In life, we can choose to fill ourselves with distrust and acrimony, allowing us to feel threatened and fearful, or we can fill ourselves with gratitude and thankfulness for the beauty that surrounds us every day of our lives, right under our very noses in nature and in the gardens we create. (Getty Images)

In life, we can choose to fill ourselves with distrust and acrimony, allowing us to feel threatened and fearful, or we can fill ourselves with gratitude and thankfulness for the beauty that surrounds us every day of our lives, right under our very noses in nature and in the gardens we create. (Getty Images)

Being ‘thank-full’ means filling up on the beauty right under our noses

With people so divided and quick to argue, I hope you’ll literally and figuratively stop and smell the roses — cliche as it may be.

It seems like it is getting harder and harder to just slow down and enjoy the world around us. Everyone wants to argue with whatever it is that you might believe and turn it into a political issue that somehow feels threatening to them.

Have we become so insecure in our own beliefs that we have to challenge and quiet anyone who thinks differently?

As a garden writer, I sometimes find myself “putting my foot in it” unintentionally and striking a nerve on something as innocuous as the mowing height of a lawn or, God forbid, the ecological benefits or liabilities of a gas-powered lawn mower versus a battery-powered one.

There is of course no end to the topics we can choose to fight about and even fill ourselves with hate over, but at the end of the day, isn’t it a whole lot better — and healthier, I might add — to try to fill ourselves with thanks and gratitude? As a gardener, here are a few things that make me “thank-full.”

Weather

All gardeners complain about the weather. Late or early frosts can really throw a monkey wrench in our gardening plans. In California, we used to have “north winds” that, in the spring, would blow for three straight days and nights and desiccate all of the new growth on the roses. And here in the Northwest, we do have, from time to time, “arctic blasts” that wreak havoc on broadleaf evergreens. But let’s face it, overall, our weather is not too shabby — although maybe a little short on the sunshine end and a little too wet and gray come springtime.

This year, we all should be thankful for the sporadic rains we had during the summer that helped established shrubs and trees survive what are becoming longer and hotter summers. Yes, gardeners will always complain about the weather, myself included. That will never change, but let’s just try to be a bit more thankful for all of the good days we receive.

The horticulture industry

I realize this might sound a bit self-serving, but really, regardless of where we purchase our gardening products, we should be thankful for this whole industry — from the farmers that grow the plants to the retailers who sell them to the public, along with all of the landscapers and grounds maintenance personnel who install and maintain beautiful parks and gardens for us to enjoy.

None of this could happen without the dedicated people who have chosen horticulture as a career. Trust me when I say that it’s not the easiest way to make a living, but for me personally, I wouldn’t have it any other way. While society may value the lawyers, accountants and doctors of the world, without horticultural professionals, life would be pretty bleak. The next time you visit the garden center, be sure to let them know how much they are appreciated.

Our very own ‘horticultural paradise’

I have written many times about the incredible diversity of plant choices that we can grow in our garden spaces. It never ceases to amaze me the variety and depth of plant varieties that garden centers have to offer us. At times, it is almost overwhelming — emphasis on almost. Every time I see something new and different, I can’t wait to find a new spot in my garden to tuck it into.

In life, we can choose to fill ourselves with distrust and acrimony, allowing us to feel threatened and fearful, or we can fill ourselves with gratitude and thankfulness for the beauty that surrounds us every day of our lives, right under our very noses in nature and in the gardens we create. On this Thanksgiving, it is my hope that you find yourself full of thanks.

Wreath-making

Sunnyside Nursery in Marysville is currently hosting wreath-making through Dec. 17. For more information, go to www.sunnysidenursery.net/events.

Steve Smith represents Sunnyside Nursery in Marysville and can be reached at sunnysidenursery@msn.com.

Talk to us

> Give us your news tips.

> Send us a letter to the editor.

> More Herald contact information.

More in Life

Carrie Compton clips leaves from the plants for sale at Houseplants Galore on Friday, Jan. 12, 2024, in Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
The great indoors: Houseplants to bring in a touch of spring

At Houseplants Galore in Everett, discover rare and beautiful plant specimens grown with care.

Cameron Hewitt
Switzerland's Lauterbrunnen Valley looks pastoral but it hides a powerful dose of natural wonder.
Rick Steves’ Europe: In the Swiss Alps, the laws of nature rule

The travel guru learned to respect the power of nature in the shadow of Switzerland’s towering Jungfrau.

Inside Elle Marie Hair Studio in Smokey Point. (Provided by Acacia Delzer)
The best hair salon in Snohomish County

You voted, we tallied. Here are the results.

For more than a thousand years, Czech leaders – from kings and emperors to Nazis, communists, and presidents – have ruled from Prague Castle, regally perched on a hill above the Vltava River. Dominic Arizona Bonuccelli
Rick Steves’ Europe: History lives in Prague and its hilltop castle

It’s one of Europe’s best-preserved cities, having been spared from last century’s bombs.

Alarm clock in the middle of the night insomnia or dreaming
Trouble sleeping? Try these tips for getting a good night’s rest

Many adults turn to sleep aids, including alcohol, to help them rest, without realizing that their hectic lifestyles may be contributing to their sleeplessness.

The Stumbling Fiddler Band is scheduled to perform March 3 in Everett. (Photo provided by Port Gardner Bay Music Society)
Music, theater and more: What’s happening in Snohomish County

Get ready for St. Patrick’s Day with music by the Stumbling Fiddler Band in Everett.

I was charged an extra $250 for a mistaken car rental upgrade

When Leah Page picks up her rental car from Thrifty, it charges her a $250 upgrade fee. Can it do this without her permission, and how can she get a refund?

Naomi Jacobson as Dr. Ruth K. Westheimer in "Becoming Dr. Ruth" at Village Theatre in Everett. (Auston James)
Music, theater and more: What’s happening in Snohomish County

“Becoming Dr. Ruth,” which tells the sex therapist’s amazing back story, is now showing at Village Theatre in Everett.

Market for sale plants. Many plants in pots
Snohomish Garden Club plans annual plant sale

The event is scheduled for April 27 at Swan’s Trail Farms. Proceeds will go to scholarships.

Start planting now so you can stop to smell your own roses all summer long

Late winter to early spring is perfect for planting roses. And with so many varieties to consider, there’s no time to waste.

Over 200 years, the magic lantern transformed into an educational peacock

Regarded as magic in the 1650s, this device was refined into the more scientific sounding sciopticon by the mid-1800s.

The 2024 Mazda3 hatchback. (Mazda)
2024 Mazda3 adds a Carbon Turbo trim and more safety features

The charismatic compact is available as a four-door sedan or five-door hatchback.

Support local journalism

If you value local news, make a gift now to support the trusted journalism you get in The Daily Herald. Donations processed in this system are not tax deductible.