The Enchanted Garden   1 comment

                                          The Enchanted Garden

There are 3 levels of ability catered for in this ‘The Enchanted Garden’ post: levels 1, 2 and 4. Level one is basic, level 2 is medium and level 4 is advanced. Hopefully, people reading the post will enjoy it and gain ideas for themselves. 

For much more of these types of posts, please check out my new book Writing with Stardust by clicking the book title or by clicking the book images at the bottom of the post.



                                        The Enchanted Garden

Birds                             Flowers                   Animals                  Signs of spring                Others

cooing   pigeon daffodils   burst up bees   buzzing lawnmowers   spluttering baked-apple   smell in the air
warbling   wrens bluebells   erupt dozy   hedgehogs lambs   bleating vernal   equinox
flute-throated   thrushes lipstick-pink   peonies bouncing   bunnies fresh   spring showers salmon   torpedo up rivers
trilling   blackbirds snowdrops   sprout up frog   spawn glistening buds   flowering Versace-purple   sunsets
cheeping   sparrow Lily   of the Valley open   beaked chicks pollen   floating like pixie dust arcipluvian   rainbows
lilting   robin buttercups   pop up yolk-yellow   ducklings blustery   winds spearmint   waft hangs in the air
saucy   starlings lady-like   tulips butterflies   fluttering whispering   grasses grass   grows at 6 degrees +
carolling   chaffinch crocuses  flower yipping   fox cubs snipping   shears of gardeners mountain   snowmelt
chattering   magpie daisies   peep through open   beaked chicks cobwebs   shimmering lens   clear ponds
dawn   chorus erupts honeysuckle   festoons hedges pheasants   clucking St.   Patricks Day midges   hanging like moon dust


                                         Level 1- Spring in the garden

1. Spring brings the sounds of cooing pigeons in the garden.

2. The land heats up and daisies peep through the pea-green grass.

3. Bunnies bounce through the garden like frogs with fur.

4. Buds begin to flower on the trees, adding a splash of colour.

5. The lawnmower splutters to life like the start of a Formula One race.

6. The daffodils look as yolk-yellow as the ducklings in the pond.

7. There is a baked-apple smell in the air. It is the smell of plants growing.

8. The gardener snips the hedge with his shears for the first time this year.

9. The grass finally begins to grow as the temperature hits 6 degrees Celsius.

10. Cheeping sparrows invade the garden looking for juicy grubs and shiny seeds.

Level 2- Looking out my window

Note: The dark spots on the moon were called ‘Marias’ by ancient astronomers who thought they were caused by seas. Now we know that they are dried up lava beds and they are grey, which causes us to see them as dark spots. It’s only relevant because…….well, you will see…

I love looking out the window in springtime. The sun washes the garden with a golden glow and the sugar-frosted coating of winter melts from the grass. Birdsong filters in through the glass. The dawn chorus erupts at daybreak as flute-throated thrushes sing their joy. Bobbing robins usually join in, lilting in an age old melody. We have a garden pond and I can see the frog spawn glistening like mini moons. They even have the dark spots, as if to suggest they are as old and alien as the moon itself. At the end of the garden, there is a small grove of trees. Every year, bluebells burst from the earth with their azure gongs attached. Buzzing bees surf the open spaces from flower to flower, desperately seeking pollen. The pollen looks like floating grains of pixie dust, scattered by the blustery wind.

The grass always seems to whisper in the spring, like a church full of people all saying ssssh together. The stalks sway with a salsa rhythm, nodding their heads in delight. At night, the wind dies down and a newly-minted moon appears, drenching shady glades with silver light.  Yipping fox cubs can be heard in the distance and the lonely hoot of an owl sounds like a phantom lost in the darkness.

When the morning comes, the sun will once again peep through the clouds and inject life into the winter-stunned garden. It becomes lush and bountiful for another year, an oasis for life in a shrinking world.

Level 4-The enchanted garden

Some of the words are difficult to find in certain dictionaries. Therefore, I have put their simplest meaning in brackets after them. It should save time for people reading the passage, which is my intent. For example, the word ‘geosmine’ was alien to me until relatively recently, but it is a word I would have used many times in different contexts had I known it. It is a very alluring and powerful word, but yet none of my dictionaries have its definition. Hopefully, readers will get comfortable with using these wonderful words in their writing. Thanks and I hope you enjoy the Level 4 sample.


Our garden is an enchanted garden.

It is wide and open, sloping gently down to a cosmic-blue river. A copse (grove) of cypress pines flanks us on one side, with a thicket (grove) of peaceful beeches standing guard on the other. Apple trees run through the centre of the garden, casting a lake of claw shadows onto the grass. In autumn, the fiery brilliance of their leaves is a sight: scorching-oranges, burning-browns and molten-reds. Then they drift to the ground as silently and carelessly as an ash cloud, settling in to their eternal rest.

Past the river there is a plush-green meadow which stretches away into vastness and a dragon-backed mountain. In winter, the stricken (overwhelming) loneliness of its peak sends shivers down my spine, wondering how anything could survive up there. The fog that coils around it seems as old and fey (unearthly) and grey as the mountain itself, an alien presence that can dampen any mood. I call it Cimmerian Mountain, the ancient name for the land of perpetual mist. When spring finally comes, arcipluvian (multi coloured) rainbows drench the mountain with coloured fire and the light leaks into the garden.

And that is why I love spring in the garden so much. After January, there is stained glass clarity to the sunbeams. It starts with panes of light poking the shadows and making the earth steam. Midges rise with the grass mist, hanging like moon dust in the glassy haze. Daffodils detonate from the ground overnight as if some necromancer (warlock) had put a spell of banishment on the winter. Hey presto and it’s gone. Lipstick-pink peonies adorn the fringes of the garden and honeysuckle festoons (wraps around) the hedges with its ladylike perfume. The aroma of geosmine (earth smell) percolates through the air. If you inhale deep enough, the potpourri of scents registers as a sweet mix of jasmine, grass vapour and blossoms.

As if on cue, the herald of spring arrives after taking a sabbatical for the winter. The blackbird is the main player in the dawn chorus, his song as clear and fresh as the garden he will later raid. Warbling wrens and carolling chaffinches join him, creating an orchestra of sound. It cascades into the open spaces, ghosts through windows and onto the smiling lips of the sleepers within. This earth song of nature rouses the rest of the animals from their slumber. Dozy hedgehogs totter like zombies as they get drunk on the last of the rotten apples. Butterflies flutter through the air with their velvet wings. Above them, a murmuration (flock) of starling’s loop and reel like wind-tossed gunpowder. As the grass in the garden grows to Jurassic heights, pheasants cluck like cockerels and sprint like roadrunners, celebrating the arrival of spring.

The river I told you about earlier has a magical quality to it that I haven’t seen elsewhere. After the mountain snowmelt has purged it of its brandy-brown hue, usually in February, I love to take pre-breakfast walks down to it. The full glory of the garden is revealed as I idle past the suede soft flowers. They are tingling my fingers with nature’s electricity as I touch them. Jewel-green grasshoppers bounce off the flowers like leggy trampolines. Above me, the vault of sky seems to grow wider and higher as the morning wears on. It increases the acoustics and magnifies the richness of colour. I can hear the lullaby of the breeze swishing through the trees much clearer now and little animals scurry and shuffle in the undergrowth. Versace-purple crocuses peep shyly at me and I am lost in the marvel of springtime.

I can see cobwebs in the grass, glistering in the littoral (of a sea/lake) light that the river reflects. They look like fishermen’s nets of finely meshed steel. There’s the most welcoming of scents in the air, a spearmint aroma that hangs and loiters above the wild garlic. I sit on the bench we made some time back and engage in my favourite past time; river gazing. The water is lens clear and it is easy to spot the speckled trout at the bottom. Every so often, they explode up through the crystal water and soar into the air. Their hang time would do credit to Michael Jordan and like Nike, the Greek god of victory, they must have wings to stay up so long. Iridescent (brilliant of colour) kingfishers flash by in a flurry of blue and gold, using the river as a super highway. Apart from the plunking of trout and the thrumming of wings, it is convent quiet at the bottom of the garden, a haven of peace and solitude.

I sit on the bench, watching the sun slowly rise over the Cimmerian mountain. At first, the lonely peak seems to hinder its ascent and it looks like a torc (crescent necklace) of gloriole-gold (halo of a saint). Then its full splendour reveals itself and it soaks the garden with the effulgence (brightness) of its smile. I can see the sunlight chasing the crab-shadows of the apple trees across the steaming grass. A blackbird alights onto a nearby branch and launches into an avian aria (solo song). Within moments, a fusillade of bird song follows him, rupturing the silence of the morn. It is a welcome invasion of the peace, but I sigh as I get up from the bench. As I wend (wind) my way back through the enchanted garden and towards the house, I have only one wish; that those in slumber land within wear the same, easy smile that plays across my lips.

For much more of these types of posts, please check out my new book Writing with Stardust by clicking the book title or by clicking any of the images below..












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