Giving Thanks

Giving Thanks

Our world is filled with amazing things. We get to see the world change in full circle each year. From the deep snows winter to the sweet blossoms of springtime to the colors of summer to the autumn crispness and back to winter again every year. Many countries and people do not get this view. In some places it is either summer or winter; in others it is forever springtime. Some see snow a lot, others desert heat.

I give thanks for a place that always changes, day to day, year to year.

The author's view from his porch
The author’s view from his porch

My daughter recently started reading and showed me a book about pirates. She pointed out the “treasure” chest they had stowed away on their ship. I look at her and though I know she thinks of shiny jewels and coins as treasure, I do not. I see the plants outside as treasures. Each one was planted by man or nature. I sowed seeds or transplanted pots to locations that would provide me with the best view from my porch, window, or swing.

I give thanks for treasures that grow and bloom and change.

Treasures can be anything, like this Fremont's Clematis blooming in April
Treasures can be anything, like this Fremont’s Clematis blooming in April


Each year since I was little I can remember helping my Dad and brother with the garden at our farm. We cultivated half an acre of vegetables and a small orchard of apples and pears. Even from an early age I knew I wanted this to be my career. I picked out different varieties of seeds to sow each year, and pored over gardening books and magazines. I can still remember old episodes of the Victory Garden which I taped and watched over and over.

I give thanks for vegetables and fruits that grow in my garden.

Growing a garden is like writing a book. You are putting yourself out there for the world to read through their eyes. Each path and bed is carefully constructed, but filled with your own imagination. Your imagination and dreams are shaped by the very books you read as a kid. I design gardens that remind me of my journeys in reading. Through the wanderlust of my youth in The Secret Garden, The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, Rascal, The Chronicles of Narnia, Little House on the Prairie, and My Side of the Mountain lurks original thoughts and ideas that cultivated my creative world.

I give thanks for literary works that shape youthful minds.

Plants to me are also some of my closest friends. I see the sugar maple in my yard, the oak tree at my grandma’s, and the woods at my mom’s as some of my dearest friends. Yes, I have made friends with people too, over the years, but trees and flowers listen better, without interrupting.  The few human friends I do have, have earned my trust completely, being there for me when I needed them most.

I give thanks for friends, both real and imaginary.

Bur Oak at the author's Grandmother's house
Bur Oak at the author’s Grandmother’s house

I think the best thing is working in a field that you are truly happy in. When I look back, I see no alternate course, no other direction my life could have gone than into horticulture. Sure, there were bumps on the road and I stumbled a few times, but I always came back here. My job is the best in the world. I work for a great company, I get to work with plants every day, and I get to write it down.

I give thanks for a job that lets me be myself every day.

Grimm's Gardens during blueberry bloom
Grimm’s Gardens during blueberry bloom

What do you give thanks for?

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