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Gardener's Notebook: Warm fall weather means more garden time

And readying for Thanksgiving
YORKTON - After the glorious weather of last week, could we ask for anything more? Well, it seems like there is still some nice weather ahead for us, and for gardeners, that is great news. More time to clean up the garden, more time to put things away, more time to sit outside with a cup of coffee, and not feel like we have to go running to pull weeds, trim branches, or do any of the myriad of garden tasks that are a priority in the summer!

What plants do you associate with Thanksgiving? I think many of us would choose mums as one of the top picks. We were given mums in the spring by a dear gardening friend, and they grew beautifully and are now set to become a lush mound of jewel-toned flowers.

Sunflowers might be another choice: they are cheery and bright and would look great in a fall arrangement by the back door.

If we were buying flowers to make a holiday centrepiece, carnations are always a good choice. Some might take them for granted and look for some “new thing”, but there is a reason that carnations have been a solid favorite for decades. They come in beautiful colors, are sturdy as a cut flower, and are long-lasting. Gerbera daisies are also a bright choice: their colors almost seem neon, and while they may need a bit more support in a vase, they are such cheerful flowers that they are worth the effort.

Roses are also a lovely choice for our Thanksgiving tables. They, too, come in a plethora of colors, and at this time of year yellow and orange would make a stellar table accent. But watch for other wonderful shades like mauve, coral, or dusky pink. My sweet hubby got me beautiful brick-colored roses one Thanksgiving, and they looked elegant and rustic set with twigs in a clay vase.

Make the little extra effort to create a holiday centrepiece: some flowers, some veggies, a few dried leaves, some twigs , even fruit like a bunch of ruby-purple grapes all grouped on a tray would look just great and set the tone for a meal of thanks. Mom always used a small wicker cornucopia spilling with garden bounty and we still use it to this day for Thanksgiving.

Okay; our centrepieces are made. What edible plants do you associate with Thanksgiving? My darling parents were such great gardeners, so almost all of our holiday feast came right from our own garden. But the veggies that come to mind for me are potatoes (mashed and with lots of butter, what could be better?); carrots (Mom always glazed them with honey and then a liberal sprinkle of coarse black pepper); squash ( spaghetti squash or acorn); peas that were frozen earlier in the summer, but brought out for this wonderful meal; and onions, which are so versatile, so delicious, so fragrant in whatever dish they are used, from the roast turkey to the dressing to sliced in a vinaigrette with cucumbers.

I always think of herbs, too, because we grew a lot of herbs and used them all. Parsley would be one of the top choices: delicious when used to roast the turkey, and beautiful as a garnish. Following closely behind would be sage, the most flavorful ingredient in the dressing, and what an aroma! Gosh, can’t you just taste it all? Visit the Yorkton and District Horticultural Society at and see what’s new. Thank you to our friends at Yorkton This Week for their wonderful work every week.

And happy anniversary to my precious husband Keith, thank you for everything!

Creator of all things, bless our work in our gardens. As the Earth shares bounty with us, may we also generously share those garden gifts with others. Happy Thanksgiving.