My Mother’s Geraniums

On Aurora’s Eastside, near Copley Hospital, in a neighborhood which no longer exists, once stood the house in which I grew up. On either side of the steps of our abbreviated front porch, my mother had two large decorative concrete urns in which she planted geraniums. Bright red geraniums, with a spike plant in the center for accent, and a bit of ivy trailing down from the edges.

I always loved those geraniums, and a few years ago I started the tradition of planting geraniums of my own. While I don’t have decorative urns, but rather a clay-colored plastic pot from Menard’s, I duplicate, as well as I can, my mother’s geraniums.

Being distracted this year by the ability to plant flowers in actual dirt, those in pots got a bit of a late start, but once begun seem to be doing well. Picking out this year’s plants at the flower factory, I was careless and among my bright red geraniums, I had inadvertently selected a white one as well. I thought about changing it out, but decided to leave it as it was. A decision I’m happy with.

Of my flowers, potted or free-range, I think the geraniums are my favorite for several reasons. One, they are just pretty to look at. Two, when I’m outside I can rub my finger along the stems, and smell that geranium smell. (I do this with the tomatoes, too).

Three, it turns out that the single white blossom adds a whimsy to the array, which I enjoy. And lastly, and perhaps most importantly, when I’m sitting at my computer, and look out through the patio door at my geraniums, they always remind me of my mother.


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