The Garden

For years before Daniella bought it, the Lester St place had been a share-house. By the time she moved in it was mid-summer. Vegetables were flourishing in the back yard and nectarines hung, plump and enticing, in heavy clusters from the tree in the corner. The tomatoes and beans wouldn’t have been planted until weeks after the auction. She felt guilty picking them.

Pinned to the noticeboard in the pantry she’d found a hand-written seasonal planting guide—meticulous notes added over the years. The tomatoes came out in February. She dug in manure, planting silverbeet after a couple of weeks. Her first harvest was in late March. She rang the Agent who’d handled the property. “I’ve got mail for them, do you have a forwarding address?” She drove that afternoon to the next suburb. Before she finished parking she’d spotted him. He was lanky and handled his spade with ease. His eyes flashed at her as she approached him. They were as deep green and seductive as the leaves in her basket.