Sunday, November 30, 2014

My bulbs are still not in the ground!

My garden on November 30, 2014.

My bulbs are still not in the ground! Wednesday’s snowfall really set me back. While the snow has disappeared in most of the city, it is still hanging on in my Mt. Airy garden. An insurance adjuster once told us that we were over 400 feet above sea level. In the heat of summer, this has its advantages--when I get off the train at Mt. Airy station, it feels at least ten degrees cooler than in the lowlands of center city. But the downside is that the snow melts much more slowly up here.

I sure hope the snow is gone tomorrow so I can finish the job. I used to have no problem getting hundreds, sometimes thousands of bulbs in the ground in the period between late-October and late November, prime bulb planting season. But I have to face the fact that I no longer have the stamina for this and stop ordering far more bulbs than I can easily plant. One more adjustment to old-age gardening.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

November is the cruelest month

What a difference a week makes! All my beautiful leaves are on the ground and my trees are "bare ruined choirs.”

The poet was wrong—November is the cruelest month. Winter is getting harder for me with each passing year. I still love seasonal change-—and a little bit of winter can be fun--but it’s not even December, and I’m already so tired of cold weather.

Winter is supposed to be a time for curling up with seed catalogues and fantasizing about gardens to come. During my working years that was enough—-now I’m not so sure. As soon as I finish the book I’m working on, I plan to reward myself with a little greenhouse, but that reward will probably not come this winter.

I plan to set up a Facebook page for other gardeners who are having trouble facing the winding down of their gardens and wondering how they are going to get through until April. Maybe that will help.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

The Glorious Fall of 2014

This has been a glorious Fall. And although it’s kind of wild and unkempt, my Fall garden has never been more beautiful. For some reason, the reds seem more intense than usual and the golds more luminous.

Usually by mid-November most of the leaves have fallen, but this year they’re hanging on. It can’t last much longer, but I want to savor every remaining minute.

Because we were away for almost 3 weeks in October, I’ve had less of a Delaware Valley Fall than usual—-less time for leaf watching, less time for bulb planting and Fall clean-up. The Fall is a great time to travel, but it’s also a great time to work in the garden.

Every year I vow not to order so many bulbs, but every year I succumb to temptation and order far more than I can easily get in the ground before a hard frost. Once again I’m in a race against time and thanks to our vacation am even further behind than usual.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Why were Democratic candidates running away from the President and his record??

During the past few months, I was increasingly upset by the way Democratic candidates were running away from the President and his record. President Obama has a record to be proud of—-principally passage of the Affordable Car Act. See Paul Krugman’s assessment of the Obama presidency here

I was stunned that Alison Lundergran Grimes(Democratic candidate for the senate in Kentucky) refused to say whether or not she had voted for Obama. When talking to my husband about this, I said,”What kind of Democrat is she?” His response:'What kind of person is she?”

The political pundits are all giving their reasons for the Democratic defeat, but the cowardice of Democratic candidates, their refusal to stand by the President has got to be way up there among them.

For me, the big lesson of 2014 is that we’ve got to make voting easier if we are to get more people to participate. When I was teaching at the Community College of Philadelphia in 2008, a group of women in my Women’s Studies class who worked at the same hospital had an elaborate scheme to cover each other at work so they could vote for President Obama. They lived in one neighborhood, worked in another neighborhood and took CCP classes in a third neighborhood. So getting to work, school, picking up their children from school and finding time to vote was a real challenge. They were willing to do this to vote for President Obama, but I doubt if they would make these heroic efforts in the mid-terms.

We must make voting easier to enable working people to participate and to elect officials committed to addressing widening income inequality, the major issue affecting working families.