Today is a day for parades, flags, barbecues and decorating the graves of loved ones. I am always reminded of red geraniums on Memorial Day. They were the flowers that my mother and grandmother placed at our family’s gravesites because of their patriotic red color, draught tolerance and because they bloom continuously till frost.
These days, Geraniums seem to be underappreciated in home gardens, but if you have difficulty keeping up with watering, they work well for containers and window boxes, and now there are so many more hybrid colors and forms available besides the traditional “fire engine red”. They also combine well with other popular annuals. I planted some pale salmon bi-color geraniums and white Bacopa (Sutera) in my father’s window boxes this spring because I know that they will look good, even if he forgets to water them between my visits.
Memorial Day is also the day for remembering our fallen heroes. I saw this poem by Carl Sandburg on a paving stone in a public garden. It made me think of Memorial Day.
By Carl Sandburg
Pile the bodies high at Austerlitz and Waterloo.
Shovel them under and let me work—
I am the grass; I cover all.
And pile them high at Gettysburg
And pile them high at Ypres and Verdun.
Shovel them under and let me work.
Two years, ten years, and passengers ask the conductor:
What place is this?
Where are we now?
I am the grass.
Let me work.