Thursday, October 2, 2008

Looking on the bright side of things

I've been doing a lot of fall cleanup lately. As I intricately unravel the bearded iris roots and rather mindlessly whack at the old 'Goldsturm' blooms, I continue to be amazed at the fact that I am doing this during the day on a weekday. That is, I'm not having to cram all this work into two days on the weekend. And thus I'm not suffering the consequences of a strained back.

Why should this be so amazing? Because for decades that's exactly what I've had to do as part of mainstream working America. Now I'm unemployed, unceremoniously laid off along with my whole department so the big corporation I worked for could send our jobs overseas. And as I slowly work in my garden I think of all the other people in our country who are unemployed and don't really want to be. And I think of those who are struggling with their crazy mortgages. And I also think of the panic that our government and financial institutions are in.

But... I am also thinking about how grateful I am for this break in my work routine. How I'm lucky to be out enjoying the cool weather. How I'm doing what I love in the garden. How I'm not starving yet and probably won't ever be. These difficult times will pass and we'll survive. We have no choice.

Now back to gardening. I've read that some people leave their old Black-eyed Susan blooms in the garden for the birds to eat. That certainly seemed like the sensible and correct thing to me so I tried just that when I first planted these. Little did I know that probably Louisiana is not the place to do this. I've had a slew of baby plants popping up all over my garden. Everywhere! They'll hide under plants, in almost complete shade, until fall or winter comes and the plant that was shading it dies. Then it takes off. So I try to clean up the blooms as you can see here. However, I still think I was too late in the game. I may have just spread a whole new crop of the buggers by waiting until all of them bloomed. Oh well. I guess I need to continue to look on the bright side - at least I have the time to take care of this now.


  1. Hi Jean, so sorry about your layoff, but as a non working person, I can attest to the joy that comes from being able to work in the garden every day, even in winter, I just bundle up. In LA though, there may be times when it would be too hot, I know In Houston it was like that. About your susans, what a pile you have. I am late to the game in adding them, only planted three plants last year, so am trying to get them to seed about among the many daylilies to continue with color into fall. They will not crowd out the daylilies or sedums and we wish for more of them. Now those iris, I have about given up on them, too high maintenance and they don't play well with others, a non fender for sure! ;->
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  3. Sorry to hear about your job layoff, but it is good that you are able to put some positive spin on it. The last few days have been a great time to work in the garden. I wish I could have done so, but I will have to wait for the weekend.

    Always Growing

  4. Hi folks, thanks so much for all the well wishes. I am indeed lucky to have this time. I just hope I use it wisely!


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