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Secrets of a Great Garden

Chloe is some kind of magical garden witch. Mrs. Kravitz had a lovely garden and part of the reason Chloe and Francis chose the house next door was due to that garden. For some reason, it is lovelier than usual this Spring. Although we had our normal weeks of wet weather, when the sun returned this week, beautiful new baby blooms appeared everywhere in Chloe’s garden in profusion. Even the soil underneath the plants looked darker. I knew that Chloe had two major green thumbs and had something different going on. For the last month or so, I had seen Chloe outside puttering around with a small galvanized bucket in one hand and a trowel in the other. Chloe always wears gloves when she works outside, a long apron that covers most of her outfit and a straw hat. It was quite a get-up; a chic farm girl. Everything she wears makes me a little jealous. ¬†She’s so French. I would look silly in that hat anyway.

Yesterday morning while enjoying my morning smoke, I stepped out the back door to check on my flower beds to see if there were any signs of life. I saw Chloe had her back to me and did not see me watching her. She was very professional and used the side of the trowel to blend the mixture from the bucket into the base of each plant. My intuition was right, Chloe was using some kind of secret substance to help enhance her garden!

I slipped back inside and finished making breakfast. When I saw Chloe leave to do errands, I crept back outside to inspect those plants more closely. A couple of neighbors walked by and I tried my best not to look guilty while I inspected the dirt underneath my neighbor’s plants. I pleasantly smiled and waved at them. There were wet granules with flecks of white underneath the plants and so much of it worked into the plants that I could smell them. Coffee grounds with broken eggshells! Chloe had her secrets, like Edie. Why didn’t I have any secrets? I returned inside and did my housework while mulling over the lack of mystery in my life. I really didn’t have any reason to be envious of Chloe. I’m sure she would share her magic with me if I bothered to ask her, and I planned to work up the nerve to nonchalantly admire her plants the next day while asking her for tips on how to help my own. Everyone likes to give advice, so I was relatively sure that Chloe would tell me. After all, I was her best next door neighbor.

This morning, I cracked open the back door to get that first blast of cool air and smoke. Leaning against the door frame, I looked down to find a surprise. On the lower step outside my door was a galvanized bucket full of coffee grounds and eggshells. I’m glad no one could see my face as I blushed knowing I had been caught redhanded. I chuckled out loud to myself and then stopped wondering how Chloe had discovered my snooping. Is it possible that she really was magical?

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