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New Day

Wednesday 8 April 2009 - Filed under General

Watching business dry up over the last several months at work, I have been bracing for a layoff, and on Monday, it happened. Nobody wants to be considered dead weight, paychecks are good, and jobs are harder to come by in this economy, so there’s a little sadness there, but there’s also a huge opportunity. First off, is there any better time of year for a gardener to get laid off? I’m out there watching spring unfold, and feeling lucky to have the luxury of time to appreciate it. I’m going to get out there and transplant and divide like I really needed to but never had time for. And even more exciting, for a long time now, I have been thinking of starting my own business. I have been messing around with the plan so long that it was complete a couple weeks ago, and I was just thinking, if only there were time to work on it and actually make it happen. It’s something that would let me marry my love of gardening and my love of nerd stuff. As an information architect, I love organizing data and making things readable, accessible, and easy to use. As a gardener, I have the chance to build something I think should exist, something that I would use, and something I think would be a good resource to other gardeners, bloggers, and nurseries. My job introduced me to all kinds of crazy talented people, so I have connections with amazing designers and developers who can help bring it to life, so there’s no better time than now (except maybe a time where I had a lot more money, but you can’t have everything).

Another way to look at it, I haven’t had a summer vacation since high school 17 years ago. If you dropped me down on a beach in Hawaii with nothing to do for days on end, I would promptly go mad, but give me some time to make progress on my projects, I’m in heaven. This is that elusive time I’ve always wanted to work on all the things I’ve tried and often failed to get done in the space of a weekend. This is my chance to get caught up. So it’s both nerve-wracking to be on my own to make this work, but exciting and inspiring to have the chance.

Cart of herbs
Check out my self restraint. 24 hours after getting laid off, I end up at the nursery with a cart load of herbs. I was planning to try my hand at gardening with edibles for the first time ever this year, so I didn’t want to let the lay offs thwart my plans. Being home more means I’ll be able to cook, rather than eating out for every meal, and fresh herbs outside the kitchen door are part of the plan.

Brown boston terrier
And I saw this little cutie at the nursery yesterday. Seeing a brown boston terrier with floppy ears lounging in the sun, that just makes everything seem alright with the world.

2009-04-08  »  megan

Talkback x 9

  1. Patricia
    8 April 2009 @ 7:55 am

    Is that a sweet potato vine, and are those things actually edible?

    That’s one cute dog. I wonder if it has the Boston “Terror” thing going.

  2. Megan
    8 April 2009 @ 8:09 am

    Busted! Yes it is and no it’s not. It’s going to take me a while I get the hang of this saving money thing.

  3. Chris
    8 April 2009 @ 8:34 am

    Sorry to hear about that, but at least you have other ideas in mind.

    And I’ve never seen a boston terrier look like that! He’s cute!

  4. Loree
    8 April 2009 @ 8:38 am

    These are such uncertain times; it is wonderful to hear that you have a solid plan. I think this economic revolution is pushing a lot of creative people to do those things they have always thought about doing. I work in marketing, in the architecture field, and have watched so many talented people get laid-off. It is tempting for me to think about what I would do with all that “free” time to work in my garden, like you, doing all those things that I never have time to do and being able to dive headfirst into the project list. But, a regular paycheck and health insurance are awful nice to have. I wish you the best with your new endeavors – it sounds like you have your feet solidly on the ground and your head full of great ideas. That’s a good place to be!

  5. Karen
    8 April 2009 @ 8:44 am

    Oh man, that’s some big news! Well, it sounds like you are up for the challenge of a different way of life. I look forward to hearing about your new business, I’m sure it will be very cool and totally successful. One thing I think having a garden budget can do is make you garden smarter, not that you need to, but you know what I mean? Like for me, I’m forcing myself to learn to divide plants, maybe to propagate from cuttings, etc instead of just going and buying something new. Trading with other gardeners, etc. I know you are a collector so it could be a little harder, but I bet you can still get some pretty cool stuff without spending a lot of cash. Looking forward to seeing your new herb garden – will it be in containers or in the ground? Super easy ones for me have been sages, thymes, rosemary, chives and copper fennel as perennials. Dill not so much, don’t know why. Good luck!

  6. nonlineargirl
    8 April 2009 @ 10:39 am

    Glad someone else asked about the potato vine. I was wondering.

    Sounds like you have a good frame of mind about this. The spring/summer thing is my way of thinking about things too – better to be out of work now than in the darkest days of winter!

  7. James
    8 April 2009 @ 12:48 pm

    As much as I hate to hear it, perhaps the timing is right. I have heard of two online friends that had layoffs effect them just today.

    Wishing you luck from us in Texas.

  8. megan
    9 April 2009 @ 6:18 am

    Chris – I think the brown ones are just the cutest. Or something much more hard assed that doesn’t reveal that when stressed, I google “brown boston terrier puppy” images
    Loree – That’s exactly how it is, lots of good people on the market right now, but everyone needs money too. Works out pretty well for me that when I need people, they’re available.
    Karen – I’m really looking forward to learning how to propagate and meet some gardeners and do plant swaps. All that stuff wasn’t an option when I was always rushing off to work, with too little time for everything. I remember growing dill as a kid once, from seed, and then I think it seeded around the yard? It must have liked neglect and poor conditions if I could do it back then. We’ll see if I can do it again.
    nonlineargirl – I can’t sneak anything past you guys. Or can i? There are actually 3 ornamentals on that cart, and I only got called out on one. This will be the first year I can stay on top of my spring garden chores, pretty awesome.
    James – thank you for the well wishes, I think the good sentiments make a difference, or at least it feels better.

  9. Karen
    10 April 2009 @ 12:25 pm

    Megan – I don’t see a plant salvage even on their site, but the Portland Chapter of the Native Plant Society of Oregon might be a good place to start if you’re interested in this. In our area, you can help with a salvage project and then they give you a few free plants. Not sure how it works there, but you could try contacting someone via their web site if you’re interested. http://www.npsoregon.org/chapters/po.html