Today we had a cold Minnesota March rain, and I began to dream of gardens. Among the 1000 gratitudes, I am grateful for our garden, which is mostly full of native prairie plantings.

But every spring I plant a patch of cosmos in memory of a close family friend who loved them, and taught me to love them too. They grow abundantly and generously and forgivingly, even when we don’t water or weed. They’re loaded with color and cheerful personality. They cut well when we want flowers inside. And in late summer, that patch is always a flutter of butterflies and bees.

They’re annuals – they live for only one season. But they re-seed! So every year’s garden patch is a mix of new flowers and the flower-children of past years’ cosmos.

And they’re transplants in Minnesota, just like I am. But they seem so at home in the soil – they seem so delighted to get to stretch down into the loamy Minnesota soil, and up into the Minnesota sunlight. They remind me to love the little patch of earth where we live.