The Far Corner of the Garden

Author: annmarwalk

Nominator: EdorasLass

2007 Award Category: Genres: Drama: Ithilien - Second Place

Story Type: Story  ✧  Length: Other Ficlet

Rating: General  ✧  Reason for Rating: N/A

Summary: While her husband sleeps beside her, Eowyn plans and dreams.

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Reviewed by: EdorasLass  ✧  Score: 9

In this lovely, quiet ficlet, Eowyn lies awake and considers what to do next with the garden. All the strictly necessary herbs have been planted, the orchards are growing and being kept safe by the children of Ithilien, and now Eowyn can turn her attention to things less vital to their day-to-day exsistence, such as creating a small spot meant for relaxation and rememberence of those fallen in battle. It's filled with nicely understated joy and the promise of peace come finally to pass - a time in Eowyn's life I'm sure she never thought would come. I like that her thoughts wander to [ a spot in the far corner, cobbled with large heavy boulders, unsuited for any more practical purpose. ], as if Eowyn can't bear to see any small section of land left to lie unused or left stark,as if after the fall of Mordor, she would like all the lands of Middle Earth to be somehow blooming and full of life. It seems very apt that she would want to bring a piece of her homeland, simbelmyne, in that spot, where she can see it daily, be reminded of Rohan and her family, perhaps so that she'll never take for granted the hardships they went through to be able to live without fear, and appreciate the sacrifices that were made, in order to have such moments of peace.

Reviewed by: Mechtild  ✧  Score: 7

[Contains spoilers] Your opening, in which your couple has just consummated an act of love, is done with such ease you establish at once that they are not newlyweds. Your narrator’s voice continues from there, flowing naturally from one thought to another. Your keen eye and ear for how people are in real life serves your fiction well. I appreciated this look into Éowyn’s practical way of thinking as she planned her garden, deciding what to grow in its various sections, according to use, even remembering to make sure it was properly looked after (shooing the deer). The title hinted that the space left for the anemones and simbelmynë, with a bench from which to admire them, was to be a remembrance garden. Faramir’s opening line made me think it would be for all the fallen. But Éowyn’s decision to plant almond trees because they were a favourite of Théodred made me think the garden was for remembering those more intimately known. Your Éowyn has a sensibility that goes beyond what is merely practical. And why not? She is the Éowyn of the book.

Reviewed by: Dwimordene  ✧  Score: 6

The clueless urbanite in me loves it when somebody can write about gardens in a knowledgeable manner. Here again, gardening has more than a merely practical or leisurely meaning - it is life, and it is a symbol of life moving on, picking up and rebuilding after a long war. And it is also celebration and remembrance. Eowyn's four faces all come to light here: wifely, as she settles in beside Faramir; royalty, as she plans for her people's sustenance; the healer she swore to be in the planting of the medicinal garden; and finally, the woman who lost so much of her family in the desire to create a floral memorial for a dear, departed cousin out in the corner of the garden. Putting all four of these aspects together, we get a sense of how Eowyn's life has progressed and where she stands currently. Beautifully written, Ann!

Reviewed by: Raksha the Demon  ✧  Score: 5

Annmarwalk excels at both the usage of beautiful, evocative language, and the small details that make any story more real, as in the colors and types of flowers, the smells of a kitchen. Eowyn's preoccupation with gardening in the tale is the natural result of Eowyn's decision to devote herself to healing and gardening rather than the arts of war, and it is very credible here. Eowyn being who she is, she makes good and thorough plans; having the time and station and wealth to order a fine unshadowed princely household and be a Princess in deed as well as name. Very nice! (especially the bit with sleepy whuffling Faramir mumbling out a lovely idea)

Reviewed by: Imhiriel  ✧  Score: 4

A beautiful, colourful and meaningful picture is painted here of the planned garden. I thought the order in which Éowyn thought about it was very in-character: practicality before more "romantic" notions *g*. I especially liked the thought that simbelmynë ["need not only cover the dead"]. The flowers and plants contemplated for this corner of the garden can serve as a memorial to both Théodred and Boromir, and link Rohan and Gondor - in grief over their losses, but also in hope for a brighter future together.

Reviewed by: Marta  ✧  Score: 4

[Warning: This review contains spoilers for some plot details.] Oh, this was gorgeous, Ann! There is a lot of healing going on here: first for Ithilien, but also for Eowyn, that she would plan this kind of thing rather than thinking of grand plans to save her whole country. It takes a lot of psychological healing to be able to take such joy in the small every-day things. And I found it a glorious touch that she could think of grave-flowers as not *just* grave-flowers. All and all, a lovely slice of life for Ithilien's first couple.

Reviewed by: obsidianj  ✧  Score: 3

The moments before I fall asleep set my imagination free and that is obviously true also for Eowyn. Her dream garden comes across in vivid pictures. I wish I could have a garden like this.

Reviewed by: Llinos  ✧  Score: 3

I enjoyed this - it is a very life-affirming story and does a wonderful job of showing just how far Eowyn has come from the cold maiden who desired death. Now so many of her thoughts are on sustaining life. The simbelmyne was a particularly nice touch.

Reviewed by: Larner  ✧  Score: 3

Faramir has thought that far corner of the garden might be appropriate for memorials, and Eowyn finds herself planning it out in that twilight between waking and sleeping. Again, a wonderful short piece by my favorite writer of ficlets. Lovely!

Reviewed by: Bodkin  ✧  Score: 3

I love Eowyn lying awake planning her garden - and it is just like her to go first for the practical and prosaic before allowing herself to dream of scarlet and white flowers and almond groves. I hope she got it planted so that she and Faramir could rest there on warm evenings.

Reviewed by: Elen Kortirion  ✧  Score: 3

Written like a true gardner, Ann! You paint with skill the outlines and content of that growing garden, until we too can see the outline of its borders and the many and various shades of green just as clearly as Eowyn can - and almonds for Theodred... *sniff* Lovely!