Of course, my favorite part of Morven was the garden. This is a view of the house from the front. It’s a typical old Virginia house: red brick, white columns.
And here I am, sitting on the front steps:
I love stairs that are placed directly into the grass.
In one direction, the ground slopes down to orchards.
In the other direction, there are alleys that lead to various gardens.
Moss on the roots of a large tree. You could see this in a forest in the Other Country, couldn’t you?
Two fountains. I particularly like the second one. Water comes out of the figure’s mouth, and his chin is all covered with moss. It’s actually a bit creepy.
I love alleys of various sorts. This trellis is covered with canes of roses, but they weren’t blooming this late in the year.
And I love vistas.
And stairs of various sorts. Having to step down or up in a garden always makes walking through the garden a bit of an adventure. And walls. I got used to walled gardens at the University of Virginia, and I’ve always thought that a wall makes a garden mysterious. Perhaps because I remember reading The Secret Garden as a child?
This waterlily garden was my inspiration for a particular scene in the Other Country, the one where Thea is talking with Cordelia the cat. Of course, that garden is much larger. Remember that everything in the Shadowlands is a shadow of what it is in the Other Country. It’s diminished, not as intense.
Finally, there were some perennial borders, although past their peak, because it was so late in the year.
And a garden of hydrangeas, just hydrangeas. Which I think is a rather interesting idea.
What do you think? Would a garden like this inspire you to write a story? What story could you set in a place like Morven?
There you go: I’ve just given you another exercise!