Gratitude, like gardening, is good for you

I'm sure grateful for the chance to enjoy the gardens of Toronto with 70 other garden blogger last June.
I’m sure grateful for the chance to enjoy the gardens of Toronto with 70 other garden bloggers last June.

As I just heard on an NPR report yesterday, being thankful is not just the thing to do at this time of year, gratitude actually has real health benefits, including reducing the possibility of heart disease. Well, I’m all for that!

So here goes:

Gordon and Brian--the most obsessed gardeners I know
Gordon and Brian–the most obsessed gardeners I know

I’m thankful that I live in one the most garden-obsessed cities in the US, and I’m grateful to more than 300 fellow Buffalo gardeners, who, like me, open their gardens to the public for free on the last weekend of July.

I’m grateful that younger people (think early 30s) are starting to garden in larger numbers (according to studies released by Harris, Garden Media Group and the National Gardening Association). They may be more interested in food gardening than I am, but they understand the benefits of surrounding themselves with green space and growing healthy produce.

I’m relieved and grateful that the governor of New York weighed the benefits against the environmental and health risks and decided against fracking.

IMG_2349On a related note, I am thrilled and really thankful to live so near so many spectacular parks and nature preserves, such as Zoar Valley (above), Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge, Niagara Falls and gorge, and, of course, the Olmsted parks throughout Buffalo.

IMG_1342I’m grateful that, as a shade gardener, I’ve learned to love the many textures of green, and not be so obsessed with flowers.

IMG_1201Except in spring, when my bulb obsession pays off.

IMG_2119I’m grateful to live near so much fresh water.

11026109_801509416602598_7011971660639388306_nFinally, I’m grateful for this opportunity to blather on to you all (with your kind indulgence), and really thankful that I have five amazing partners on this blog, which is now nearing its tenth anniversary. Thanks for letting me rant!

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Elizabeth Licata

Elizabeth Licata has been a regular writer for  Garden Rant since 2007, after contributing a guest rant about the overuse of American flags in front gardens. She lives and gardens in Buffalo, N.Y., which, far from the frozen wasteland many assume it to be, is a lush paradise of gardens, historic architecture, galleries, museums, theaters, and fun. As editor of Buffalo Spree magazine,  Licata helps keep Western New Yorkers apprised about what is happening in their region. She is also a freelance writer and art curator, who’s been published in Fine Gardening, Horticulture, ArtNews, Art in America, the Village Voice, and many other publications. She does regular radio segments for the local NPR affiliate, WBFO.

Licata is involved with Garden Walk Buffalo, the largest free garden tour in the US and possibly the world, and has written the text for a book about Garden Walk. She has also written and edited several art-related books. Contact Elizabeth: ealicata at


  1. I’m grateful for Garden Rant, where there is a great diversity of opinions and a total unapologetic obsession with gardening.

  2. And thank YOU, GardenRant, for giving me so much pleasure/information/obsession/insert adjective here. I’m a better gardener because this blog exists.

  3. and i’m not only grateful for your rants, which so often warm my heart and brace me for the next ‘adventure’, but for your passion and truth, and for what you see.

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