Andersen Fairy Tales, Andersen-Hans Christian

The Gardener and the Manor

The Gardener and the ManorThe Gardener and the Manor

There was once a manor and that manor had a gardener. He suggested to the master of the manor that some old, somewhat diseased trees be cut down because a bunch of birds lived there that made a racket. The master said the tree was their heritage.

Things went out and the master remarked over some amazing fruit he had found in the market. The gardener told him it was from his own garden. The master could not believe it and asked for a written certificate from the fruit seller. The gardener sold whatever was excess from the manor garden.

This, or something like it, happened several times. The castle got its melon seeds from the gardener. The master of the manor was surprised that the gardener had produced so much that was good out of the manor garden.

The gardener, named Larsen, often put flowers in the house in vases of water. One day he put a particularly interesting flower in a vase of water. It floated on the surface and was blue. No one had seen anything like it. The family even sent one to the princess, who could likewise not determine what it was. They asked Larsen and he told them it was a simple flower. It was the flower of the artichoke plant. They were not happy that Larsen had displayed a common flower in their home. The princess liked it though and praised Larsen for showing them the beauty of common things.

A storm came up and finally blew over the diseased trees. Larsen used the spot to plant a native garden. The plants were all from the local area. The garden was beautifully kept and although filled with native plants, highly admired by everyone.

It was still remembered that the master of the manor was the master of the manor and Larsen was but a servant.

artichoke flower from wikipediaObservations

I would be amiss if I did not include a picture of what an artichoke flower looked like. They are quite pretty. I’ve never grown artichokes or eaten them straight out of the artichoke, but I have eaten artichokes. I’ve just never seen them growing in their natural manner.



Larsen was a freaking gardening genius and people did praise him, but he did not receive a full extent of praise because he was merely a servant. He didn’t go off and become a landscaping architect because of his talent; he stayed a servant. It’s somewhat sad actually. Larsen is very smart and he can appreciate beauty for what it is, even if it is common. Rarity is not the only thing that makes beauty.

Larsen was a genius, but he was not treated as an equal simply because he was not the master of the manor. Yes, this story praises Larsen and the beauty of every-day things, but people are going to remember the manor, and probably not Larsen. If someone thinks up something, they deserve the praise for that idea, rather than an employer.


I want to have a big beautiful garden one day.

Weigh In

Do you think anyone praised Larsen twenty years after he was dead?

Do you think Larsen should have been more appreciated?


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