Author(s): Henri Cueco
A charming portrait of friendship, exploring the relationship between gardening, gossip and art
Two men, both advancing in years, converse in a garden deep in the French countryside. One is an artist, the other his gardener. On finishing his work, the gardener enters the studio and looks over the artist's shoulder. As the artist draws, the gardener talks: about his youth, his family, his travels, his health, and, of course, the pleasures of gardening. Sometimes the artist responds, sometimes he just listens; but all the while the bond between these two very different men is deepening. Their growing friendship produces many moments of dry humour: when the gardener visits the artist in Paris, he brings an anvil along in his luggage; the pair go to the forest on a mission to steal a twenty foot fir tree; they marvel at the curious habits of local characters, and ponder whether a modern-day Jesus would take a job on the railway. There are moments of profundity, too, when the two friends reflect on their own mortality, and the equally taxing question of whether a lettuce can be as beautiful as a painting.