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Garden Reports and Rejoicing – September 21

When I was writing my monthly column for Angie’s List Magazine recently I interviewed Madeline, of Madeline, Paws and Claws Pet Sitter. This article, due out in the December issue of AL Magazine, is about arranging for the care of plants when going on vacation.

What stuck me was when Madeline said that one of her clients had many plants and their care was extremely important to them. “These plants are a part of their family,” she said.

Well here I am, a confirmed gardener…a hort-a-holic even, and I’ve never thought about plants being a part of my family. And yet, when we think of what family is and does, how could we not include plants in that grouping? Family supports and sustains us. Family helps us in times of need. We often give our all to our family, and our plants and gardens return that, repeatedly, to us.

Now, I haven’t provided for my plants in my will, but that doesn’t mean that they aren’t really important in my life. As I walked through my gardens today I was totally, and completely, filled with gratitude for what they offered: beauty, joy and connectedness. Family.

Aside from the pleasure and support the gardens as a whole offer, single plants often become extremely important to us. This dappled willow is one of the members of my garden family...I remember when I planted it in a box on my deck in Osterville eight or nine years ago, and how robins nested in it for the four years that it was in that backyard. It has been a treasured plant at Poison Ivy Acres and looking at this small tree always makes me smile.

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