Wake Me Up When September Ends

Amanda Thomsen

Welcome to September. There are no plants left to sell, all of the employees just stare off into the distance and the phone never stops ringing. At this point, six months of unprecedented sales, odd human behavior and the inability to sneak off to the Bahamas has left the collective “we” in quite a state. And you just know in your bones that this winter is going to be ALL HOUSEPLANTS, ALL THE TIME. You are just so done here, looking for a break. But how?

Mums and cabbages are going to sell at record speed, your bulbs are selling like never before, your online sales are still rockin’ and you’re still putting in perennials orders instead of selling off what you have in stock. You haven’t posted on social media in weeks. It’s time for some rest, but when?

For me, my husband has been told he will be working from home until July 5, 2021. My daughter’s school plans to have students in school two days a week. I myself had magnificent plans as of March, but I’ve put them all aside to throw myself into making the best of things for everyone around me. Is this you, too?

I’ve found myself scouring AirBNB for rentals that are two hours or less away—something with a hot tub where I can just go be by myself and sleep and soak and sleep, to try to snap out of it (or back into it? It’s difficult to say right now). Instead of venturing out for retail therapy, I’ve resorted to eBay therapy, which is honestly not all that soothing.

It’s time to do what we can and here’s what I know; for many people, garden centers ARE real retail therapy—you are the happy place. You have to find a way to fill yourself up enough so you can pull the sled through the tundra this winter, in any way you can (perhaps while homeschooling).

Here are some things I’ve resorted to that may help you out:

•  Podcasts and audiobooks save the day, Overdrive is nice for free books, if you have a library card. I really like Sarah Knight’s foul-mouthed self-help series or juicy Sophie Kinsella stuff.

•  Pick a creative challenge just for you—knit something, paint something, build something. For me it was building a 3 ft.-tall functioning volcano slash water feature to go outside my living room window. It’s just for me and it has given me great joy.

•  Say “no” to seriously everything you can. Kick the can down the road. Give yourself some grace. Take a minute or 40. Don’t multitask. Just be.

•  Find a beach.

•  Get some new shoes or something similar that puts some pep in your step.

•  I highly recommend sno-cones—they really are a different experience than ice cream.

•  Binge watch all of “The Great British Baking Show” and then make some Victoria sponge or something.

 •  I’ve started reading actual books again, too. I set aside time and close the bedroom door and jump in with both feet; it’s been the closest thing to travel that I can imagine right now.

•  Learn to meditate—yes, I’m serious. If it doesn’t work for you, tell people to leave you alone because you’re meditating and just watch TikTok for 40 minutes.

•  You couldn’t find an affordable baby pool to sit in and soak if you wanted to, but I encourage you to try!

•  Or the flip side, have a fire in your outdoor fireplace. Do not get up and start weeding, just enjoy sitting down.

•  Surprise people. Give someone at the grocery store a $5 gift card for coffee, send a postcard to an old friend. Your acts of kindness will refill you so you can continue your kindnesses to others. Even the people who ask if you “have any more in the back?” GP

Amanda Thomsen is a funky, punky garden writer and author. Her blog is planted at and you can follow her on Facebook, Twitter AND Instagram @KissMyAster.