The Woman in Purple        

Back in the 1920s, an older woman lived in a village near Bath. She had been widowed many years and still lived in a marvellous grey house, which had beautiful gardens. Despite being told by friends and family that she needed help in the garden, she refused to employ any gardener. Word got around the village that any jobbing gardener who approached her about working in her garden, she told them in no uncertain terms that she didn’t not need any help and sent them away with a flea in their ear.

She did all the digging, planting, pruning, and nurturing that the garden needed, all whilst wearing her favourite purple dress. Her garden looked splendid and she often had compliments paid on just how good her garden looked.

Sadly, the woman was to pass away, and someone purchased her lovely grey house with the beautiful gardens. The new owner came across some of the woman’s belongings, one of which, was her purple dress that she tended to the garden in. The purple dress was disposed of by the new owner. 

After WWII, a demobbed soldier knocked at the grey house, asking if there were any odd jobs going. The owner said there was a part of the garden that needed weeding, so he accepted the job. Several minutes after he started weeding, he saw an older lady, who was wearing a purple dress. She was waving her arms in the air and the man said she looked mighty angry, even though she never said a word. So he downed tools and took a break away from the grey house. He later returned and finished the weeding. When he approached the owner for his money, he told them of the angry looking woman in purple. The owner said that the description he gave sounded like the woman who had previously owned the house and told him of how she was when jobbing gardeners would ask to work in the garden.

The grey house went on to employ several gardeners over the years and all would say they would see this woman, wearing a purple dress, waving her arms up in the air as though she was angry.

The woman in purple was seen less and less over the years so it could be that she accepted that even if she could no longer care for the garden, she should let others tend to it.