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Be thankful, share your abundance

Thursday we celebrate Thanksgiving. It is a special time of family, friends and memories of our spring, summer and fall gardens.
As we walk our gardens, we see the perennials that were so beautiful in their blooming time, and will be again. As we continue through the garden, we see many plants that performed beyond our expectations of beauty. We see our veggie garden and remember the harvest of plants, some of which the Indians taught us to grow, prepare and preserve such as corn and squashes. We give thanks for our ancient teachers of the past.
We note plants that grew from seeds shared by our friends and neighbors, and plants given us already growing that grew to be magnificent.
A friend gave me a little bundle of plants and did not know their name; I did not know the name either.
Because the plants were small, I planted them close together at the front of the border. After a nice rain, they sprang to life and were beautiful cleome, (spider plant), in shades of pink and white. Growing about 5-feet tall, they made a spectacular statement of a thoughtful friend sharing plants.
That is the joy of sharing our gardens, and we are thankful.
Not long ago, another friend gave me a glorious head of broccoli harvested from a plant he had planted in August. What a delicious treat.
Uninvited generosity is a humbling experience, and we give thanks for these delightful and thoughtful people.
We all have had these experiences to enjoy, and we make a mental note to try to be more generous as our friends are teaching us. We can do better watching for opportunities to share our abundance with others.
This year, has brought both interesting and troubling opportunities.
For many, unemployment offers the opportunity to change our personal course. Some, who became unemployed, chose to celebrate the opportunity for change with an unemployment party. Others are ill, and many may be on the verge of losing their homes. What can we do?
Be thankful for good health, gardens, a place to live and being able to pay our bills. Plan a spring garden that includes enough vegetables to preserve and share with those less fortunate. Plant more sunflowers for the birds; grow more flowers to take in little jars with ribbons to friends and to unknown persons in hospitals.
A friend received a bouquet of flowers from a friend who did not know she was going out of town. She gave them to me, not knowing we were also going out of town. I gave them to workers at the kennel where Maggie stays, and they were delighted. The trip of the flowers brought a surprised joy to many.
This Thanksgiving, as we give thanks for blessings received and people we care for, give them an extra hug, and plan to meet again soon. That is what life is about. I send you peace and wish you a Happy Thanksgiving.
Happy Gardening Everyone!
Jeanne Cope is a Garden Writer and UT Lifetime Master Gardener. Check her out at or e-mail her at [email protected]