What do we have to be thankful for this year? Gardening!

Garden in Cottage District of Buffalo
The gardens of Cindy and Peter Loomis were shared on Open Gardens this summer. Photo by Connie Oswald Stofko

by Connie Oswald Stofko

“During this Covid pandemic, gardening has been our therapy,” said Marie Wysocki of Hamburg. She and her husband Jerry shared their landscape during Open Gardens. “Weeding is very therapeutic for us. I’m usually a calm person, but if I didn’t have this…”

Many gardeners echoed that sentiment this year, and I feel the same way.

We were able to get plants, thanks to the folks at our local garden centers who scrambled to create new systems almost overnight. Suddenly we were making appointments, ordering online, using curbside pickup and happily taking home our new plants.

The Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens moved horticulture classes and even hands-on workshops online so we could continue to learn at home. And with e-tickets and a limited number of people, we have been able to visit in person.

I am grateful that we had a hot summer. Sure, there was a lot of watering to do, but that was one more excuse to get out into the garden. And after a cold and gloomy April and snow in May, I welcomed the sunshine!

I appreciate all the people who organized garden walks and Open Gardens, as well as the people who shared their gardens. It was marvelous to visit beautiful gardens and breathe in that beauty. Thank you for your hard work.

Some folks had to cancel their garden walks this year, and I’m grateful to them, too. What a difficult decision that must have been! There was so much uncertainty and so many factors involved. Some garden walks had vendors to consider, others have tiny yards where people would have been squeezed together, and I’m sure there were other considerations as well. Thank you for making the hard decisions.

There were new things to do this summer as well, such as the videos created by Gardens Buffalo Niagara.

Gardening has helped us in so many ways this year. It added brightness to our lives.

But even in the best of times, we gardeners sometimes focus on the weeds. We forget to look at all the beautiful things in our landscapes.

This Thanksgiving, let’s take a moment to focus on the good things, however small, that we have in our lives.

Happy Thanksgiving.

8 Comments on “What do we have to be thankful for this year? Gardening!

  1. I am thankful that because I was home I had time to develop my hell strip.
    Thank you for the wonderful articles.

  2. Thank you for this wonderful and uplifting article. We all can take comfort from nature. Nature teaches us that life will go on.

  3. Hi Han Duong, if the spot where you want to plant tomatoes is full of tree roots, there are a few other things you might try. Find a different spot where you don’t have tree roots. Or build a raised bed over the tree roots. Or plant your tomatoes in containers. I’ve gotten good yields planting tomatoes in pots. See more here on planting vegetables in containers. I don’t write poetry, but I have occasionally shared inspirational quotes. I’ll consider doing more of that. Thanks for the kind words!

  4. Dear Buffalo-Niagara Staff,
    I am so grateful for being able to do more gardening this year. Even though I did not get as many tomatoes as I had hoped but I have learned a little more about the soil in my back yard. So it turned out that the root system of ash trees or other tall, skinny trees that just grew without my planting overtook the soil in the section where I planted my tomatoes. So in September and October I sat down and worked by hand to remove all these roots and to save the soil. It was quite an undertaking project. So I gave it all my might, if next year, nothing can grow then I did try my best. If you have any poems about gardening , I will be happy to read it. Thank you Connie for writing the post.
    Happy Thanksgiving and stay safe!

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