all begins when you receive a letter from your dearly departed grandfather's butler, Austin. It seems your grandfather has bequeathed to you a creaky old mansion filled with junk. Once you get there, you find that the house once had a marvelous garden and Austin sets upon you to restore it. It doesn't help that he is hellbent on entering the garden into the local contest for the best garden. His idea is to have a "jumble sale" with everything lying around the house and thus begins your quest.
When you first begin, you'll see the house in the background with 15 rooms, all covered up by curtains or doors until you open them up. Once they've all been opened, you'll revisit them time and again to sell items. Once you begin a level, you'll see a list with 5 people on the left, along with the object they are seeking and the amount they want to pay for it. If you can quickly locate and click on the object, you'll get the maximum amount of money for it, however their patience wanes the longer it takes for you to find the object and along with it, the money will decrease. You can also spot golden coins scattered around the room for extra money.
There's also a hint system built in. If you select a hint, the objects the people are seeking will be pictures instead of words, to help you find them easier. But your hints are limited, so use them wisely. Also hidden about the room are extra hints in the form of question marks (which simply add one to your total number of available hints), hidden thermometers of different shapes and sizes (which will tell you whether you are hot or cold on the 5 items on your list) and finally a camera, which will take a "photo" of the room and drop away all but the 5 items you are looking for at the time - but it only lasts a split second.
Once you locate an item, the shopper leaves and a pile of coins is in his/her place. Click on the coins and a new shopper appears with a new request, for a total of 20 shoppers for each room. Once you have completed the room, you'll go back to the garden and speak to Austin. In between leverls, from time to time you will get letters from various people. Some folks are seeking a run of particular objects, like 20 teapots or 20 pearls, for example. If you happen to not notice the letter bouncing in the top right corner, and jump into another jumble sale, you'll miss the opportunity to just go into one room and click rapidly on all of the objects of one type. This is a fast way to make a lot of money because you earn extra points for any hints you don't use and for your speed - and its pretty easy to collect 20 of one object in the same room. Never fear, however, becuase you will still get the chance to find the objects, 20 of which will be scattered throughout the next few rooms you go into. But its much more tedious this way.
At times, you'll get letters from either the newspaper wanting to do an article on the garden restoration or one from the Garden Club lady telling you what you still need to buy or restore before you can have a chance at entering or winning the garden competition. In order to win, you'll have to resore the whole garden, though, so it really doesn't matter the order in which you do it.
You'll need to repath the lawn, buy fruit trees and pergolas, a bridge, a fountain, a pond, repaint the house, everything you can imagine. But once you are done, you'll be graced with a beautiful, prize-winning garden.