Leaf Raking A Part Of Thanksgiving Time Activities

By Thomas Fryd

Since I was a youngster - now many years ago - the face of Thanksgiving has undergone a great change in this good land of ours. But the spirit, under all the modern day camouflage, remains the same. We have quite as much for which to be thankful as had our forebears or the pilgrim fathers before them.

Above all others, I think, gardeners should be thankful. Each year increasing thousands of former prisoners of the big cities are escaping the labyrinths of concrete tunnels and brick and cement corridors and are regaining at least a semblance of that close touch with soil and things growing and open skies which is an important part of our great American heritage.

The plots they acquire and learn to care for may not be as large as grandfather's farm of yesteryear, but they are sufficient to give them an actual contact with mother earth, and to test their skill - in friendly competition with the neighbors - in cooperating with her to produce flowers and shrubs to beautify the home surroundings, and perhaps at least a few fresh vegetables to refresh palates jaded with transcontinental "fresh" vegetables. There may even be - as in our own personal case - a few shocks of corn, and golden pumpkins to deck the landscape and add to the Thanksgiving atmosphere.

Even such humble garden operations as leaf raking - an autumn rite which always seems to be part of Thanksgiving-time activities - has the quality of getting one in touch with the rhythm of nature. I think there is no fragrance in the world quite so pleasantly nostalgic as that of smouldering piles of burning leaves at dusk along a New England village street. Of course no good gardener today would bum his leaves; our "organic" friends have made everyone conscious of how valuable they are in the compost heap. Nevertheless, we always touch a match to a little heap or two, just for the smell of it!

It's the gardener with a greenhouse, though, who really gets the big, big kick out of autumn activities. No matter how large or how very small his glassed-in hideaway from winter may be, he finds himself getting ready for his winter gardening activities indoors like taking care of mandevilla plants, busier than a chipmunk gathering nuts. He indeed is the gardener to be envied - and judging by small greenhouse sales, his tribe is increasing.

If, perchance, you envy him, you may well look into the matter. The small greenhouse, in many types, is becoming more and more available to the home enthusiast. - 29857

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