I’m often asked as a writer where I get my inspiration from… what I see and observe, what I hear, what I imagine, mainly what I imagine. However, sometimes something real becomes transformed into something imaginary, and that imaginary thing may in my mind become as real as the original inspiration! Such a place is Glenmarden Garden, where Tyche Kane, the main character in The Stalking Of Rosa Czekov goes to meet someone she suspects may be the stalker!
Glenmarden Garden was part of the estate of a private country house; the house, square and white was not open to the public, but its grounds were. There was a walled jardin potager and through an arched gateway was the rosarium; gravelled paths took the visitor to the parkland which fell away through specimen trees to the River Marden. It was peaceful and lovely and the busyness of the world faded away in the tranquillity of the place. She got smoothly out of the car, aware as always that someone might be watching. She wandered through the arch into the kitchen garden and admired the rows of cabbages and beets and carrots and the further beds of currant and berry bushes. There was a profusion of the more exotic, giant artichokes, cardoons, feathery fennel. It was pleasantly peaceful to wander along the gravel paths, her feet crunching quietly with no-one else in view. She meandered round, peeping into the greenhouses….
…mooching through the gap in the fruit covered walls…
… to the rose garden and into a curtain of scent, the sweet musky perfume hanging between the old red brick walls.
He was sitting on a bench in the centre of the checkerboard of colour, his back to her. She could go. She could turn and walk away without him seeing, quiz him on the phone instead. Her high-heeled sandals clicked on the stone flags and he must have heard her coming but he didn’t turn. “Hi,” she said as she came into his line of vision.
Tyche talks to him, trying to discover what he knows.
He stood up abruptly and strode forward as if he was going to step into the goldfish pond. He stopped on the edge and looked down into the water. Pink and yellow lilies sat on the smooth flat leaves, fish bobbed and gaped at the surface.
They leave the rose garden and walk across the parkland until they reach an artificial pool.
They pushed through the low bushes to the black pool. Many visitors missed it, an artificial lakelet but now so overgrown with sedges and flags, rushes and mallows that it looked natural. There was a bench on the other side and he wandered round to it as if he came here often. He sat heavily, hands still thrust in pockets, his feet stuck out to rest on the very edge of the pool.
After a fierce argument the go to the tearoom which is in a courtyard surrounded by old stables and outbuildings.
“There’s a tearoom in the stables,” and he led her across the lawns and along the gravel path, through the old gateway into the courtyard.
To see the real Benvarden garden visit here: http://www.benvarden.com/