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A wise city friend
who has grown wiser
as she learned to get to know
her micro ecosystem
and give plants who like that ecosystem
the chance to flourish
there,
suggested,
when I complained
about how hard it is
to grow what I want
here,
that I grow
what grows here.
I’ve had some success—
with xeriscape plants,
like Russian Sage.
And Honeysuckle
(until the grasshoppers feast on it;
but, so far, it always comes back
in the spring.)
While I want to grow lavender
and plant it every year
(my sister Gail gifts me with a flat
every spring for my birthday)
it struggles.
Roses live on the north side of my house,
but they struggle too.
New this year,
perennial Lantana thrives on the south side.
But it is the Sunflower
that is happiest.
Even before my friend suggested it,
I let them grow.
Now, in late summer,
they pretty much cover the entry
to the back porch.

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Notice the Sunflower peeking above the porch

They grow well even in the shadier
east side of the house
where nothing else has ever taken off.

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What my friend’s suggestion
has done for me
is helped me realize that
I can enjoy the sunflower array,
even though they do not allow landscaping.

DSCN1124There’s a Honeysuckle bush, Lantana, Rosemary
and a Desert Willow somewhere in there
behind the Sunflowers

And I will take her suggestion
and next spring actually plant
sunflower seeds,
of varying colors and shapes;
some shorter ones,
some seedier ones for the wildlife.
Makes perfect sense—
once I let go my expectations
of what I want
and let grow here
what grows here,
no matter how unwieldy.
Indeed, why wouldn’t I be happy
with a Sunflower garden!

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