Thursday, December 7, 2023

For adding flavor and beauty to life, we are thankful for garden



Phyllis Webster earned a degree in journalism before embarking on a long career in public relations and marketing. A Granbury resident since 1998, she has been deeply involved in the community. She is an award-winning writer and photographer, as well as a Master Gardener. She has authored Garden Patch since 2001.

As a gardener, you have many reasons to be thankful. First, you participate in the miraculous process of growing plants from tiny seeds and watching seedlings as they mature and prosper. What’s more, you tend small plots that produce edibles such as vegetables and herbs, which are used to create flavorful meals. And by planting a landscape, you provide fruit and nectar-producing flowers, which in turn feed wildlife.

Thankfully, the benefits of a garden are far-reaching. For example, trees give shade, shrubs break harsh winds and groundcovers hold the soil. Plants produce the oxygen we breathe and the food we eat! Simply spending time in the garden nourishes body and spirit. But beyond practicalities, gardens give us beauty — colorful flowers, fruit and foliage as well as interesting texture, shape and form.

Growing plants bridges cultural gaps and brings people together. Gardeners love chatting about their favorite plants, swapping cuttings as well as tips and techniques. When traveling, public gardens are a top attraction. In distant lands, learning about plants either endemic to an area or grown as crops teaches us a lot about how other people live. For example, visit Italy and you’ll see olive trees and grapevines, which means olive oil and wine at meals.

Gardeners have good reason to cultivate an attitude of gratitude when gifted with good soil, soaking rains and mild weather, which can result in plentiful crops. Grateful gardeners often share their bounty. How?

Birds, butterflies and other wild creatures benefit from gardens, such as those that have nectar-producing flowers and berry-producing shrubs. Also, you could add a bird feeder and fill it with seed. To benefit friends and neighbors, consider gifting a portion of your produce, whether fresh, dried or canned. Dig, divide and share perennials. Save and distribute seeds. Or invite others to share a meal based on your harvest.

Perhaps the best thing a gardener has to share is knowledge and experience. Enhance your expertise by attending educational programs offered by local Master Gardeners. Then share what you learn by giving advice to neighbors, trading recipes, teaching children about gardening and answering questions about plants. If possible, volunteer at a community garden, participate in a beautification project or support a local garden club.

Gardening is life-sustaining. It allows us to immerse ourselves in the natural world. And it teaches us myriad lessons in creativity, patience, endurance, science and teamwork. For gardens and all they offer, be thankful! | 817-680-4849