I always try to wake up in the morning with a grateful heart. I feel blessed in so very many ways – with good health in our family, with a beautiful city in which to live, for a country of freedom for so many!

As a gardener I hold November in a special place – I am grateful for the harvested bounty of a good vegetable garden, I am grateful for the clear blue skies of fall, I am grateful that the air is turning chilly and the leaves are changing colors (still), and that a fire feels great on cool nights!

When I spend time outdoors in the fall I try to take time to notice the sky, the clouds, the wind in the leaves, the sight of leaves blowing off the trees and floating to the ground. I really enjoy the changes that happen in the garden throughout the year, and fall brings a peace of mind that the flowers have completed their growing cycle, the beds are ready for winter sleep and the work that comes with gardening is diminished to raking leaves out of beds, breaking down spent perennials, adding winter annuals and spring bulbs, and replenishing mulch. Then I can sit by the fire and enjoy the gardening catalogs, making plans for spring beds and new plants.

When you get a chance, sit quietly out in your garden and listen to the world around you. Dream about what you would change out there if you could, then make it happen in manageable pieces. Start with hardscaping because it makes the biggest mess. Then prepare beds and pick out plants according to a thoughtful design. And if you’re thinking about planting a tree, remember the best time to do so is TODAY!

With a Grateful Heart –