Her first memories she would swear on a stack of bibles was the redolence of her grandmother’s greenhouse.

Sheryl’s Daily Prompt

Jazzy (Jazmine Harris) had been gardening since she was a toddler at her grandmother’s knee. Grandma Rose would pick her up when her mother went to work and take her home with her and she’d spend the day there playing in the dirt or “planting” flowers and pulling up dandelions as presents for her grandmother who always doted on her gifts as though they were gold.

As a result, she’d taken a course in horticulture, but in reality, she knew nearly as much as the instructor since her grandmother lived and breathed gardening, flowers and greenhouses her entire life and had willingly shared that knowledge with her beloved granddaughter. Her first memories she would swear on a stack of bibles was the redolence of her grandmother’s greenhouse.

She’d opened her business moments after finishing her schooling and receiving her degree, and with her grandmother at her side, continued enjoying the work (she laughed at the word) gardening for it was pure heaven and such a joy. Nothing was more fulfilling than ending her day smeared with dirt or having tiny pieces of mulch hanging from her clothing. She didn’t mind it one little bit, in fact, she revelled in it knowing she’d accomplished something worthwhile that day.

Unfortunately, her grandmother had passed on two years ago and it had been an unbearable loss as they were two peas in a pod, so much alike, so in love with the same things. Some of her fondest memories were the two of them dancing around the greenhouse to a symphony they regularly played for the flowers and plants or raising their voices in song, as off-key as it could get, but with as much gusto as humanly possible. Then falling into each other for a warm hug before walking to the house, arm in arm.

They’d often eat their meals on the back stoop, a practice that continued right up until the end. It amused her that her parents couldn’t understand her any more than they had her grandmother. Beatrice, her mother, would simply shake her head at the two of them. “I don’t understand this enjoyment…digging in the dirt, getting grime under your fingernails. You simply couldn’t keep a manicure to save your life. And you’re missing out on so much! Parties, meeting who’s who, dining with friends. I just don’t understand you.”

That was fine with Jazzy. Her life abounded with pleasure, freedom and happiness. Her business “Blossoms and Such” had truly blossomed and grown, considered one of the best gardening centers in the area with many return and repeat customers owing to her knowledgeable and helpful staff and the beauty of the product available. Not to mention she guaranteed her plants flowers and shrubs, and within reason, replacing any problematic plants immediately.

A week ago, a flier had been delivered indicating that a gardening chain would soon open off the adjoining highway, closer to town, with a massive greenhouse. At first, she wasn’t too concerned, but recently she’d overheard comments around town that indicated there were a variety of shop-owners that were looking forward to new blood.

She was busy in the greenhouse when Jemma came racing to her side and said, “Hey, come check out the eye candy! Seriously, he’s a hunk! Your love life could use a boost and I think he’s just the man for the job!”

“Seriously, Jemma!” Jazzy scoffed before finally giving in and heading to the door to take a peek. Indeed, he was delicious and as he wandered, he seemed to enjoy the spacing as well as the placing of the arrangements taking particular note in the more fragrant flowers.

“Go on, go talk to the man!”

Sighing, she was swiping a dirt on her face as she headed toward the handsome stranger. “Hi there, anything I can help you with?”

“I’m looking at the moment. You have exquisite healthy hardy plants. The fronds are lush and the flowers not only heady with scent, but brilliant in colour. You must use something special. Is it for sale?”

“Nope, the scent brilliant colour and lush fronds are, they will take their quotient of heady scent with them. As for the something special, it’s simple plain old tlc.”

“Heavens, you have it in spades then. I’ve been wandering admiring, and every corner of the greenhouse is filled to capacity with beauty. Do you work this alone?”

“I didn’t, I did, then I didn’t.” She smiled at the look that washed over his face at her cryptic response. I grew up gardening at my grandmother’s knee, and when I opened she came and worked alongside me until she passed and then I was alone, but I’ve since hired some highly qualified people to assist me.”

“I like the cryptic, that was rather endearing, especially upon hearing the qualification. And I’m sorry about your grandmother. Must have been difficult.”

“Yes, yes it was, she was divine, so energetic, a sprite, funny, and adept not to mention a joy to be with.”

“Then you must take after her for you have those qualities in spades.”

Jazzy smiled, and nodded her head, “Yes, as a matter of fact, we were two peas in a pod! And I do miss her, terribly.”

“Anyway, your sure I can’t help you with anything?”

“One thing,” he picked up a business card on the nearby desk, “if I call this number, day or night, would I reach you?”

“Probably not. That’s my business card. I don’t give out my personal number,” she laughed, “otherwise I wouldn’t have a life.”

“Got it. Well then,” he pulled out a card from his pocket and said, “this is my personal number. I’d enjoy having yours so we could possibly make plans for coffee or dinner sometime soon.”

Although surprised, Jazzy had to admit she was pleased at the idea. Takign his card, she turned it over and wrote, “Jazzy Harris, and her number.” “Call anytime, I might just take you up on that offer.” She turned and walked back into the planting greenhouse smiling as she went.

As he turned and slowly made his way outside to his car, he smiled with pure pleasure. Ok, this was going to get complicated. He liked what he saw, he wanted to get to know her, then there was the but! She was the competition and she’d be bummed when she found out. The question was, how soon should he tell her?

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