By Phran Novelli

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – If there’s one thing gardeners should be used to, it’s the cycle of life, because we see it every year. From spring flowers, to the fruits and vegetables of summer, to the brilliant colors of fall, to the bare branches of winter with buds that promise life will begin again.

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Some plants last only a season, like annuals that we enjoy, and then toss into the compost heap. While others, like stately trees, stick around for generations, so when they go, we find ourselves grieving, because it’s like losing a member of the family.

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And so it is with our gardening pals, like doggies who sniff at buzzing bees on the roses in summer, romp through autumn leaves, curl up in the holiday greens and happily dig with us each spring.

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Like beloved plants that have given so much joy while asking nothing in return, when their time comes, it’s hard to say goodbye. And it never seems to get any easier, even though we know that death is a natural part of the rhythm of a garden, and our inevitable destination in the circle of life.