I awoke this morning to the sound of rain on the roof, a sound that has been mostly absent for the past seventeen months. Later, I checked the rain gauge and found that we had received .8 inch of the wonderful wet stuff. This, in addition to the .8 inch that we received last week, promises a respite for our long-suffering plants, as well as a respite for my bank account from paying high water bills every month.
In short, the garden is looking much happier these days. The temperatures have moderated. We're receiving the occasional rain. The tough plants that have made it through the long seventeen-month-long drought are being rewarded for their toughness, and the gardener is finding another reason to be thankful during this Thanksgiving season.
Thanksgiving has long been my favorite holiday of the year. In fact, I am thankful for Thanksgiving! But while looking through my Google Reader today, I found a post at Garden Rant about some of the things that gardeners are thankful for and found that I could second most of them.
Even in this difficult year of gardening in Texas, there is much for which to be thankful. Above all, I am thankful for Nature. I garden with it and I appreciate it every day of the year - all the critters with which I share my garden, the insects (mostly helpful and some quite beautiful), the reptiles and amphibians, the small mammals (even though they sometimes dig holes, uproot things or otherwise make a mess in my garden), and, of course, the birds. I'm thankful for the wild landscape that is visible from my garden, especially the trees that have managed to survive. So many trees didn't make it and it saddens me whenever I look at their brown skeletons still standing there, but many are still living and breathing and I can only imagine what the early morning rain must mean to them.
I am thankful for the horticultural experts who give so generously of their time to share their expertise with us non-expert gardeners and I'm thankful for all those plant researchers and breeders who keep working to provide us with new and improved plants every year. Gardeners today are very fortunate to live in a time when gardening know-how is so easily available through local nurseries, gardening publications including a whole stream of wonderful gardening books, and, yes, garden blogs! I am especially thankful to the talented writers and gardeners whose blogs I follow. I learn so much from them and I gain inspiration from their gardens.
I am thankful for the trend in gardening toward the use of native plants and especially plants that are drought-friendly, toward the reduction of the boring expanses of mowed grass in the yard, toward the conservation and wise use of water, and especially toward the popularity of habitat gardens, creating gardens that are friendly to the critters with which we share an environment.
I am thankful for fellow gardeners who so generously share seeds, plants, and cuttings. I am thankful for tough plants that make me look good - like I know what I'm doing as a gardener. I'm thankful to live in a place that, despite its shortcomings in some aspects of my life, allows me to garden twelve months of the year. And I'm thankful for my wonderful readers who keep coming back, and especially those who occasionally provide feedback.
All things considered, I find myself happy and hopeful, and, yes, very thankful as I prepare for this Thanksgiving with my family. In spite of setbacks, there is much about which to be optimistic. I hope that your Thanksgiving finds you in a similarly upbeat mood.