All the neighbors marveled at Miss Rovina Prake’s way with her flowers! Her garden had grown in size and complexity with every passing year, and she spent her modest allowance from careful investments on one project after another; new stone walls enclosing the lovely flower beds, cobbled paving for the pathways around them, imported and exotic specimens and species, and on a couple of bronze streetlamps and a special trickle-fountain all the way from Paris, France to make the place even more romantic for the young couples that came to stroll at sunset. Carrying her watering can, she would smile and nod to all the nice visitors; young children in baby carriages being rolled by their proud parents, elderly people who came to reminisce about the “good old days”, artists who came to sketch and paint each and every lovely vista. Although she drew no attention to herself or the fact that all this greenery was, in fact, her private property, a few of the strollers knew that Miss Prake was their gracious hostess and were deeply grateful and respectful to her. And all the other visitors who had no idea who she was were still aware that she seemed to be always present weeding a little here, trimming a loose branch there, cleaning the sharp line of a box hedge, or dead-heading the lavish floribunda rose bushes from England….always with her watering can. Photographers and journalists came from far and wide to honor and immortalize her creation…. her LIVING creation that changed and evolved with every passing minute, hour, day and month. The budding beauty of early April was matched by the full lushness of mid-June and the glorious blaze of late-September! The twinkling dew in a misting sunrise framed each day that finished with the evening fog that hung on the climbing ivy and hugged the arbor arches…. And always there was the musical whispering of the reflecting pool with its lily pads and trickling fountain. What a magical place she had created, all inspired by her own talent and imagination, and completely hewn with her own physical labor. It was lucky, perhaps, that neither the press nor the public ever caught Miss Prake behind the potting shed, urinating into her watering can…..
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