November 24, 2009

Honest Scrap: The Grateful Gardener Version

Although I don't often participate in memes or awards, Catmint from Diary of a Suburban Gardener tagged me with Honest Scrap. She was one of the first garden bloggers I met at Blotanical, and I thought it was so cool to have a grardener friend in Australia. I still do. So I'm doing honest scrap but keeping it on topic, relating it to Thanksgiving, and illustrating with some photos from a recent trip to a local nursery. Here are 10 things this gardener is grateful for:

I am thankful . . .
1. That I didn't cut off my fingers while chopping grain corn stalks at the soil and plant analysis lab where I worked during high school. I'm a clutz. I prayed every day that my knife wouldn't slip and remove a finger . . . and I don't have any stubs, thankfully.
2. That I don't work at a nursery anymore (I have worked at two). Steamy summer greenhouses. An aching back from leaning over to pick up pots. Customers who leave their new plants in the garage while they go on vacation for a few weeks - with no water - then want replacements because the poor things died. I have great admiration for nursery owners and employees that put up with all of this to give us great plants.

3. That I discovered the horticulture program at my university. People in accounting or chemistry trudged to class dutifully, but I wanted to skip to my horticulture classes. My degree provided a great foundation for a lifetime of learning about plants and gardening and design.
4. That seeds sprout. I studied the process by which seeds germinate . . . but I still think it's a miracle. What makes a tiny seed decide to grow toward a great potential? There's some inspiration there for us.

5. For friends who tolerate my incessant gardening chatter. And who give me plants sometimes. And who take the plants that don't work in my yard anymore so I don't have to kill them. And who comment on my blog. Love those gardener friends!
6. For many different garden styles to keep things from getting boring. It's great to read about and see the different gardens that people make. I can enjoy them even if the style isn't what I'm going for in my yard.

7. For manure. But if you've read this blog for very long, then you already know that. There's another life lesson here about how the unpleasant parts of life can become fertile soil for growth . . .
8. For a gardening family. Gardening is in my genes from my father and grandmother. My husband digs holes and removes sod. My kids help spread composted manure (my youngest even ate some of it with no ill effects, amazing). I'd love my family if they didn't garden, but it's even better that they do.

9. For blogging friends. How else would I meet passionate, friendly gardeners from all over the world except by blog? I'm thankful for you.
10. And finally, I'm grateful for the beauty of the earth and opportunities to create beauty in gardens. As a Christian, I see the earth as a gift. How wonderful that it provides not only for our basic needs, but that the earth inspires us with its countless beauties.

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone! I'm cooking a 20 lb turkey and fixings, 3 types of pies, and hosting 16 people for the big meal. I hope your day is just as fun (though maybe less hectic) than mine will be!


  1. Sounds like you'll be busy the next couple of days getting ready for Thanksgiving. Have a great day with your family.
    I know you are grateful for manure and the great price you found it for :) It's great to have gardening be a family affair.
    Your photos are beautiful!! That second one is so pretty, the roses pop off the screen.

  2. I love your Thanksgiving version of Honest Scrap. It is such a blessing to have a family that loves to garden.

    I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

  3. Happy Thanksgiving to you too! Very interesting on your horticulture background and thank goodness you still have all your fingers:)

  4. Your list made me smile, especially imagining you skipping to class! What a hoot.
    Have a wonderful Thanksgiving and careful carving that turkey...count your fingers. ;-)

  5. VW what a wonderful list of things to be thankful for.
    Get that turkey in the oven girl. Pie !!! Yummy.
    Have a wonderful Thanksgiving with family and friends.

  6. Oh my goodness girl !!
    Happy Thanksgiving to you and I hope the dinner goes beautifully for the whole family (but especially you because I can understand the work you are going through girl !)
    I really enjoyed all of your "grateful list" and I am happy you have all of your fingers too ! You need them to garden with after all : )
    Yes .. I am always in awe of how plants become what they become .. from seeds to giant trees .. it is such a magical mystery to me now matter how much knowledge there is explaining the whole process ..
    Have a great weekend and take a breather when you can girl .. you will need it ! LOL
    Joy : )
    P.S. The pictures were gorgeous too !

  7. Have a lovely Thanksgiving, VW!
    And thank you for posting your Honest Scrap Award.
    I've been negligent - overwhelmed by all sorts of stuff, and I haven't done my bit.
    all best to you and yours,

  8. A wonderful post VW! You've said beautifully what we all feel about our lives, our loved ones and our gardens...and blogging! Have a great holiday. gail

  9. Hi VW~~ Great idea and I love your thoughts. I know what you mean about gratitude that all 10 fingers are still intact. I worked at a nursery too and it's not for wusses. ... In the first photo I am curious to know the identity of the middle fern with the unusual fronds. Anyway, happy Thanksgiving!

  10. I liked reading more about you! It is nice to have other people in the family that appreciate gardening. I have always been able to ask my dad for pointers.
    I am glad your back can feel normal again!


  11. You are very sweet, VW. Thank you for that nice insightful post. I think there are some things that I have to learn the hard way. Perhaps I'll try working for a nursery for a little bit. ;-) I think it might be fun.

    Hope you enjoyed your Thanksgiving with all the family and/or friends! It's such a wonderful time to be reminded to count our blessings!! Have a great weekend. Put up your feet!!

  12. if your readers are looking for more information on USDA plant hardiness zones, there is a detailed, interactive USDA plant hardiness zone map at

  13. VW, One more little comment. Would you please visit me tomorrow (Sunday)afternoon? I have a little something I want you to read. :-)

  14. Hi VW, these were the most beautiful photos I have ever seen! Each one prettier than the next, and I loved your scraps too. I envy your horticulture classes, being an accountant. I have to add, that I love accounting too, but it is not as much fun as gardening! Hope your meal was delish and your guests appreciative! :-)

  15. Grace, I'm sorry that I didn't check the name of the unusual fern in the photo.
    Frances, if I could go back to college, I'd want to do a double major of accounting and horticulture. I don't like my flowers in perfect rows, but rows of numbers are cool :-)
    Shady, I'll be sure to get by your blog tomorrow or Monday.

  16. VW, Having finally seen the end of November (and NaBloPoMo), I have more space in my life for visiting -- and have been reading (and feeling thankful for) your posts on photo retouching and blog beautifying. Thanks also for your interesting honest scrap. I hope your Thanksgiving was joyous.

  17. Having read this I thought it was really enlightening.
    I appreciate you taking the time and energy to put this
    short article together. I once again find myself personally
    spending a lot of time both reading and commenting.

    But so what, it was still worth it!


Thanks for leaving a comment! I have comment moderation turned on to catch spam, so your comment will show up as soon as I can read and approve it.