by Jan Cashman

This is the time of year that we focus on what we are grateful for.  Our gardening season came to a quick halt and now, with this wintery weather, it is a good time for gardeners to reflect.  We have much to be thankful for—the beautiful Gallatin Valley where we live, our town of Bozeman, our sunny days, our families and this holiday season of faith and love.

What we gardeners are thankful for:

The Sun: We all know that sunshine is necessary to make our gardens grow.   In our sunny climate, vegetables and flowers thrive.  Most vegetables need a full or almost a full day of sun to grow best.  We are thankful for the sun.

Soil:  The rich, fertile soil of the Gallatin Valley grows wonderful crops and also vegetable and flower gardens, trees, and shrubs.  We are thankful for this fertile soil.    

Precipitation: We are thankful for the rain and snow that falls to keep crops and gardens growing.    Our gardens need additional water here besides that which falls from the sky.  Between rain, snow and our sprinklers, I am thankful for lifegiving water.

The seasons: We are thankful for the four seasons we experience here.  We gardeners observe the seasons in a special way.  Our stimulating change of seasons from winter’s cold and snow, to spring’s waking and greening up with bulbs and flowers, to summer’s heat and growth, to fall’s colors, is something to be thankful for. 

Pollinators: We, as gardeners, are thankful for the insects God gave us to keep nature going by pollinating plants in our gardens, our state, and throughout the world. 

Green:  I am thankful for the color green.  In the spring, look around and the green leaves and grass fill our outdoors with their beautiful shades of green. 

Flowers:  I am thankful for flowers; their scent, colors, variety of shapes.  One of the best things in life!

Gardening provides benefits to our souls and bodies.   Being outside lifts our moods and keeps away stress.  Gardening is physical work that helps keep us in shape.  A lot to be thankful for.

Grandchildren:  I am thankful for grandchildren who help me in my garden. What a joy!

My husband, Jerry, when asked what he is thankful for, said “other gardeners” who share ideas, help and advise each other, and are so appreciative of any advice they get.  The Gallatin Gardeners Club is an example of this sharing:  they grow with each other, offer educational speakers and give the proceeds of their gardens to those in the community who need help.