I know they’re a pain to grow.

Every year as they struggle through the heat and humidity of midsummer, I reconsider my garden plans, wondering if it’s time to eliminate them.

But something always holds me back.

Something like burying my face in their scent.

Seeing the hundreds of petals, so uniform and perfect.

Feeling the blossoms, soft and cool in my hands.

Taking in the sight of a happy burst of muted pastels in a vase.

And yes, the names.

Oh, the names.

Geoffrey Hamilton.

James Galway.

Pat Austin.

Tess of d’ Urbervilles.

Abraham Darby.


Graham Thomas.

William Shakespeare.

Benjamin Britton.

I’ve always been a pushover for a good name. And English Lit., for that matter.

And thus, I cannot bring myself to rid the garden of their presence.

They’re a pain to grow.

But when they’re happy, oh, are they worth it.

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