Garden gratitude, week two

Last week, I began thinking about what I was grateful for, particularly as it touches gardening, my favorite activity. I started with five things I felt gratitude for and then added more each day, until I reached 26. Now I'm starting on a new week, which will carry me through to Thanksgiving Day.

I realize that some people may think that it trivializes gratitude to say you're grateful for a bumper crop of tomatoes this summer. But my feeling is that being grateful for the "little things" is important, too.

I saw a book last week, "Thanks! How Practicing Gratitude Can Make You Happier" (Houghton Mifflin,$13.95), in which the author, Robert Emmons says that by giving gratitude for even mundane or ordinary events in our lives, we become happier.

And who doesn't want to be happier?

So, even if it seems silly to some, I'm continuing to think grateful thoughts as I go about my daily activities:

27. Especially in the fall, I'm grateful for red-leaved Japanese maples. They're such stand-outs in the landscape this time of year. Here in the city of Boston, residents mostly plant them in the little squares of ground in front of their row houses. So they're very close to the public sidewalk, where passers-by really get a close-up view of their beauty. (I never knew before I lived here that when their leaves fall in autumn, they stain the sidewalk red!)

28. I've written before about my alpine strawberries, but I have to be grateful that I had more than four months of sweet, tender berries from three plants. Not enough at one time to make a pie or a shortcake, but each morning I'd go out and pick 10 or 12 berries for breakfast. Sometimes they topped my cereal. Other times I just popped them in my mouth. What a way to start the day! Temperatures fell to 25 last night, ending this breakfast ritual, but I can't wait for next year.

29. All of the recent discussion on Diggin' It about houseplants has renewed my gratitude for the endless variety of the plants we grow indoors. I tend to take them for granted most of the time, but when I stop to think about it, I appreciate what they add to a room and to my life.

30. I'm grateful for the garden-blogging community. Other garden bloggers tend to be such nice people. They're willing to take time to share what they've learned -- and they're interesting, too. I try to take at least 30 minutes a day to browse through garden blogs. It's refreshing.

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