There's a bond that slowly forms over time with plantings that you've had for a long time. You watch them cope with the vicissitudes of heat and cold, drought and downpours. You fret when a hard winter hits them hard. Your heart leaps just a bit when you espy new shoots emerging from the dead-looking branches. Plants can't run from whatever threatens them. They must stand their ground and grit it out. Each spring teaches again the lessons of toughness and persistence and faith rewarded. It’s a lot to put on a humble plant, but sometimes it’s all you’ve got.