1. Planting a Garden and Watching it Grow
Life Goes On
Bungo Burrow was a farmer, Meril was his wife. They had a farm near Hobbiton.
It was time to plough his largest field after the harvest. Bungo bent down to check the hooves and pasterns of his faithful farmhorse. Old she might be, his Jen, but nonetheless she was still up to a good many more miles of ploughing. Same as he was.
"Giddy up," he called to his horse. Old Jen started moving.
Frodo watched them for a long time. His miles were spent, his life lived. But it was good to see that for others, life went on.
"We don't need a holiday to remember that day," Sam told Merry and Pippin. He remembered that day too well…
"We are Hobbits," Pippin agreed. "We don't need the fancy holidays of the Big Folk."
It was six months since the ship had sailed. Six months of quiet living in the Shire. Six months of watching Elanor grow from baby to toddler.
Sam looked at the mallorn in the party field. Much as his golden-haired daughter the mallorn had grown and was ready to flower now.
"How about a party?" Sam asked.
"Sure," Pippin answered and smiled. "We are Hobbits!"
The treetops shifted in the gentle zephyr of a summer-evening. A blackbird, perching on the mallorn in the party field, was singing a hymn to this peaceful Wedmath-day.
Sam was tired. His joints ached from the day's hard work. There was dirt under his fingernails, but it was the dirt of rich, fertile soil. The trade of his small gardening business was picking up.
Sometimes dark dreams still woke him. But when he turned to embrace his wife, when he thought of his golden-haired daughter asleep in the other room, he knew that this life had been worth any sacrifice.
A Gardener's Delight
Sam blushed beet-red.
They were on a visit in Gondor, the Gamgees, the Tooks and the Brandybucks. An adventure to enjoy with their wives and families!
But Sam did not enjoy himself at all, as he sat on a bench in the gardens of the Citadel, next to the Queen of Gondor.
"'Tis not only the clothin' if ye take my meanin', my lady. That's exotic, to be sure. But quite pretty. Really, quite pretty. But –" He stopped short. How to continue? However, he really needed advice. Female advice! "'Tis quite mysterious… I simply don't grasp it, what me wife wants me to do… really, I feel all shipwrecked and helpless…"
Arwen smiled at the hobbit's embarrassment and handed him a book. "Read that. It will help you!"
The title was "The Garden of Pleasure".
A gardener's book!
Sam heaved a sigh of relief. Now, that couldn't be bad!
The Joys of Gardening
Well-tilled earth and blooming gardens were deemed a grace in the Shire. But thinking about tilling, this was not the kind of grace to come to Sam's mind first.
The hobbit tried to turn an innocent look at his flowers. But he knew that his face had acquired the becoming red shade he adored in his roses and even more in his Rosie's sweet lips.
Those were furrows he enjoyed ploughing! There was a fertile soil that was far more inviting for his seeds than the earth clinging to his fingers.
Sam turned around and went to wash his hands.
Seasons and Flowers
The sunflowers his Elanor had planted in the garden had wilted. It was time to cut off the stalks and clear out the garden for the winter.
"Look, you can see where the birds have picked out all the seeds!"
He held out the dried and empty head of a sunflower.
"But how will I make new flowers next year?" she asked, her lower lip trembling.
"Don't worry, sweetling," Rosie called from the hobbit-hole. "I saved some seeds. Your flowers will bloom again next year."
Sam's gaze rested on Rosie's body. Another kind of flower would bloom next year, too!
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This is a work of fan fiction, written because the author has an abiding love for the works of J R R Tolkien. The characters, settings, places, and languages used in this work are the property of the Tolkien Estate, Tolkien Enterprises, and possibly New Line Cinema, except for certain original characters who belong to the author of the said work. The author will not receive any money or other remuneration for presenting the work on this archive site. The work is the intellectual property of the author, is available solely for the enjoyment of Henneth Annûn Story Archive readers, and may not be copied or redistributed by any means without the explicit written consent of the author.