HighLandscaper: A Saga
From the lawns of thyme we came…mowing silently down through the centuries. Propagating many secret lives, struggling to reach the time of the Gardening, when the few who remain will landscape to the last. No one has ever known we were among yew…..until now.
Part 1: Don't Lose Your Veg
Title music rolls.
Lead-in aerial shot through parting, sunlit clouds, lush green scenery as we fly over the modern day US322 and the trees of Spruce Lane, PA.
Zoom into Sawyers Garden Supplies, and highlight two figures passing a hip flask, standing on an ornamental bridge spanning an equally ornamental pond.
The taller man dressed in a flamboyant gold and orange African dashiki. The other, a kilted, ginger-haired Scot, (the HighLandscaper) resplendent in the tartan of the Clan MacRayne.
Each man is holding an elaborately ornate garden spade, differing in design but both equally ancient and efficient looking.
Cut to camera shot of the African, Kastashear.
He drummed his palm against the stone balustrade, sharp hairdo glistening in the afternoon sunshine.
Gazing out over the immaculate nurseries, Kastashear smiled,
'So here we are at last, who'd've thought the Gardening would be here, my old friend?'
MacRayne smiled back.
'Och, and why no? Have nae been to Clarion for quite a wee while. And another wee while since we shared a dram!'
MacRayne grimaced as he swallowed, cocking his ginger mane to question the flask's contents.
'Just a little bloom-bloom! You are surely not afraid of a little bloom-bloom, are you, Landscaper?'
'It's been too long, Kas, when was the last time laddie? Glasgae, aye?'
Kas beamed a hug grin and raised the hip flask.
'Glasgow aye, 1842...and I seem to remember you nearly lost your veg back then too my friend!'
Both laugh at the memory.
Pan upwards to thickening clouds.
FX roll to signify flashback, gathering storm clouds link to next scene. 1842, Glasgow, Scotland.
'And cut, great job guys, great job. Take ten. Reset. Henry, a quick word?'
Steve Swann lit another primo whilst he waited for Letterbox to disentangle himself from the outrageous ginger wig and beard the prat had insisted upon wearing for the part.
Jeez, this was going to be a weird shoot!
Part 2: It's a Kind of Cabbage
Interior of underground parking garage. Blue and red police lights illuminate several cops inspecting a crime scene.
Camera pulls back to concerned looking news reporter.
'It also left the decapitated cabbage lying on the floor, next to its own severed head……'
TV set showing news report is perched above a scruffy looking bed obviously in a cheap hotel. (The type of establishment whose clientele appear to be drunks, prostitutes and down on their luck gardeners.)
Watching the news report, a huge, muscle-bound man grins evilly as he sharpens a wicked looking double-bladed shovel.
The news lady dramatically finishes her report with:
'A head which, at this time, still has no name…. '
Man growls, 'I know its name!'
Part 3: Who Wants to Dib Forever?
Rolling hills, beautiful Scottish scenery. Another aerial shot (producers stress need to recoup outlay on camera drones!)
Small rectangle in distance enlarges to view of the MacRayne smallholding.
Complicated landscaping becomes clearer as we zoom in.
Freshly dug rows in the earth. Neatly marked and labeled.
MacRayne is planting seeds, using a stick to make holes in the earth.
Nearby is his (now visibly aging) wife, Bracken.
'I wish I could watch you do that forever, my lord!'
MacRayne stands up, rubbing his stiff back, and throws the stick away.
'Ach, ma bonny Bracken, who wants to dib forever? "
Bracken gives faint cough and MacRayne strokes his ginger beards, Close up of him looking worried.
(Montage of the couple's lives together, MacRayne unaging whilst Bracken transforms from young lady to frail senior.)
(another forced cough)
Bracken shuffles over to the sweet pea bed and stumbles. MacRayne catches her and kisses her forehead tenderly.
'Don't see me, Mac – let me lie in peas. Where are we?'
'We're in the garden, where else? Runner beans down the mountainside. The sun is shining. It's not cold. You've got your pruning gloves on, and the welly boots I made for you. Good night, my bonny Bracken.'
Music swells, trail out shot of MacRayne walking away from freshly dug earth, a newly written veg marker, amongst the pristine rows, simply reads 'Bracken'.
End shot: a single tear runs down the label, smudging the ink.
Part 4: Dig Me the Prize
'Now over to Lobelia Planter, our new WWCH news reporter, live from the Inaugural Clarion Landscaping Competition, and things are hotting up there Lobelia? '
Thanks, Katie! That's right, we're down to the wire here at Sawyers Landscaping and Nurseries! From the initial gathering of over seven of the world's finest gardeners, we're into the final day. Only two remain in the running to win the fantastic top prize of a $25 voucher, kindly donated by our the good friends at Sawyers. Providing top quality nursery and landscaping materials to the area.'
'Wowza! Dig me that prize!'
'Erm, yeah, Wowza indeed Katie! So let's go and grab a word with the two lucky finalists! '
Camera follows Lobelia and we see two identical plots of fresh earth. In the left hand plot, a ginger-haired, kilted Scot. Furiously digging the ground over with a beautifully crafted and very ancient looking spade.
'Mr. MacRayne, Lobelia Planter, WWCH news, can we…? '
MacRayne looks straight at camera, giving a smouldering look to the lens through his wild facial hair.
'There can be…. Only...One!'
MacRayne gave another lens-melting smoulder and went back to digging away at the soil.
Lobelia smiled awkwardly and turned to the second finalist.
'And here is… ' she glanced at her notes, 'The contender from the Steppes of Russia, Sadovnik Dekorator.'
The huge muscle-bound guy was using two forks simultaneously, one in each mighty hand, turning the soil gently but at a very fast pace.
He licked his lips at Lobelia and growled 'Hello, Pretty.'
Planter grimaced and then recovered her professional composure.
'So there we have it, two bitter rivals, 24 hours to landscape, and that fantastic 25 dollar prize at the end! Back to you Katie…. '
Sadovnik grabbed the microphone in a meaty hand and sneered into camera, gesturing to the still-digging MacRayne.
'I have something to say!
Better to turn out
Than to spade away!'
Part 5: Just One Ear Off, Bruv
MacRayne surveyed his plot with satisfaction. As close to perfect as perfect could be in a speed gardening competition.
His keen eyes sought out anything the judges could deduct marks for.
There in the veg bed was a corn plant that had had a bit of a growth spurt. Three cobs protruded at slightly annoying different angles. Three, he wanted one on each. There could be only one!
He picked up his special gardening dirk. Then the pain hit him, crippling pain, he fell to his knees.
'What you're feeling, Landscaper, is the Sickening? You've felt it once before? '
The voice over was deep and melodic, reminiscent of the guy who played Bond. (not the current pretty one, or the guy with mad eyebrows, or the three forgettable actors, but the proper 007).
Flashback to MacRayne's first ever competition. Then, like now he'd decided to lop off an offending cob. The dirk had slipped and the corn beheaded, ruining any chance of a placing for him.
He'd fallen to his knees amid the groans of the crowd, shaking with frustration and anger. The Sickening was upon him.
From out of nowhere, (and employing a particularly effective low angle camera shot) his mentor had appeared.
'We are the same, MacRayne, we are Gardeners, and, we are Brothers! '
He'd helped him to his feet, taught him the ways of horticulture, helped him block out the groans of the crowds that haunted him for a lifetime.
MacRayne fought the Sickening, getting to his feet, unsheathing the pruning dirk. He was back in the now.
He'd leave two and just take the one away from the stalk, following his training.
Bond's voice came again.
'Just one ear off bruv,
Is better than a lifetime of groans'
Part 6: New Fork, New Fork
Mist rolls across the Highlands, the melancholy sound of a lone piper. Out of the mist stride the Clan MacRayne, men women and children marching onwards.
'May this year of our Lord, fifteen hundred and sixty-two bring victory to the Clan MacRayne!' Bellows the Chieftain.
As one the Clan scream 'MacRayne!'
The chieftain fishes in his sporran and the Clan file into the arena, keen to support the young Landscaper in a day of ferocious gardening.
Twenty-three hours later they groaned as one as their cousin slipped with his pruning dirk and the Russian went on to win the Prize - a set of matching garden forks.
Sadovnik took cruel pleasure in his victory, striding around the now beautifully landscaped arena, waving his trophies at the groaning clans folk and screeching 'New Fork, New Fork!'
From that day MacRayne and the Russian had been sworn gardening foes, fighting many battles down through the ages, beating all those who challenged them, until today when, finally, there would be Only One.
Part 7: Princes of the Universe
Henry Letterbox sat in his trailer, eating crumpets and trying to brush the butter from the huge ginger beard he'd foolishly decided to wear – just to see if ancient Scots could eat buttered crumpets without getting it all over their facial hair. (The answer was no, they definitely couldn't!)
He promptly gave up, thinking the matted hair would add authenticity to his costume.
This movie was going to be the highlight of his career, great cinematography, beautiful settings and props and a bleedin killer soundtrack too!
It'll be a national hit, hell, a worldwide box office smash, he'd be one of the bleedin movie Princes of the Universe, a Hollywood immortal even!
Already the sequel was being written, some mad sci-fi spin off (that sounded bleedin bonkers to be honest), but part three looked better…. and a telly series too. Life was good!
Final scene this afternoon and then the after shoot wrap party, a few interviews and then a fortnight on the beach for a bleedin rest.
Letterbox pulled on the wig and beard and left his trailer, waving his plastic prop spade, he shouted to no-one in particular, 'There cannae be but whan bleedin Letterbox, Hoots Mon!'
Part 8: Hammer to Fall
Yet another beautifully panoramic aerial lead in. Crowds cheering as each flower was watered, each shrub clipped and each… You get the idea, the crowd was having a ball, keen gardeners and newbie onlookers alike.
Montage of the rival pair toiling in the Pennsylvanian heat, MacRayne, master of fruit and veg and intricate planters, the huge Russian preferring natural looking orchards and meadow flowers, with soft flowing pathways.
The soundtrack swelled, a huge guitar solo (performed for some bizarre reason by a Professor of Astrophysics!) accompanied the huge horticultural battle.
At the centre of Sadovnik's landscaping, a structure was hidden from the crowds by a tarpaulin. The mighty Russian made a theatrical display of unveiling the centrepiece.
The crowd gasped, then booed, as the huge Hammer and Sickle water feature burst into life.
The judges frowned and scribbled remarks on their score sheets.
Sadovnik laughed and growled, 'You wait for the Hammer to fall, yes?'
The crowd cheered as the Russian hurled his garden fork at the installation.
With a clang the fork struck the Hammer, the Hammer teetered then, in slo-mo, tipped and fell. Striking the Sickle, which fell forwards and, as planned, hit a hidden pressure pad.
The crowd went mad as the red white and blue fountain erupted from the base and Sadovnik growled 'God Bless America!'
The judges scribbled furiously, laughing and smiling at the stunt.
MacRayne had to admit, it was a cute trick.
The judges turned to his garden. The crowd held their breath, certain that the ginger Scot would have something up his kilt.
MacRayne merely stood and held his arms out, asking the crowd to simply look at his landscaping. Rows of peonies, violets, roses and flox, planters bursting with bluebells and pansies, vegetables perfectly formed and trees in full blossom, nature at its best.
The guitar solo finally came to an end, the judges looked unimpressed, the crowd disappointed.
Then, a lone piper struck up. MacRayne held out his arms again, but this time the crowd gasped as a bald eagle swooped down and landed on the Scots gardening glove.
MacRayne fiddled with the bird's claw and the the beast launched skywards, on the display boards, the view from the tiny camera MacRayne had tied to its leg.
As the bird gained height, the full extent of MacRayne's landscaping prowess was revealed.
Each row of flowers and trees, each planter, every petal perfectly defining the Stars and Stripes, the living flag seeming to move with the breeze.
The piper now belted out the Star Spangled Banner as the crowds cheered and stood to salute the display.
The judges were unanimous, way to go Mac, way to go!
'Just doing ma job, folks, just doing ma job! '
The crowd cheered and Sadovnik bowed his mighty head as MacRayne was handed the $25 voucher.
'Good try, laddie, but there cannae be but whan! '
Roll to End Credits.