Before my mom moved into the house in back of mine, I tried to make its exterior more welcoming. She had never seen the house before the move - her expectations were based entirely on my verbal descriptions. "It's small but really cute. And brand new!"
It IS small and cute. And brand new.
But the outside was a little drab so I painted the front door a glossy persimmon color and bought several large pots in the attempt to create a small garden on concrete. I imagined that olive trees would look particularly nice against the greyish beige of her house. Or the Korean National Flower. I know the Korean National Flower well because throughout my life, whenever I would pass one with her, she'd make a point to tell me "That's the Korean National Flower."
The days leading up to my mom's move were unbelievably busy and stressful. There seemed to be little time and so many things to do. I drove to Home Depot and perused the nursery in the vain attempt to find olive trees or the Korean National Flower. There wouldn't be any other occasion to shop for plants so I had to choose the best of Home Depot's offerings. I chose camellias. One of them started blooming this week.
My mom has been tending her garden diligently since her arrival. The camellias, bay tree, gardenia and lavender (all of which except the camellia used to live on my balcony in Echo Park) seem to be thriving. Yesterday, on my day off, I drove my mom to Hollywood and we visited Anawalt lumber and nursery on Highland. I've passed it many times and noticed their nice selection of plants. They had olive trees and the Korean National Flower. My mom bought one of each in addition to a pack of seeds which will eventually grow to become turnips. She will then make kimchee from the turnips (I'm assuming).
I planted the Korean National Flower in a big black pot next to her front door.