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Pet Name: Volkov
What are Skeiths known for? Our laziness? Our ferocity? Our propensity for eating? Well, I'll admit I enjoy sweets and cake as much as the next Skeith, but the other two traits are mere stereotypes. I am a Skeith, but I value hard work and I am probably the least fierce thing you will find in Meridell. Even my Barlow is fiercer than I am and she's a completely silly Petpet who basically only sleeps and whines for belly rubs.
My name is Artour Volkov and I am a professional gardener. I love the feeling of the sun on my back and the dirt on my hands. It's a peaceful sort of life. I love the knowledge that if I put in the care and effort to nurture these plants, the results will be plain for all to see. Hard work with visible results – who can ask for more? Plus, it helps that I have a green thumb, figuratively speaking. I understand that not everyone has the gift for growing things. Good thing too, or I'd be out of a job!
You ask where you might've seen my work? Well, my most famous project is the Royal Arboretum just outside of King Skarl's castle in Meridell. The lands include the Royal Forest and the Castle Gardens. Not the hedge maze, though – that's a headache for somebody else. Along with the group of gardeners that work for me, I am in charge of the upkeep of the grounds, the health of the plants, accurate signage for visitor education, general landscaping, replanting, and last but not least, the greenhouse area where we conduct cross-breeding experiments for plant hardiness and floral colour variety. We sell potted plants in the Arboretum Gift Shop and all proceeds go toward maintaining the Arboretum grounds, so be sure to stop by at the end of your visit. The first flower is on me!
I also act as an advisor to King Skarl in affairs regarding Kreludor and Virtupets. I've been to space many times and am familiar with the culture of the inhabitants of these two unique areas of Neopia. You may be surprised to learn that there are many gardeners in space as well! Gardening is a bit different up there, due to lower gravity, atmospheric pressure, and relative abundance of nutrients in the soil. However, it's still conceptually the same, and a lot of botanical theory that was developed in Meridell still applies to space gardening. The plants native to these off-planet ecosystems can even sometimes be successfully transplanted and cultivated on our home planet and vice versa.
King Skarl doesn't need me to physically visit our celestial neighbors very often, but whenever I have a chance to make the orbital jump for a diplomatic voyage, I always plan in a few extra days to visit with my gardener friends. I bring them cuttings from the Arboretum greenhouse, and often come back with new plants as well. I am currently working with a very revered Grundo botanist on developing plants with optimized atmosphere scrubbing capabilities for use on space stations. The goal is for these plants to serve a very necessary function as well as simply being aesthetically pleasing. Hopefully you will see the fruits of our labor in a space station near you very soon!
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