This summer, in the course of our Southern Living garden shoot, my friend Bubba (garden editor for the magazine) asked me why I was growing a large pot of salmon colored geraniums under one of my redbud trees. Now Bubba and I have known each other...
for quite a while. He knows my garden...my garden style...and my garden philosophy
extremely well, so I thought it a curious question. (But he IS a garden editor, after all...a deep thinker about such things.)
I asked him why he wanted to know, and while I don't remember his motivation for asking, I DO remember my response. "For sentimental reasons mostly", I told him.
My mother grew them every summer. She would pot them up with the requisite spiky dracaena and asparagus fern. The feel of the fuzzy leaves, the scent of the crushed foliage and flowers...ah, happy childhood memories of summertime in Indiana, Tennessee, and eventually Oklahoma. A constant of summer, no matter the garden geography.
Without conscious planning, they became a constant in my garden as well, cultivated each year in my evolution from no-nothing gardener to obsessed one.
I was especially fond of the deep salmon, large-blossomed varieties...and when one morning my precious little boy ran outside sporting a too-large baseball cap of the exact same hue...
I couldn't refuse the gift of a perfect Kodak moment with two of my greatest loves. Now, years later I still grow them for sentimental reasons.
The sentiment now richer and more intense, with layers of memory...
evoked each time I get whiff of, or a glance at, my pot of salmon geraniums.
*** (You might want to give this technique a try. Some of my favorite photos are images of garden blooms matched to a like-colored object also captured in the picture. Especially sweet with children, I think.)