by Ellie Tang

pen and ink drawing of a chrysanthemum flower
original art by the author

Chrysanthemum, chrysanthemum,



Red, pink, yellow, and purple,

natural beauty and color.

Glowing, loving, affectionate,

petals spread like sun rays,

a sunrise refreshment in a volume,

a connection between mother and daughter.

Chrysanthemum, chrysanthemum,



something so light yet bitter,

a tranquil joy in the heart,

a thought…

I watch as the slow bud sinks towards the horizon.

I listen to the petals’ love in the orange bitterness of appreciation. I feel the warmth of the evening sun glowing past my shoulders. I sniff the warm fizz of tranquility and peace, oozing through my veins. And to take a sip;

A taste easing me into my mother’s arms.

Chrysanthemum, chrysanthemum,



Frosted, white, covered, and frigid

tucked in snow and cold.

Shimmering, twinkling, adoring,

Buds peaceful like an elder,

a sunset glass that was once full,

a memory that has once been told.

Chrysanthemum, chrysanthemum,



something so bright yet vague,

a rebirth to be awaited in tempo,

a memory.


Ellie is a seventh grader at Carson Middle School. Ellie’s story and artwork were part of the Carson Middle School first place team entry, along with teammate Reid Hall, for the Plant Love Story Challenge hosted by the Phipps Conservatory and Botanic Gardens.

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By Anthony Longo

original artwork of a green spiky aloe vera plant leaves in a brown pot.
"Aloe", original art by the author

My special plant is aloe. This past summer we went to a farm to get flowers. My mom walked to the second tent. It was filled with succulents. We decided to buy some succulents. We almost walked past the aloe. Then I looked over and saw it. I asked, “Can we please get this mom.” She said “Yes”, and we got them.

When we got home, we watered them. That weekend we put them in pots. The next day we made a jobs chart. My little sister had to water the plants every day. I was worried but eventually (after a couple of days of them not getting watered) I realized how they could thrive and live with little water. I was not worried about them.

A couple of weeks later I got burned making lunch. That day we broke one piece of aloe and squirted it on myself and put a band aid on it. It helped a lot.

Then we went on vacation. I thought the aloe might die because it had not been watered in a long time and we were leaving for a week. The problem was that if I were home, I could water it if it were dying but could not during vacation. When we got back, I was surprised to see it was the only plant still alive. It had so many leaves and was so strong. I was so happy we bought it. My mom was proud because she can never keep a plant alive. Then that fall we did not want to leave it out there to die so we brought it in. We always forget to water it, but the aloe is ok. It grows and grows and becomes stronger and prettier. It looks genuinely nice on our table and counters. It brings beauty to our house even when it is dirty. I am happy because once one of our plants survived the fall to bring beauty to our house and it is all because I saw it. Now that aloe is incredibly special and sits on my coffee table. I am proud of growing it and think it is beautiful. The Aloe hopefully will live through the winter and till the spring. Thank you for listening to my plant love story.


Anthony is a sixth grader at Tenth Queen of Angels Catholic School. Anthony submitted his Plant Love Story and original art to the Plant Love Story Challenge hosted by the Phipps Conservatory and Botanic Gardens in Pittsburgh, PA. His artwork was also featured in our 2022 Plant Heart Art Valentines Day Collection.

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By Charlotte Kovach

orange marigold flowers  on a blue, green and purple watercolor background.
Marigolds. Original art by the author.

My mom and I plant marigolds every year. I love planting with her. On our deck, there is a small container that contains marigold seeds. I always wondered why we had so many marigold seeds, and out of all flowers why marigolds? So, I asked, “Mom, why do we have so many marigold seeds”? She told me that they were my great grandmother's seeds, and had been passed down to her mom, and then her. That was in summer, now it is fall.

The marigolds we planted in the spring had overgrown into several big, pretty bushes. I went to a pumpkin patch and saw some marigolds on the way there. They were so small that I thought they were a different kind of marigold. Then, I saw some at the pumpkin patch. They were slightly different from the ones I saw on the way there, but they were still so small! When I got home, I looked up marigolds on the Internet and in almost all the pictures the marigolds were small. I realized that not only were our big, beautiful marigolds our marigolds, but they were special. I am so happy because my mom told me that I will be the next owner of the marigold seeds.


Charlotte is a fifth grader at Turtle Creek Elementary STEAM Academy. Charlotte’s story and artwork were part of the Turtle Creek Elementary winning team entry for the Plant Love Story Challenge hosted by the Phipps Conservatory and Botanic Gardens. You can read Charlotte’s teammate Brianna Smithwick’s story ‘Amazing Pumpkin’ also here on PLS!

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