At nine o’clock in the morning, Tiny Garden opened its doors as usual.
Lu Lingxi habitually cleaned up the shop and put away the bits and pieces on the table by the entrance before finally placing the camellia he had brought back from the plant nursery on the table.
Camellia, also known as Mandala, is a traditional ornamental flower in China, and is also one of the “Top Ten Famous Flowers” (plum blossom, peony, chrysanthemum, orchid, rose, azalea, camellia, lotus, osmanthus, daffodil). With the popularity of camellias in the international flower market, florists around the world developed numerous varieties of camellias in addition to the original species, counting to more than 5,000 species at a glance.
The camellias raised by Lu Lingxi were given to him by Xue Yongtong, initially to exchange for an evolved calla lily. Lu LIngxi originally thought it would be good to simply send the calla lily to Xue Yongtong, but Xue Yongtong insisted on trading it for the camellia, and specifically told Lu Lingxi that these camellias were not ordinary camellias, but a rare camellia double-petal mutated variety.
Lu Lingxi couldn’t resist the other party’s intention and was interested in the mutated camellia, so he didn’t refuse anymore. He had seen double-petal camellias before in the plant catalogue. Generally speaking, most of the stamens of this type of camellia are petalised and the number of petals naturally increases, with the common number of petals being around 50. After the flowers bloom, the colour is either red, pink or purple, as beautiful as a brocade, a flower of brilliant colours, bright as the dawn. But the camellia in front of him was a light green colour, with more than 60 petals, and the large petals were clustered together in the shape of a graceful peony, with a long, lingering, elegant fragrance.
As soon as he put out the camellia there, an old customer who lived nearby passed by and saw the camellia from outside. His eyes lit up and he immediately came in.
“Little boss, are you starting to raise camellias again?” The visitor asked, taking a closer look at the table.
The residents living in the neighbourhood all knew that the little boss of Tiny Garden was good at raising flowers. In addition to some of the flower varieties that were often sold in the shop, occasionally the little boss would also raise a few less common flowers. This camellia, for example, was not an ordinary camellia, but was probably a flower that the owner had raised on a whim. Look at the colour of the flowers, look at the shape of the plant, it is a rare “beauty in the bud”.
The more the visitor looked at it, the more he liked it, and the more he felt lucky. The little boss had just opened the door and the mist on the leaves had not yet dried. Now there must be no one to steal it from him, thanks to his early morning walk around the area.
“Little boss, do you sell this flower? You have a few more in the shop, I’ll take them all.” The visitor was very proud of himself.
Lu Lingxi looked a little embarrassed, “This one is already owned, and the remaining two have been given away.”
He had a total of three camellia plants, one for Elder Zhang, one for Grandpa Su, and the remaining one Lu Lingxi wanted to put at home so that Wang Shuxiu would be happy with it.
When Lu Lingxi finished speaking, the visitor looked regretful. He remembered that he hadn’t seen these camellias in the Tiny Garden shop yesterday, and since the little boss said that he had given them away, it must have been to someone close to him. The man couldn’t ask the owner to give him one, so he had to leave the shop reluctantly. Even before he left, another customer saw the camellia through the glass window and came over. Throughout the morning, no less than seven or eight customers came in for this camellia.
Lu Lingxi didn’t expect this camellia to be so attractive, and while he apologised to these customers, he also thought about introducing this variant of camellia from Xue Yongtong to enrich the variety of flowers in the shop.
He was thinking about it when Wang Shuxiu arrived with Xiao Hong’s family, carrying the lunch they had prepared for him. “Why is Mom here so early?” Lu Lingxi’s appointment with Elder Zhang was at two o’clock in the afternoon, and it wasn’t yet twelve noon.
Wang Shuxiu handed the insulation box in her hand to Lu Lingxi and said, “Isn’t it because you haven’t eaten yet? Anyway, I have to come, so I’ve come early and brought you food by the way.”
Lu Lingxi remembered that yesterday Yi Hang said that Wang Shuxiu was worried that he had lost weight and curved his eyes, “Have you eaten, Mom, Uncle?”
“I’ve eaten, little bastard, don’t mind us, hurry up and eat while no one is around.”
Wang Shuxiu circled around and didn’t see Yan Yue; her heart filled with satisfaction. She had deliberately brought an insulation box with her today. If Yan Yue was here, she didn’t believe that he would dare to grab food from Xiao Xi in front of her. Of course, it would be best if Yan Yue wasn’t here. It was one thing for Wang Shuxiu to acquiesce to Yan Yue’s presence by Lu Lingxi’s side, but it was only the case of out of sight, out of mind, and when she really saw the two of them together, it was still very irritating.
In addition to the lunch she had prepared for Lu Lingxi, Wang Shuxiu had also brought a box of bones for Dahei. She hadn’t seen Dahei for a while and looked at him with affection. Because of Dahei’s presence, Xiao Hong purposely left Xiao Baiwan at home, just in case the two dogs made trouble and interfered with the old Chinese medicine doctor checking the pulse.
Xiao Hong was very grateful for Wang Shuxiu’s kindness. He had also looked up Elder Zhang on the internet and found that his qualifications were deeper than those of the specialists they had seen in Zhongjing; he was a real master of Chinese medicine. Xiao Hong was okay no matter whether he had children or not, but he couldn’t bear the thought of Xiaoman being upset about the child. So as long as he had a chance, he was willing to accompany Xiaoman to give it a try.
They waited in the Tiny Garden shop for a while, and when it was almost two o’clock, Elder Zhang arrived. After a few greetings, Elder Zhang sat down at the table with a smile on his face and asked Zhou Xiaoman to sit across from him to check her pulse.
Zhou Xiaoman sat down in apprehension, and Elder Zhang stretched out two fingers and put them on her wrist, concentrated slightly and asked her to switch to the other hand. When he was done, Elder Zhang didn’t say anything, he just asked Xiao Hong to come over to check his pulse. After the same procedure was done, Elder Zhang asked the two of them about their eating habits for a long time and looked at their complexions before finally saying that there was nothing wrong with Zhou Xiaoman. It was Xiao Hong who had a little problem.
Xiao Hong and Zhou Xiaoman looked at each other with some disbelief. The two of them had just gone to Zhongjing for a check-up not long ago, and the doctor said that both husband and wife were physically fine, only that the child’s destiny had not arrived yet. So how could Elder Zhang say that it was Xiao Hong who had a health problem? However, on another thought, the previous doctor had never checked out specifically if this problem was the reason why the couple had not had a child for many years. Since Elder Zhang had seen it right away, did it mean that he could cure Xiao Hong?
Before Xiao Hong could say anything, Zhou Xiaoman already said eagerly, “Is it serious? Can it be cured?”
Elder Zhang smiled gently, “It’s nothing serious. I’ll give you a prescription, you should follow it and drink a course of medicine. Let’s see the effect first.”
When he said this, Zhou Xiaoman immediately relaxed and nodded repeatedly, promising to urge Xiao Hong to drink the medicine on time.
After Elder Zhang finished writing the prescription, Zhou Xiaoman couldn’t sit still any longer and was thinking of going to get the medicine. There was a pharmacy not far from this street, so Wang Shuxiu simply accompanied Zhou Xiaoman to get the medicine.
Once they left, Elder Zhang, Xiao Hong and Lu Lingxi were the only ones left in the shop. Elder Zhang gently said to Xiao Hong, “I lied to you just now, your health is actually good, it’s perfectly fine.”
Xiao Hong & Lu Lingxi: “……”
Elder Zhang smiled and explained, “I heard Xiao Xi say that you had seen quite a few doctors before coming to me, and that there had always been nothing wrong with the physical examination, but you have been unable to conceive a child for a long time?”
Xiao Hong nodded hesitantly.
Elder Zhang said, “Some couples are like that. It is related to your eating habits and surroundings, but also your wife is under too much stress. I’m afraid she is depressed and it is not a matter of a day or two. This will definitely affect her health and her ability to conceive. The main problem for you now is to let go, especially for your wife, so that it will be easy to get pregnant.”
When Elder Zhang finished speaking, Xiao Hong immediately understood. Xiaoman had been having a hard time in her heart because of the childbirth. No matter how she appeared to look on the surface, subconsciously she still felt that the absence of children was her fault. Xiao Hong had also explained to Zhou Xiaoman that it was not so, but it was hard to say how much Zhou Xiaoman had listened. Now that Elder Zhang had put the blame on him, it was easier for Xiaoman to know that it was not her fault than when the doctors said that both of them were well. When Xiaoman was in a better mood, they might actually have a child. Even if they didn’t have a child, it would still be because of him, Xiao Hong, and Xiaoman would at least not have to blame herself.
Xiao Hong smiled gratefully, “Thank you, Elder Zhang.”
Elder Zhang waved his hand carelessly, “It’s good that you don’t blame me for lying to you.”
Although Elder Zhang was doing this to untie the knot in Zhou Xiaoman’s heart, he also said that Xiao Hong might have eaten a lot of greasy food recently and had a bit too much fire in his body. The recipe he prescribed was to remove the fire; it would be good for Xiao Hong to drink it for a while and regulate his body with it.
The three of them just said a few words before Wang Shuxiu and Zhou Xiaoman came back with the medicine. Xiao Hong was afraid of affecting the business of Tiny Garden, so he didn’t stay in the shop much longer. Before he left, he kept thinking about how to thank Elder Zhang. He knew that Elder Zhang was willing to help him because of the compassion of a healer on the one hand, and Xiao Xi’s face on the other. To be honest, if he were to give Elder Zhang money now, he would be looking down on him, but if he gave him nothing, he would feel a bit guilty.
While Xiao Hong was worried, Lu Lingxi carried out the light green camellia to Elder Zhang, blushing and saying that he wanted to give this camellia to Elder Zhang. Xiao Hong’s eyes lit up and he exclaimed in his heart that Xiao Xi had thought of everything.
Elder Zhang accepted the camellia with a smile. He knew Xiao Xi’s nature; if he didn’t accept it, the child would definitely dwell on this. He and Xiao Xi, the child, were friends despite difference in age, and it could be said in an elegant way that they became friends through the flowers.
After Xiao Hong and the others left, Elder Zhang asked about Lu Lingxi’s trip to Kunnan. He really wanted Lu Lingxi to go to the orchid exhibition to see it and gain knowledge, not to mention that he had a few old friends who would also be coming there from all over China. These old friends of his were not simple, and each one of them was considered to be well-known in some field. He wanted to introduce Lu Lingxi to his old friends, so that they could establish good relationships with this child.
When Elder Zhang asked, Lu Lingxi quickly nodded. However… he was a little hesitant, “Grandpa Zhang, I have a friend who is also planning to come along and I might have to stay with him.”
Elder Zhang laughed, “The more the better, I just like it to be lively. You don’t need to live separately either, your Grandpa Zhao has it all covered.”
Lu Lingxi smiled shyly and didn’t immediately agree. Regarding food and accommodation he planned to discuss it with Yan Yue first.