My husband’s cousin and her husband were en route from Pennsylvania. No flowers sat to welcome them on the front hall table. The kalanchoe upstairs wouldn’t do; its flowers were fading. The blue hydrangeas I’d cut earlier this summer looked too dry and unwelcoming. And I’d forgotten to buy a white orchid at Whole Foods.
In the garden the tall chrysanthemums were not yet in bloom, and the roses were in between blooming cycles. Out to the garden I went anyway, even though I’d cut down most of it the previous week. I was disgusted over the drought and phlox bugs, which had zapped the blooms and sapped the color out of the leaves.