What Gardeners are Thankful for


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."

Regional Peculiarities

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.)

Garden Writing in the '50sThankful gardeners

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.


  1. Just before I read this post, I was reading a beautifully-written essay titled “The Thankful Gardener, published in Shelbyco Magazine by a fellow blogger in Alabama. The magazine article is at http://www.shelbycomagazine.com/2011/11/the-thankful-gardener/
    and it was written by “Rev” of Red Dirt Roses at http://redneckrosarian.wordpress.com/2011/11/22/the-thankful-gardener-shelbyco-magazine/

    (not trying to be promotional, just acknowledging the beautiful writing of another blogger.)

  2. I’m thankful for two garden seasons, too ! And to live in an area where if I cannot grow it or produce it myself, there are lots of small farmers & growers a stone’s throw away who can & do. I’m also grateful for neighbors who, while not gardeners themselves, always help with basic yard chores that I tend to ignore – it’s amazing how shaggy-looking the lawn gets while I’m working on the “important” parts of the yard! I’m especially grateful for gardening friends who share their bounty & stories & ideas & advice & are just as willing to let me share mine.

  3. I’m not a gardener, but I love to read about gardening and my husband gardens. But I am thankful that he likes to sit with me and show me seed catalogues so I feel involved. I’m also thankful that he seperates one pot each growing season for our daughter. 3 years old and she gets to garden with her Daddy as father/daughter time.

  4. I’m very thankful for:

    1. The ability to garden–having a place to garden, the physical ability, and the how-to knowledge.
    2. Gardeners who have inspired me, with their gardens’ beauty and abundance, to get into this.
    3. Community Gardens
    4. Heirloom and organically-grown seeds (not limited to USDA certified).
    5. The booming national appreciation of and interest in growing our own food.
    6. Good growing weather (when we get it).
    7. Wonderful garden writing, in print and online.
    8. Teachers of gardening (through extension offices or local classes).
    9. Manure! (ha)
    10. My daughters helping in the garden.

  5. I am thankful–or maybe grateful is a better term, since I don’t NEED these, I just enjoy them!–for warm late-fall days when I can get out and putter around the garden in complete defiance of the bit where it’s mid-November.

    I am also very thankful for my local botantical garden that has all the obscure native plants that give me a demented thrill.

  6. I am thankful that my husband does not point out the sums of money I have spend over the years on plants, garden tools, books, magazines and other garden items. I am sure we would have been able to retire early without some of these purchases but our lives would be less full without some of these purchases.

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