I'm typing this from my bedroom in South Brooklyn; the window's open wide and the breeze is friendly, generous. As the wind streams through the apartment I can't help but feel that everything's cleaner, brighter, more colorful.
A few days ago some city workers came and finally filled the three vacant dirt-pits at the end of our street with soil, mulch, five young trees, and various ground-covering plants (I haven't looked closely but I know I've seen some violets and perhaps some pansies). This is a much anticipated change, for the sections have sat uncultivated for months now as a result of some recent sidewalk restructuring. And it isn't just the increased plresence of green on my block that has me all a-flutter - the thoughts of summers long-since-past keep springing to mind and I'm reveling in the memory of some of my favorite (early summertime) childhood blooms:
Black-Eyed Susan --- These had a stronghold over the garden patches in the front yard of my childhood home. I always admired their burnt golden petals and believed, for the longest time, that we had sunflowers guarding our lawn.
Gray Dogwood --- Of the various types of dogwood this happens to be my favorite. My father planted two dogwood trees (not grays) to flank the stone steps in our backyard and would often profess that it was his favorite tree, his favorite flower.
Asiatic Lilies --- I think my mother fancied these best for a time, mostly when I and my sister were very young. Whenever they'd first bloom she'd bring us outside to show them off, her smile a compliment to their pink and freckled faces.
Prairie Rose --- There are several kinds of roses which, to me, hardly look like "traditional" roses at all; but these, the prairie roses, have always caught my attention. They look like perfume would if it held a solid form: blushed pink fading to white.
Smooth Hydrangea --- O my. These! These might just have been my most favorite flower as a little girl. We had huge hydrangea hedges in the backyard and I'd often sit on the flat stone steps beneath them and admire their cloudlike presence. I also got in the nasty habit of picking off the full blooms just as they'd reach maturity (my mother never approved).
Witherod Viburnum --- The dainty white blossoms, the reddish-pink berries, the hearty red-brimmed leaves - I can't find anything not to admire about this plant. As they were also in our backyard my father would often remind me not to eat the fruit, regardless of how tasty-sweet it looked.