Fall color of Bonanza Gold barberry. Photo contributed by Pamela Corle-Bennett

Thanksgiving thanks

Since Thanksgiving is just a few days away, it’s appropriate to share with you why I am thankful for the opportunity to live and practice my craft (horticulture) in Ohio.

First of all, I am thankful for the changing seasons. I really don’t like cold weather but I don’t think I could live in a part of the country that stayed the same year-round.

I love that we have the array of fall colors like the fiery orange of the sugar maples and the golden yellow of the gingko trees.

And I really like hiking through the woods and the “swish” that the leaves make.

I also like raking leaves and collecting them for my compost pile.

Driving around our township right now makes me crazy when I see all of the leaves laying by the side of the road. However, I am thankful that our township takes them to be composted.

Of course, winter can be quite interesting if you pay attention to trees and shrubs. Some of these can be quite beautiful not only in the color and appearance of the bark but with their shape and form.

Spring and summer are also great seasons with the colorful spring blooms and the summer growth.

I am also thankful for my job. I have the greatest job in the world. I get to teach people about all of these plants and best management practices. My goal is to inspire others to enjoy plants as much as I do.

I am thankful that the growing season is only seven months and not year-round. Think about it — do you want to be weeding and watering all year long?

I realize the benefits of gardening the entire year might be great but the work!

I was in a community in British Columbia in which they can garden clear up until Dec.31. They start in mid-January. I love gardening but this might be a little much.

I am thankful for the seed catalogues that get us through the winter. These give me the opportunity to dream.

I am very thankful for the wide palette of plants in which we can choose for our gardens. We are so fortunate that we can grow an awful lot of plants in our region of the country.

I am also very thankful to those who take the risk in the green industry, growing and maintaining these plants.

I am extremely thankful for the Master Gardener Volunteer program. Ohio State University Extension and our communities in the Miami Valley are very fortunate to have such dedicated volunteers to help us teach others.

Finally, I am thankful to be living in this great country and this great state of Ohio. Happy Thanksgiving to all.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday.