Wednesday, November 25, 2015
An Updated Gardener's Guide to Thanksgiving Day Conversation
Yes, I am taking time from my busy schedule and long to do list, which includes "mow the lawn one last time" to pause and provide advice for gardeners who are wondering what they will talk about during their Thanksgiving Day dinner.
In past years, I suggested topics such as composting, including worm composting, the difference between sweet potatoes and potatoes, and fall bulb bragging. I even suggested that if you are hosting Thanksgiving dinner perhaps the entire family could help with the final lawn mowing and leaf raking as a way to burn off all those calories consumed during the big feast.
Thankfully, gardening hasn't changed all that much since I posted the first list five years ago, so topics like composting, the difference between sweet potatoes and potatoes and fall bulb bragging are still excellent conversation starters.
But if those topics have been discussed over and over at your Thanksgiving Day dinners, perhaps some new topics might be appropriate?
How about "what's blooming in your garden?"
In my hardiness zone, such a question will likely cause family and friends to give you a funny look and then do a quick check of the amount of wine still in the bottle.
But no need for such skepticism. In my garden the Christmas roses, Hellebores niger, are all budded up, so there is hope for new blooms even as I pull the snow blower out of the back of the garage and put it where I can easily grab it when we get that first snow.
If "what's blooming in your garden" doesn't get people talking, you might mention my camellias.
Wouldn't it be something, I mean front page news, if my camellias bloomed on Thanksgiving? Now that would give everyone something to talk about.
If the subject of my camellias still doesn't get everyone talking around the dinner table, you might mention the new strawberry variety, Delizz. It's an annual grown from seed and I am desperate to find a source for these seeds, the sooner the better. If everyone talks about Strawberry 'Delizz' around the dinner table, surely the word will get out and someone will tell me where I can find seeds for these strawberries.
There are many other gardening topics which could be discussed around the Thanksgiving Day table but no list of topics would be complete if it didn't include the topic of what we are thankful for in our gardens.
I am thankful for so much in my garden even if a rabbit eats my lettuce or Japanese beetles devour the zinnias. And even if I find a few squirrels digging a few bulbs and the occasional meadow vole wandering through, I still have plenty in my garden, and in my life, to be thankful for, and for that I am a grateful gardener.