“Lavender? Lavender’s for old ladies.” The garden centre assistant raised one eyebrow then led me to the succulent section. I wanted modern and low maintenance, in stark contrast to the unrestrained cottage garden next door.
I began planting as soon as I arrived home. After an hour of back-breaking digging in the hard clay soil, I stood and stretched. A snow-white bird’s nest bobbed at fence height and a curious blue eye peeped through a gap. The scent of lavender wafted towards me, before the face under the nest appeared. “Hi!”
Granny Hanny extended her hand, then pulled back quickly. “Perhaps not,” she giggled. “I’ve been elbow deep in compost and manure.”
“Your garden looks great,” she continued. “I’ll wash up and we’ll have tea.”
She disappeared, reappearing soon after with a laden tray. It was the beginning of a perfect friendship.
Forget my tough guy street cred, every Saturday night Granny brought supper and we watched movies together. Everything from horror to comedy and tear-jerkers. My house filled with the scent of lavender for days afterwards.
I wasn’t dating; love had failed me. Granny Hanny said it would blossom when the time was right. I nodded, though sceptical. Besides, I was content with my odd life. My chalk and cheese friendship with Granny Hanny fitted like a warm comfortable sweater.
Two years later Granny became ill and a higher power called her home on a cold winter’s night as I held her hand in a lavender-painted hospital room. She was Granny Hanny to all with no family of her own.
I missed our Saturday nights. I missed the scent of lavender wafting over my ordered succulents and wept buckets when the ‘for sale’ sign went up.
Weeks later I stood and stretched after pulling some weeds and saw a bright straw hat bobbing over the fence. A blue eye peeped through the crack.
“Hi,” said a young woman with a wide grin. “I’ve put the kettle on. Would you like some tea?”
The scent of lavender wafted over my yard once again.
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