Michael Gardner’s story “Nana Naoko’s Garden” was published in Metaphorosis on Friday, 12 October 2018.

Metaphorosis October 2018
October 2018

My own Nana is a fantastic gardener. The garden she had when I was a kid was amazing. A huge, sprawling garden filled with trees, shrubs, flowers and neatly manicured lawns. It had so many elements that seemed magical, including a fernery along the back of her house, a small bridge and goldfish pond, vegetable patches that my Papa tended at the back of the block. I have very fond memories of playing with my siblings in that garden, and much of the setting of this story is taken straight from those childhood memories.

The other thing that brought this story together for me was a poem by Gwen Harwood, called ‘The Violets’. The poem is about the fragrance of violets triggering a powerful memory of the protagonist’s childhood. That idea of a scent taking someone back into the past is something that resonates with me. I find that certain scents are powerful reminders of people and events from my own past.

These two influences came together in this story, where the scents and sights of Nana’s garden take Gina not back into her own past, but back into Nana’s.


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