Chapter 16
A Community of Tennessee Writers, Readers & Passersby

Pier Carlo Talenti

Dry Shade

Sometimes a plant—and a person—can thrive in even inhospitable conditions

I tried to dig a hole with a shovel, but half an hour later I’d made no more than a two-inch dent in that hard-as-granite claypan. So I borrowed a pickaxe from a neighbor and hacked at the dirt for hours, mixing in bag after bag of soil amendment. At the end of the day, though I still wasn’t confident something could take root there, I planted the camellia. This was a new beginning for both of us.

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