For my Thanksgiving week post I went Googling for the terms "gardeners thankful" to find out what I should be mentioning at the dinner table on Thursday, and found plenty to agree with. Like these what-I'm-thankful-for items from across the country:
- Local garden centers, horticulture experts, and mail-order suppliers, too. (Note: not a word about the Big Boxes.)
- Researchers and breeders of great plants.
- Volunteers like Master Gardeners and Master Naturalists.
- The abundance of nature around us, with lots of mentions of birds and even lacewings and flies (beneficial insects).
- Parks and botanical gardens.
- Native plants (one mention), especially trees.
- And several newspaper columnists expressed thanks for their JOBS, and for the readers who help them stay employed.
Only one writer mentioned something that would be high on my own list – the passalong spirit of gardeners who share their plants with anyone who'll try to keep them alive. A Broomfield, Colorado writer agrees and expands on that thought with: "I'm thankful for wonderful gardening friends who speak 'gardenese" and who understand and share plant obsessions. These are the same friends who generously share seeds, cuttings and plants, along with their knowledge and love of flora."
One Corpus Christi, Texas writer says "I am thankful for rain, any rain." Also, for Xeriscape – something you'd never hear in the East. Clearly the glass-half-full type, he's even thankful for something caused by drought – "that many of the invasive grass weeds like guinea grass do not grow as rapidly and are easier to control." And finally he mentions an advantage of gardening in Texas that I can relate to: "I am thankful for two growing seasons."
In Enumclaw, Washington a writer is happy to not have hedgehogs in her hedge, like they do in England, and to not have to sow lawn seed twice a year, like they do around Palm Springs. And her TOP reason to be thankful? "We don’t have to worry about malaria when we garden." Apparently in her travels she learned that when the pools of Versailles's gardens were created, mosquitos carrying yellow fever settled in and "France lost more than 700 souls creating those gardens". Okay! Nothing like travel to make you appreciate what you've got. She must have seen Japanese maples dying somewhere else because she's super-grateful that they grow well in Washington State.
I'm Thankful for These Mentions
- "We don’t have to worry about high fashion when we garden…I am thankful Seattle is the grunge capital of the world and that my neighbors accept the random, weird and downright sloppy outfits I wear when I garden. I’ve even been caught weeding in my nightgown." (That's Enumclaw again. I'm really liking her!).
- From the National Garden Bureau: "We’re thankful for the garden writers and bloggers who offer such a wide variety of inspiration and advice that keeps us dreaming and wishing for a garden 'just like that.'"
- Also from the Bureau, "We’re thankful for our friends who "ooh and aah" over our gardens no matter how many weeds we forgot for pull or how many sprouts the bunnies ate.
- A writer in the Seattle Times thanks garden writers and recommends a few terrific ones.
Thanks Not Given
I found whole lists taken from the Garden Bureau's 10 Reasons Gardeners are Thankful, which was offered up for republication at no cost, with credit given, where no credit was given. Oops! (Hey, Examiner.com, it's easy to check.)
Finally, Google unearthed this St. Petersburg newspaper page from January, 1958 with the headline 'Gardeners Thankful For Spared Blooms". Quick quote: "Easter Lilies, their foliage still fresh and green, are thrusting upward with the promise of and little Johnny Jump Ups show gay and dainty colors." Despite the typographical omission – of something – you get the flavor of garden writing in that era, which I'm thankful is over. And on the same page is a wedding announcement about Miss So-and-So, with no photo of the groom, which reminds me of an era of "women's page" journalism I'm thankful is long gone.