” she had advised on the phone.
Behind me a dog barked at a passerby crossing the old graveyard. I gathered my resolve and clicked open the gate. Any lingering nerves dissipated as I took in what lay before me.
A large, expansive garden wider than it was deep opened its arms to me as I stood in the shadow of the cedar tree. My breath stopped for a few moments; suddenly everything seemed still.
In front of me were clusters of small apple trees in full spring bloom, my favourite season for that very English of trees. Decorated generously with pink and white flowers, they arched gracefully over the long grass at their feet.
The lawn had been mown around them to create natural avenues, leading beyond to islands of flowerbeds filled with shrubs and perennials the colours of May: white, soft pink, a sprinkling of yellow and tides of blues and purple. Scattered throughout the garden, dead daffodils were neatly tied up in readiness for next year, obediently accepting that their season had passed. Bluebells and tulips stood tall, confident it was theirs.
Between the flowerbeds stood a wrought-iron arch valiantly shouldering the mass of a spring clematis and below it a gravel path. The path took my eye by the hand and led it to a flagstone patio populated with terracotta pots and a couple of skinny grey cats. One darted between them into the open back door of the house.
The house itself was elegant yet unimposing, typical of that most romantic of architectural periods, Queen Anne. White wisteria draped itself over the soft grey brick, its beauty so compelling I forgave it the cliché.
A cuckoo softly punctuated the air.
I must have stood there for only a few minutes, yet time seemed to have stopped. After the turmoil of the day, and indeed the last few months, my soul was arrested by the tranquillity. Distant memories of a childhood visit to a family friend’s house surfaced and caressed my mood.
I felt immediately at home.