My parents can grow anything. My mom’s basil has glossy deep green leaves about half the size of my hand. Her cucumbers are so prolific she has to make pickles on a regular basis. She’s got varegated English ivy that she grabbed from her mother’s yard and it’s just about to take over the potting bench she and my dad built. Their roses are lush and full and bright, bright pink. Dad has purple wave petunias engulfing their mailbox that he lovingly dead-heads every morning. They plant stuff, let it grow, pull it up, plant something else, it grows, and they can almost change the entire landscape on a whim.

Now, my plants. I have a maidenhair fern in a terra cotta pot by the front door. I call it the Lazarus fern because it grew for about four months, then mysteriously died (may have had something to do with negligence and lack of sufficient water). Three months later, about a week after my parents had come to visit, it begins to sprout tiny green shoots and has all but made a full recovery. I, too, grow basil, but its leaves are a pale, yellowish green and approximately the size of a large snail. I have a pink crepe myrtle in a pot that was growing at a 45-degree angle before its leaves turned a pretty red and began to fall off. In the spring. Next to it sits a pot of dirt where lavender once grew, then, alas, turned grey and stopped growing.

So you can imagine my unparalleled delight at the apparent success of this Endless Summer hydrangea, which is evidently quite contently situated at the corner of my house.