got gratitude?


Making a garden for myself seems to be a function now of my autonomic nervous system, like breathing and a beating heart. It is a big comfort to know that wherever I go, I’m fairly sure I can make a little garden, at least while strength holds out.


All that time spent thinking of, reading about, and making gardens? I’m feeling gratitude for that lived experience that enables me to make a garden that traps light, catches wind, color and contrast, even if the only other appreciative visitors are birds and insects.


I may not be able to draw raindrops captured by seedheads or beading up on smooth leaves, but I can plant that — and know how and what to plant, thanks to all the generous garden writing I’ve read, the welcoming gardens I’ve visited.


I know what will glisten every morning after an overnight rain.


The fact that the most exuberant, knowledgeable gardens have to be sought out, and are not to be found around every corner, instead of finding that depressing, I see it now as proof of the value and rarity of this specific knowledge base and skillset. Gardeners know how to make something out of soil, water and light that acts as an enticingly sexy advertisement for the natural world. Gardens defiantly say look closer and take care. In the face of rampant cruelty and stupidity, it may not be enough but it’s not nothing either.


I am beyond grateful for the years spent learning how to make a garden. I can bake bread, I can make a garden — what else could you want or need?

To all the garden makers, salut! Indulge yourself with gratitude for all you’ve studied and accomplished. To all those who share what they know, plants or otherwise, thank you, I’ve learned loads. Have a wonderful holiday!

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8 Responses to got gratitude?

  1. Elaine says:

    Here! Here!. Gardeners make the world a more beautiful place to be. Nothing improves mental health better than connecting with nature, plants and the soil. So much to be thankful for. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

  2. Kris P says:

    That’s a wonderful Thanksgiving wish, Denise. I have no doubt you’ll continue to fill every garden space that surrounds you with interesting plants – and that those gardens will look different from season to season and year to year as you continue to experiment with plant types, colors and textures and as you challenge any and all constraints you encounter. Best wishes for a happy holiday.

  3. A joy to read and contemplate, just like your gardens I’ve had the great fortune to visit. Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family.

  4. Gerhard Bock says:

    What a wonderful tribute to yourself and all the other gardeners out there! Your Oregon garden is ample proof that you know how create something special out of nothing.

  5. Jerry says:

    I’ve been grateful today too. Garden blogging has really opened up our world. We now have the opportunity to visit gardens from around the world and to hear perspectives from a greater variety of gardeners than when we were reliant on books for garden knowledge. I love all the pictures and stories that each person brings to the table. It truly is a great time to be thankful. Thanks Denise for sharing your little bit of paradise. I too hope to be gardening as long as my body is able. I can’t imagine anything else.

  6. Thank you, this post was contagious! What a perfect time to reflect on how much being in my own garden or others gardens gives back. Fills the soul!

  7. Anna says:

    You have fine garden and you have taken nice photos.

  8. ks says:

    Yes to it all Denise. Gardeners are lucky to have this refuge …even in the dead of winter it can raise the spirits . And there’s always something to look forward too, even with 2024 lurking on the horizon.

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