The Persistance of (Bergenia) Memory
I bought the above pictured clump of Bergenia cordifolia ten years ago. It's never done much of anything, never bloomed. This is a baggage plant, I guess you could say. It carries the baggage of memory, earliest memories; I bought it for no other reason. What I remember though, were much more vigorous and successful clumps on the north side of my childhood home, clumps well decorated with bold wine-red flower stalks topped with pink flowers. We were in Sunset 24 back then, a little cooler--no, a lot cooler, there not being so much heat island back then--and I remember large clumps, though memory is always suspect, isn't it?
I noticed my childhood home was foreclosed on this year. My parents sold it long ago, and it has been through two other owners, the last unfortunately purchasing at the height of the real estate bubble, and thus losing the property--it is now priced at half of what it last sold for, even in cool Sunset 24. The Google tells me some of the shrubs my Dad originally planted are still there; an Arborvitae, now grown into a monster, and a couple of tough Junipers and a red Hibiscus, for so long cubed, but due to the neglect of foreclosure, allowed to return to a somewhat natural shape. I doubt the Bergenia is still there.
Old memories swim around in my mind like Koi in murky water. When they surface, the colors are briefly bright, but details elude me.