A magical garden of sprites and elves. Sparkling faries frolicking in the grass and budding flowers breathing out enchantment. An effervescent shimmer in the trees that harbour chatter and the comfort of tea and cake to lure the weary traveller. A wonderful utopia of Puck, his pals, and us, in the Peak District.
Our boots are thick with mud as we splatter across the wooden decking to the entrance. Our calves ache from the hill and our ankles feel weak from the tumbling stumble down the other side. A few minutes ago the promise of such a charm was only an illusion, but now we are here, ready to indulge in fragments of fantasy.
We must look weary as the owner ushers us to a swinging seat under an arbour of roses, and later turns a blind eye to our homemade sandwiches consumed under tin foil. From the list of magical potions and enchanted spells that we are handed, disguised as a ‘menu’ we select ingredients with fairytale powers.
The mismatched crockery graces our table and the first few drops of hot water start to mix with the tea leaves and spices. The sky groans. The fluffy clouds grow ever more pavement coloured.
Tethered to a wooden post at the edge of the pond a little rowing boat bobs in anticipation of the impending rain, and we huddle closer together. The smell of fresh grass mixed with the woody scent of wet streets and the warming aroma of cinnamon, the stimulating scent of rose leaves and the sweet smooth smell of geraniums swirl in a heady blend around us. We sigh in satisfaction.
Magical raindrops fall upon us in the enchanted garden, the skin is wet, the heart is glad.