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I planted the English Ivy in my first summer in Delaware. I bought material to make a border for two flower beds, one on each side of the steps, in front of the front porch, from the steps to the corners of the house. I pulled weeds and grass and dug in the dirt. I planted many little plants. I planted these and pachysandra. The pachysandra lasted through the second year, but then I never saw them again. I also put in a couple of hostas. Something ate one plant. Each time it came back, whatever it was would eat it again. Eventually it died. The other one lasted several years, never doing as well as I expected, but it kept coming back. Until it didn’t.  But the ivy thrived. It grew and spread and spread and grew. It seems to thrive on neglect. It filled in the flower beds and spilled over the border. My husband keeps it under control with the lawn mower. It’s subtle. There are not brightly colored flowers. But it works. It brings a little dignity to our little house. It softens the boundary between the lawn and foundation of the house. And it continues to grow.

When I see the new growth in the spring it stands out from the older growth. It has a bright, clear color. The leaves aren’t bug bitten or damaged by the elements. Those new leaves hold promise that the plants will continue to grow and spread, doing what they do best.

Occasionally, in my own life, I see ‘new growth’. I see something new and fresh that stands out from the rest. Last weekend I painted a picture that was completely different from others I’ve worked on recently. I used a different surface and slightly different style. It’s evidence of the new growth in my life.

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