Plants that Don’t Give Up


Morning glory living and blooming in an empty screw hole in the metal rail.

The drive to survive and grow is potent.   Glance around. You’ll see plants determinedly making a life for themselves in the most improbable places. Cut down trees rush to thrust out new growth from their bleeding stumps. Maple keys sprout in sidewalk cracks. The garlic bulb in the fridge, taking to the cool and damp, starts greening up as though it nestled in fertile earth.

On the farm, cedar trees, uprooted by storms, continue to grow, flat on their backs, if they have a thread of root left in the ground. Daisies bloom on the barren rock farmyard. The bicycle shed reveals prickly ash saplings managing on the glimmers of light seeping through the knot holes. On the stair railing outside the door, a morning glory is doing well, thank you, in an empty screw hole in the metal that can’t be more than half an inch deep. It even proudly produced a blossom.


Prickly ash, green and undaunted, inside a dark shed.

Need heartening up? Take a look at the skinny green stems heaving asphalt aside or the ruffian tree squeezing skyward through the seam where pavement meets wall. Excuses don’t cut it here.

Gail Hamilton’s books.

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