Excerpt: "The Hound at the Heart of the Maze"
Welcome to my garden. Thank you for coming. It is not often that I am privileged to receive visitors. Just a moment; the latch is tricky. No, thank you, very kind, but I can manage. Besides, it's all but impossible to open from outside--
Ah, there we go. Come in.
Sprawling immediately to your right, and approaching rapidly, is my guardian thorn vine. Watch your step; its bite is wicked. But its enthusiasm is endearing, isn't it? It's just starved for company, and, as I've said, visitors are rare. Quickly, now--
My apologies. But I have a balm to put on that scratch, if you come this way.
That's the hedge-maze you're admiring, there beyond the croquet meadow. Well, when you possess the largest collection of azaleas in the region, you want to do something interesting with them, don't you? From where we stand, you can distinguish at least fifteen species by the color, size and shape of their blossoms, which here in my garden know no season. Even more varieties can be found within the maze, many of which are considered endangered or even extinct in the outside world. In all seriousness, I must ask you not enter the maze unaccompanied. It is astonishing how disorienting the view from within can be, despite the azaleas rising merely to chest-height...