A tradition/ritual in our family is to share “thankfuls” when we sit down to eat dinner together. They can vary from something special that happened that day or a more general statement. A default for our boys is to say that they are thankful for Stormy, our dog.

This week I’m sharing thankfuls from the last year on our grounds. It was challenging putting this together, as the list is very long.

I’m thankful for the fruits produced by our trees and shrubs. Somehow these fruits from our American Cranberrybush (Viburnum trilobum) have escaped the birds so far.

I’m thankful for seeds blowing in the wind. This common milkweed (Asclepias syriaca) is along the entrance driveway.

I’m thankful for native wildflowers, such as this goldenrod that was still blooming this week. I’m also thankful for the donation from the Animal Ministry that allowed us to bring new species of wildflowers to our grounds.

I’m thankful for our staff and members of the Grounds Committee who apply their energy, creativity, and knowledge to maintaining and improving our grounds. Also a big shout out to Ben for all his help this summer.

I’m thankful for our springs that provide movement, sound, and light to our native plant garden.

I’m thankful for the Golden Ragwort (Packera aurea) planted by Thea for her Girl Scout Gold Award project this year. This wonderful evergreen native plant has golden flowers in late spring and is aggressive enough to compete with English ivy.

I’m thankful for the donation that allowed us to purchase and plant about twenty shrubs in our native plant garden, such as this Arrowwood viburnum.

I too am thankful for our dog, Stormy (Canis familiaris) who accompanied me today.