If you’d like to take a look at The Ghost in the Gardens by HL Carpenter, I urge you to do so. It’s a great book. If you’re just starting out, here’s part 1. For more of The Adventures of Flower Girl, please continue…
I cleared my throat. “I’m a princess. A warrior princess. And I can talk to flowers.”
“Then what exactly?”
“Zinnie?” Mrs. Abrams walked around the side of the garden shed.
“Can she hear you?” I whispered to Rose.
Rose was silent.
Mrs. Abrams crossed the garden. “Who are you talking to?”
“The rose bush.” I dropped the leaf—the shield—and pointed the pruners at Rose.
Her stalks bobbed in the breeze.
Without the leaf-shield, I couldn’t tell if she was talking to me or if the wind was making her move.
“I’ve heard talking to plants helps them grow.” Mrs. Abrams trailed her fingers over one of the six pink blossoms drooping at the tips of Rose’s stems. “I hope whatever you’re saying works. This rose is looking run down. Good thing you have a green thumb.”
“Yeah,” I muttered. “Just call me Flower Girl.”
Though the breeze had stopped, a petal fell off one of the pink blossoms and Rose trembled. Maybe she was laughing.
I checked my thumb. Even though I knew the expression meant I had a knack for gardening, after meeting a talking plant, I wouldn’t have been surprised if my thumb had turned green.
The color was perfectly normal, thank goodness.
“Okay, Flower Girl.” Mrs. Abrams put her hand on my shoulder. “Take a break for lunch. You can finish weeding after you eat.”
Mrs. Abrams went back into the school.
I picked up the leaf-shield. “After lunch, you have some explaining to do, Rose.”
“Hurry,” Rose said.
When I walked into the garden after lunch, pink petals covered the ground. Every blossom on Rose had fallen off. I stooped to gather the silky petals.
“What happened?” I gripped the leaf-shield and waited for Rose to answer.
Rose was silent.
“What happened? What do you mean what happened? Rose has been under a lot of stress and talking to you used up the last of her stored energy. She lost her flowers and her voice. That’s what happened.” The biggest daylily in the flower bed bobbed her orange blossom. “How are you going to save us? You know nothing.”
All the other daylilies bobbed their blossoms in agreement. “Knows nothing,” they sang on the breeze.
“Sssshe’ll learn.” A fat brown earthworm crawled out from beneath a plant with thick tear-shaped leaves and sharp spines.
I could talk to earthworms too? Or could I only hear them?
“Who are you?” I asked.
“I am Worm.” He heaped dirt over the rose petals.
“Stop that!” I poked him with my finger.
“Hey!” Worm recoiled and slithered under the plant. “Ssssave me, Thorny!”
The bush brandished a branch of wicked-looking thorns. “Leave Worm alone!”
I grabbed the pruners. “I’ll take care of both of you!”
“No!” The daylily said. “Put down your weapon, Princess. Crown of Thorns means no harm. Worm is a good friend, and Thorny is protecting him.”
“Rose might not agree, if she could still talk.” I held onto the pruners. “Worm was burying her petals.”
“Rose would understand,” Thorny said. “Worm is recycling the petals and making the soil rich so Rose can bud more flowers and regain her voice.”
“That’ssss right.” Worm stuck his head out from under the thistle. “I am a friend to all flowerssss.”
“And weeds too.” A sturdy holly bush shuddered and three pointy green leaves dropped to the ground. “Worm is a double agent.”
I lowered the pruners. “A what?”