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Giving Thanks to the Gardens We Love

By Linda Wiggen Kraft

This time of garden pause, when green growing ends and the quiet of winter begins, is a time to gather our gratitude for all the gardens we have loved, love now and will love in the future.

There are the gardens I have loved that no longer exist. My grandmother’s fresh strawberries picked from her garden, placed into a just baked pie crust and then smothered in whipped cream from that morning’s milking in the barn of my grandparent’s dairy farm gave me my first remembered culinary ecstasy. The fragrance of roses and petunias in my mother’s front garden thrilled my nose as a child. These childhood gardens are always growing in my heart and are the passing along of a family passion I live with today.

The list of gardens I love now is long. They also grow in my heart and mind. My own gardens and the ones I care for are best friends and family. They give me so much pleasure, beauty and sometimes frustration. Like friends and family I am in relationship with them. I tend them, nurture them and they do the same for me.

There are also pubic gardens that others care for. Visiting them is like going to a party where someone else has taken care of all the details to make it happen. We, the public, just show up to admire and be inspired by the plants and their friends and family who take care of them. Sometimes there are gardens where nature is the gardener. We are taken aback by the beauty of these places and reminded of the words of Henry David Thoreau: “ In wildness is the preservation of the world.”

There are also the gardens of the future that deserve our gratitude and thanks. All gardeners carry the dreams and hopes for next year’s garden in their hearts. There are the plants that didn’t get planted this year, the ones that didn’t grow or do well. Next year’s garden is always a hope away. But there are also future gardens that are years ahead. Our gratitude and thanks for those gardens of the present and past help form ones that will grow from tiny seeds through our actions into places that will be the preservation of the world.

Linda Wiggen Kraft is a landscape designer who creates holistic and organic gardens. She is also a mandala artist and creativity workshop leader. Her blog and website are: www.CreativityForTheSoul.com. Her phone number is (314) 504-4266.

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