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.

They are surely the talk of the Internet by now, as many times as I've posted about them on Facebook and Twitter.  One of the camellias, a variety called 'Snow Flurry' is done blooming, but I have high hopes for 'April Remembered' and am watching it daily to see if the buds begin to open.

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.

Happy Thanksgiving!


  1. Since we don't celebrate Thanksgiving, I imagined starting up those conversations with my garden-hating children over Christmas lunch. The very idea gave me a good giggle. I am now challenging myself to try to bring the conversation around to gardening on 25th December, starting with the roast parsnips we will be eating from my veg patch. Wishing you a very happy Thanksgiving!

  2. Everyone in my family gardens in some way. I will definitely bring up your Camellias this year. The only things blooming in my garden at this time are a few dandelions, violets and some left over alyssum. Happy Thanksgiving to you too.

  3. Even though my list awaits me in the kitchen, I will take a little time and share this with my gardening friends and sisters. Hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving filled with garden talk.

  4. Janelle WintersteenThu Nov 26, 10:41:00 AM 2015

    Here in southern Idaho, I still have foxgloves blooming. They are first year four inchers that I planted in June and they have been persistent. I expect them their progeny to be five times taller in five years than these, that just over a foot high. I hope they continue to bloom as persistently. They are in bloom in the snow and below freezing temperatures.

  5. Hope you had a great Thanksgiving! Found your meme at Wren's blog and am happy to participate. Not clear whether it's once a month - and is your link open the whole month, and which day of the month it starts?


Post a Comment

Comments are to a blog what flowers are to a garden. Sow your thoughts here and may all your comments multiply as blooms in your garden.

Though there is never enough time to respond to each comment individually these days, please know that I do read and love each one and will try to reciprocate on your blog.

By the way, if you are leaving a comment just so you can include a link to your business site, the garden fairies will find it and compost it!