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Thankful for My Garden

November 14, 2018


A Month–Not Just a Day–of Thanks


Part 3.  Thankful for my Container Garden


by Alice Jane-Marie Massa



NOTE:  This post is “Part 3” of my Thanksgiving series because on Veterans’ Day, I posted “Part 2.  Thankful for Our Veterans.”  If you missed the extra post of this week on Sunday, November 11, please continue reading after the end of today’s post.


As I make my list of what I am most thankful for, I add to the list my container garden that has been displayed on both my front porch and in the back of my townhouse for six months.  Although each year, I hope that my geraniums will survive until Thanksgiving, this year’s pink, white, and lavender blooms were zapped at the end of last week after 3.1 inches of snow covered some of them when the wind chill dipped to six degrees.  Thus, the actual blooms were pretty until November 9.  Having started this year’s garden effort with just two lavender (herb) plants the week before Mother’s Day, I calculated that I should be pleased and thankful that my container garden endured six months in Milwaukee.


Besides the beauty and fragrance of my container garden, caring for these plants was calming, even therapeutic for me–most especially on the days of the worst construction challenges.  Amidst all the streetcar construction, Willow and I could always find a little peace in my container garden.


Earlier in the summer, I lost one basil plant, but planted a replacement which thrived until October; another basil lasted just a bit longer.  Before the basil plants lost their leaves, the first three plants to succumb to autumn’s frosty touches were the lavender mum, then the spearmint plant, followed by the huge yellow mum.  Meanwhile, the seven geraniums persisted and even bloomed again after a later autumnal rain.  If our temperatures were not running twenty to even thirty degrees below average, I am certain those hearty and healthy geraniums would have lasted until Thanksgiving.  Somehow the two lavender (herb) plants survived the first drastic chill, but seem somewhat questionable after this morning’s seventeen degrees with wind chill of eight.  On the other hand, my purple sage plant seems to be a miracle plant–still soft and supple–defying Mother Nature’s cold hands.  At last, my two rosemary plants are still so fragrant and strong in the chilled air.  Rosemary is for remembrance, and I, through these gray days of late autumn and the snowy white days of hard winter, will remember the joy which this container garden gave to me for six months of 2018.  I will happily remember the days of planting, nurturing, watering, touching, and smelling my beautiful garden.  Additionally, I will recall my sweet little garden assistant–my Leader Dog Willow, who also seemed to enjoy the container garden.  Giving my “mini” garden tours and conversing with others about gardening brought other special treats of the season.


Like the rosemary, my little garden has always brought to me the memories of the wonderful and lush gardens of my dad, grandfather, and numerous other relatives and friends.  These gardens of my dad and other family members form a clear and pleasant photograph in my mind.  How grateful I am to have enjoyed the fruits and vegetables of these gardens and to have learned a little about gardening and the love of gardening from my dad!  I recall that in those younger days in Indiana, almost every household of the extended family had a “number three” tub in which was growing rosemary.  Yes, rosemary, with its lasting fragrance, is for remembrance.  Yes, I do remember and am grateful for gardens.


After saying “goodbye” to my garden, I will turn to the preparations for the holiday season.  Then, during the coldest and shortest days of the upcoming Wisconsin winter, I will turn to dreaming of … my container garden of 2019.


With thanks to all of my WORDWALK readers,

Alice and Leader Dog Willow


November 14, 2018, Wednesday


BOOKNOTE:  Please remember that my book The Christmas Carriage and Other Writings of the Holiday Season begins with three Thanksgiving pieces:  a memoir, a short story, and a how-to with a poem.  These three Thanksgiving pieces are followed by nine Christmas pieces, two “Post-Christmas” pieces, one New Year’s Eve short story, and finally three January pieces.  My 101-page book makes a delightful little gift which I hope will be on your gift-giving list this year.  For additional ordering information, please visit my author’s web page:

Also, you can go directly to Amazon to order print copies of my book.  I am thankful that my holiday book is available on BARD (Braille and Audio Reading Download, DBC 08305), in audio, and in braille–as well as in print and e-book formats.


I am thankful to all who have already read and/or ordered copies of my holiday book.




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  1. Dear Alice,
    Thank you for describing your beautiful container gardens in such detail! Living for so many years in a very dry climate where growing flowers is always a challenge, I also appreciate and enjoy your lovely flowers and fragrant herbs when I visit you and Willow. The geraniums are especially large, luscious, and colorful! You have definitely inherited the green thumb from our family members who had extensive vegetable and flower gardens through the years of our youth. I’ll look forward to seeing the selections for your spring container garden!
    Stay warm and cozy this winter!
    Love, Mary

    • Mary–I am also thankful for my sister who leaves such nice messages for me on WORDWALK.

      Talk with you soon–Alice and Willow

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