Today I went outside early in the morning while others slept. I swept the ash from last night’s fireworks from the concrete pool deck into the garden beds. Is fireworks ash good for the soil? I’ll pretend it is so that I don’t have to go inside and get a dustpan. I toss the cardboard remnants of “Fat Cat”, “World’s Tallest Fountain!”, and “Peacock Junior” into a black trash bag. Even at 8 a.m. the air is thick and hot. As I carry the trash bag out front to the waste bin I stop in my tracks. A platter-sized pink bloom hovers at about knee-level. Yesterday, it had been a tight, racquetball-sized bud encased by pale green bracts, but overnight, BAM! it exploded into this ludicrously gigantic cotton-candy pink blossom. My hardy hibiscus! Last fall I transplanted it from a too-shady, too-remote spot to this sunnier bed and now, on July 5 2018, I am reaping my reward. The flower is bigger than my face, bubble-gum pink, ready for a party. The best part: at least twelve more walnut sized buds adorn the plant, ready to swell and lend cheer through the remainder of July. Yes, July will be sweltering and oppressive, but there will be giant pink hibiscus!
It takes considerable willpower to stop myself from waking up the household to announce their arrival.