Sunday, November 7, 2010

Fall clean-up: The way to deal with depression about the mid-term elections!

Whenever I’m down in the dumps working in the garden is usually the cure for what ails me. It’s gotten me through some difficult patches in my life and it's helping me get over my deep depression about the mid-term elections. We Pennsylvanians we’re hit really hard—a Republican governor, the Republicans in control of both houses of the PA legislature, and a far right wing Republican senator.

So it’s garden therapy time! And there’s a lot to do. My bulbs are not in the ground, very few leaves have been picked up, some of my house plants are still out in the cold, and most of the daylilies and hostas I planned to divide will have to wait until Spring.

How can this be? I’m retired. I thought that when I was retired I would have the perfect garden, but it hasn’t worked out that way. I did manage to transplant a few flowering shrubs. I know enough about gardening to make sure this gets done in time for the shrubs to settle in before frost. Bulbs can be planted any time until the ground is frozen—-which in Philly usually doesn’t happen until late December. I have planted bulbs around Christmas and yes they have come up, but it sure is a lot pleasanter to do this when the temperature is in the 60’s.

So we procrastinators have some time with our bulb planting and leaf pick-up. And my guess is my husband and I will still be picking up leaves in December. One of the truly wonderful things about our Northwest Philly neighborhood is all our mature trees. But everything has it’s downside and our beautiful trees drop a ton of leaves—in addition to each one a power outage waiting to happen. Just about every year a tree (or a tree branch if we’re lucky) falls and does major damage.

But then the downed trees sometimes provide opportunities for new plantings and in a garden as jammed packed with plants as ours, the only opportunity to introduce a new plant is a death in the garden.

Despite all my complaints and frustration as the perfect garden continues to elude me, I can’t imagine a life without my beloved plants. And when I'm out there planting my bulbs, I won't be thinking about Senator Toomey and Speaker Boehner.


  1. The perfect garden is the one you can enjoy, Karen, and yes, that includes the beautiful varicolored leaves that cloak it. If working in the garden can give you some relief from thinking about our woeful Pennsylvania, spend as much time as possible out there. You'd probably need something the size of Longwood to forget about the national scene!

  2. The garden therapy is helping a lot but I don’t think the full extent of what this means for Pennsylvania has sunk in yet.