Plant Life

img_0807My short story Plant Life, which appears in Monstrous Regiment Issue 2: Emerald, tells the story of a man called Ger who plants memories in his garden and they bloom into all sorts of weird and wonderful things.

Ger isn’t much of a gardener to begin with, and relies on a map and set of instructions left by the people who used to live in his house to look after the garden:

“At the time they moved in, Ger wouldn’t have been able to name a single thing growing in the garden. Luckily, the previous owner had left a plan for them – if they wanted to continue the upkeep of the garden, it politely implored. It was their choice, of course, it was their garden now. The sketch of the garden was so neat, as was the script which named the plants and added helpful tips like, “Trim to half-size in July,” Ger wondered if the man had been a draughtsman.”

Interestingly (maybe), this map exists in real life, and was left to me and my wife when we moved into our new house in the summer. Ger’s garden, as it stands originally, is based on ours, with bamboo running around the edges.

Have a look:


It’s covered in helpful hints, including the strict instruction, “Invasive — keep under control”, which appears in the story.

I love this map, it was very sweet of the family who owned the house before to leave it, and when I had the original idea for Plant Life, I knew I had to include it somehow.

If you want to read the full story you can get hold of Emerald from the Monstrous Regiment shop here, or you can hear me perform it on Daytime/Nightime on Subcity Radio here (around 25 mins in).

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