20.6 C
Niagara Falls
Monday, June 5, 2023
Stories by Selina Appleby: Part 2 Rose’s Garden


She was a divine gardener. Every day she appeared in her garden as soon as the sun settled in the sky.

Slight and trim with her wispy white hair catching the wind, she resembled the ornamental grass at the back of the garden.

She always dressed properly and sometimes even elegantly. One day she made her entrance in an emerald green opera coat, apologizing for wearing “my hubby’s shoes.”

Like an avid theatre-goer, she greeted each and every plant, applauding their performance. They never let her down. They bloomed, they blossomed, they flourished.

One seedling reached a height of five feet! Although no one knew its name, everyone stopped to admire it and speculate. Nothing was too expensive for her offspring.

After she had her afternoon tea she peeled open the tea bag and delicately placed the leaves around the roots for nourishment. Her garden was the pride of the neighbourhood.

When the summer ended and before the flowers died, Rose, the gardener, offered bouquets of small mauve mums to all her friends.

If a neighbour did not answer her fragile knock at the door, she made her way around the back of the house and placed her floral arrangement in the carrier of a bicycle or on top of a garbage can.

When you thanked her she hugged you and said that sharing her garden made her ever so happy.

It seemed that Rose was seldom indoors. Her meals were taken on the back porch and whenever you passed by, she was crouched in her garden examining her pets. She, along with the sun, said their goodnights together.

So when the first snow fell she snipped off the drooping flowers, closed her door and faded into the house. No one saw her during the cold wintry months.

But when spring re-appeared, she emerged, along with her flowers, radiant and blooming once again.


Selina Appleby had a long and successful career as a researcher and story editor at CBC TV. She recently wrote a series of reflections which were compiled and published in her book entitled ‘Field of Empties’ which is available on Amazon. The material for this album of stories began in the thirties when she was a child living in downtown Toronto, just off Queen Street. She often climbed her garden fence to see the action at the corner saloon and on the surrounding streets, observing the daily struggles of the people in her community. Fifty years later Selina moved to another house just off of Queen Street, where she now looked out from her window at the tourist-drenched streets of Niagara-on-the-Lake.

Forward by Hermine Steinberg, Writer’s Circle

Subscribe to our mailing list