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As we begin the holiday season, spending time with family is at the top of everyone’s list. Whether they live next door, across town, or on a different coast, family and the holidays go together.

Families come in all forms — those we are given and those we choose because they make us a better version of ourselves. This happens in the garden, too. Many plants are related and of the same species. Others are family because they, too, make each other stronger.

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Jane Powell is a longtime West Virginia University Extension Service master gardener through the Kanawha County chapter. She is the communications director for a community foundation and a volunteer with several nonprofits in the community. Find her blog, “Gardening in Pearls,” at Contact her at

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