THE GARDENER AND THE FAMILY 1059
and she is well up in botany, but that science has nothing to do with vegetables. How could it have entered your head, good Larsen, to send such a flower up to the house ? It will make us look ridiculous ! '
And the lovely blue flower which was brought from the kitchen-garden was put out of the drawing-room, where it was not at home. The master made an apology to the princess and told her that the flower was only a vegetable which the gardener had taken the idea to present, but for which he had been given a good scolding.
1 That was a sin and a shame !' said the princess. ' He has opened our eyes to a beautiful flower we had not noticed, he has shown us beauty where we did not expect to find it ! The court gardener shall bring one up to my room every day, so long as the artichoke is in flower ! '
And so it was done.
The family then told the gardener that he could again bring them a fresh artichoke flower.
'It is really beautiful!' they said, and praised the gardener.
' Larsen likes that,' said the family. ' He is a spoilt child.'
In the autumn there was a terrible storm. It got so violent during the night that many of the big trees in the outskirts of the wood were torn up by the roots, and to the great sorrow of the family, but to the joy of the gardener, the two big trees with all the birds' nests were blown down. During the storm one heard the screaming of the rooks and the crows ; they beat the windows with their wings, the people in the house said.
' Now you are glad, Larsen,' said the master, ' the storm has blown down the trees and the birds have gone to the woods. There are no more signs of old times ; every sign and every allusion has gone ; it has troubled us ! '
The gardener said nothing, but he thought of what he had long intended to do—to use the lovely sunshiny place which formerly he had no control over. It should become the pride of the garden and the delight of the family. The great trees had crushed and broken the old box-hedges with all their cut shapes. He raised here a thicket of plants, home-plants from field and forest.