Lugustrum and boxwood and arborvitae.
Hydrangea and coleus and begonia. Sometimes zinnias and caladiums. One rare summer, sweet peas climbing up a trellis.
Childhood gardens hold sway over our hearts and memories. If there is a photo that brings any of them back, it brings them all back. There are mysteries about why only some things grew in the summer gardens my mother planted. Governing the front yard were landscape principles lost in generations of family gardeners long past.
So I have three pots of coleus on the edge of my side porch. They started a year ago as shoots from one summer annual that continued to flourish near my kitchen window through autumn and winter and spring.
Early this summer I bought the three clay pots and a bag of potting soil. I transplanted the shoots from their transitional jars of water. I placed the pots outside, a little unsure whether they would survive real air, real sun, real rain. Daily I carried my watering can down the stairs to the side porch connected to my apartment.
They take their mid-August bow before my camera.
They are all that remains of the begonia and hydrangea and caladium around which my mother dug her hand shovel decades ago.
The black-and-white photograph inspired an earlier post on Writing Cabin. Please feel free to visit it.