Tulips in bloom at this year’s Tulip Festival at Thanksgiving Point in Utah.

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Well, the first three weeks of November were incredible! That was the best November weather I have ever experienced in southeast Idaho. It’s a distant memory now. Fortunately I finished all the most important garden chores before the hard cold hit.

As I think back over the 2016 gardening season, I feel particularly blessed. We had a wonderful year. Pretty much from late May through September we had nearly ideal weather. The middle of summer was consistently warm, thunderstorms seemed less frequent than usual and I don’t think our garden was hit by damaging hail even once. My flower beds thrived and bloomed, and we had a very productive vegetable garden. I would take another 2016 summer anytime.

Beginning at Thanksgiving Point in April of 2016, I had the opportunity to visit several beautiful gardens last year. I thought that for this month’s gardening article I would share pictures from some of the gardens I visited in Ireland and England, as well as some photos from my own garden.

These pictures remind me of the abundance of blessings God has given us; life isn’t all noxious weeds and thistles! With God’s help and our efforts (you know, “the sweat of our brows”), we can find beauty and joy in our lives.

From Kathy and me, we wish you all a merry Christmas and a very happy 2017!

Dan Pearce lives in Lyman and teaches English at BYU-Idaho. In his spare time he is a passionate gardener.