New Coventry. A town located somewhere between over there and around about here. A town full of people, places and stories. Depending on who you talk to New Coventry was built on everything from fertile farming land to an ancient burial ground and was founded by pious pilgrims or lizard-headed demons. Whatever the case, New Coventry has had its share of good times and bad and it sure has a lot of stories to go around.
The Living Campaign series aims to bring those stories, good and bad, to the fore. Each article will explore a new place, or a new person, or some new event that’s taken place in New Coventry. It may be something good, something not so good or just something that the good folks of New Coventry just don’t like talking about.
The setting is rules agnostic, so feel free to pick and choose whatever you like, but the general feel is 1920’s small town; don’t expect too many dragons (maybe). If you’re running short on inspiration, every so often the Living Campaign will talk about how to use its various bits and pieces.
So with that, welcome to New Coventry stranger.
New Coventry Botanical and Rose Gardens
On the southern end of New Coventry is a place considered to be something of a hidden gem in the sights and sounds of the town. The New Coventry Botanical and Rose Gardens, known locally as simply ‘The Gardens’ is a collection of large open spaces, carefully cultivated gardens, and a handful of exotic greenhouses. All of which is open free of charge to the public and watched over carefully by the greenest thumb in town.
The Gardens were first opened, in a way, shortly after New Coventry first began to see some real growth around 150 years ago. Originally The Gardens were the private estate of Miss Beverly Warner, a member of the highly theoretical New Coventry Gentry (many local historians argue that Miss Warner was in fact its only member). Miss Warner poured her not inconsiderable fortune into the gardens and grounds of the Warner estate over her long life, expanding them well beyond any other estate for tens of thousands of miles. Miss Warner had a particularly fondness for not only roses, but exotic plants and at the time of her death it was estimated that there were well in excess of 2,000 individual roses in the garden and over 200 different species in its collected greenhouses.
After her death, Miss Warner, in defiance of her normally frosty attitude towards New Coventry as whole bequeathed the entire estate to the public. The only conditions she placed on the gift were that the caretakers be a private staff paid through the remains of her invested fortune and that the greenhouses never be disturbed. To this day her rather strict conditions have been adhered to with the Matthews family having cared for the grounds, and its greenhouses, since Miss Warner’s death. And of course, those very same greenhouses have remained largely undisturbed for generations.
Heading the Matthews family and their efforts to care for The Gardens is the patriarch Christoph Matthews. A stern, blond-haired man with an uncanny green thumb. Under Christoph’s guidance, The Gardens have seen unprecedented growth the last 15 years and despite his apparent distrust of anyone outside his family, Christoph is often celebrated as a true asset to New Coventry.
While speculation abounds about the greenhouses of Miss Warner, the people of New Coventry continue to enjoy The Gardens. And any visitors are encouraged highly to do the same.
Enjoy your trip through The Gardens? Why not take a stroll around the rest of New Coventry and check out these other previously discovered places and people!