Once there was an unhappy King. His kingdom was peaceful and prosperous, he had everything a man could want, yet nothing brought him joy. Nothing made him smile. He was world-weary and empty. A great black cloud hovered over his castle. Then one day he had an unexpected visitor – the Lady Mirabelle.
“I brought you flowers, sire.” She handed him a basket filled with blooms.
“Flowers? ” King Anders was surprised, and just a tiny bit intrigued. He’d never really looked at a flower up close. These were pale pink, with petals like half moons circling round the center.
“What are these wondrous blooms?”
“Camellias, sire, picked from your very own garden.”
“My garden?” He vaguely remembered a walled enclosure, fragrant and tumbling with color. He hadn’t been there in many a year.
“Yes, sire, let me show you.” Lady Mirabelle took King Anders by the hand and led him into a different world.
The next few hours flew by, with one joyous discovery after another. The King was enthralled by dreamy purple muhly grass floating on the wind. He laughed aloud at brazen copper mums. He was astonished to learn that the tiny white buds of the Chinese Paper Bush would be globes of honey-scented gold by Candlemas.
“Flowers in the winter?”
“Your garden blooms all year round!”
King Anders could not stop smiling. He had found his life’s passion, a great treasure hidden in his own back yard.
“Who created this magnificent wonderland?”
“Twas I, sire.” An old man stepped out of a tiny house. King Anders could hear a kettle whistling inside and saw a table set for four. In a sudden flash, he remembered his dear mother and a younger version of the gardener introducing him to the secret garden. “Jock!” exclaimed the King, embracing him in a bear hug.
“Little Anders, all grown up, and now a King! Well, I never! Will you and the Lady join me and the Missus for an evening tea?”
“It would be an honor!”
Needless to say, they all lived happily ever after.