I still dream of the south and the garden I created. I dream of the hidden mimosa, the large oaks, pines, and pecan trees above. Sometimes I imagine the warm summer nights in my mind; those comforting sensations come rushing back on a rare and warm San Francisco evening. There is a faint reminder of the south while the harvest moon lays low above the San Francisco bay. A similar moon that once cast a soft light on the luminous Russian sage, pearly irises, white azaeleas and lavender of the south. That swiftness in the garden transports me back home when I bounce back and forth between patios. All I can hear in the city are the vacant sounds of trains running by my window in the bustling streets; there is the absence of a small roar of a thunderstorm or crickets that filled the night air long ago.

But, with that said I have adapted to city life more and continuously seek out new plants to explore in my container garden. There are the trials and tribulations of gardening – the challenges I thoroughly enjoy everyday. There is the maidenhair fern, which brought me to a deeper level of life in the garden. The challenge I faced trying to keep it flourishing, though very finicky. Then the heirloom roses I swore would be easy to maintain since they were vintage, but proved to be a challenge that never prospered. The Patio rose bush was a wonderful replacement and provided dainty spots of pink leaning toward the rail. My friendship with Gussy flourished into a deep and caring relationship during the four seasons and beyond. She still brings me flowers from the garden and shares her knowledge of gardening. She is a special woman who transcends me to a quiet place. We meet in the mornings for coffee and talk about the garden she tends to, as well as my new finds in my container garden. We did discover moments in my gardens that were a pleasant surprise to her as well. One discovery we found was that bamboo blooms every few years. I remember the blooms coming up in my bamboo container and both Gussy and I thought it was a weed, but in fact it was a blossom.

And, there is the depression that plagues me some days, but my garden consistently rejuvenates me and helps my wellbeing. The low dark cloud that kept me indoors disappears when I draw my hand over the lavender and salvia, and when I find wild flowers at the farmer’s market, and the dahlia buds when they first started to blossom. All of these moments have given me a tremendous amount of strength and healing. Though I’m in an urban setting now I have grown to appreciate the wonderful aspects of a vibrant city. But, I continue to pine for those hot summer days in Smyrna and always will.