I happened to be wandering through my second home, Lowes, on the last day their garden shop was open. They were pretty much giving plants away, and I picked up a random bunch. Since I had no idea where I was going to put any of them, I brought them down to my basement and left them to over-winter. I didn't expect much, and, in fact, some animals managed to get in and eat a few especially tasty ones, but a bunch of others struggled through the cold season.
In spring, I saw that two little Rose of Sharon plants were still alive, so I decided to plant them in the front yard at the Girly House. I only chose them because there were two, and I wanted to keep the symmetry of the building intact. I didn't know much about the plants themselves, and was surprised to see them growing rapidly in a short time. But as they grew and bloomed that first season, I remembered the Rose of Sharon in the front yard of a neighbor in Brooklyn.
And then my sister reminded me that Rose of Sharon was our father's favorite flower. So now when I see those hardy little plants, and remember what they survived that winter, they bring back smiling memories of the hard times we survived when I was a child on my beloved Brooklyn street.
Rose of Sharon is my new favorite shrub.