Each day the sedum autumn joy flowers are transformed. It has now changed from green to pink to russet.

I enjoy watching this transformation each year. In the spring the green stalks come up and form rosettes. Through the summer the tightly bound rosettes form stalks with tiny white flowers.

Then in September the stalks have singled themselves out from the mass and stand individually, the flowers on each stalk holding tiny bunches of flowers  that go from green to white to pink and finally to russet.

sedum autumn joy in September

I went back in my photos to find this plant in the spring after it first emerges in the container.

In the photo below, it has had some weeks of growth obviously. I couldn’t find an earlier photo.

At this stage I think it resembles cabbage leaves.


Then give it a few weeks and it looks like this…

container plant

It fills the pot and is symmetrical. I think it is quite beautiful. Then, below, the stalks form light green flowers.

Purple sweet potato vine and sedum Autumn Joy

And then the light green flowers turn white and then pink, as in the top photo. I think the leaves now resemble tongues.

Sorry if my commentary is so pedantic. This is my world. It is small, yet at the same time it is huge.

I have all of nature at my disposal.

I don’t live in the countryside and get to look out my window and see cows standing in the pasture. I live in the middle of a big city behind a strip mall.

Doesn’t call up a bucolic scenario, does it?

Charlie my dog

What is important is that I can go outside with Charlie onto the fenced patio and see so much that is of value to me. Because I am a gardener and a fierce lover of nature.

And really, no matter where you are, there is so much to see if only you open your eyes and look.

When I first showed you what is to the side of me, the alley that is the cement strip between my fence and the back of the strip mall, the view seemed a bit depressing.

I recall that many of you came up with ideas as to how I could hide it. I too tried to think of a way to hide it.

But you know what? I’ve kind of decided there is no reason to hide it. It is what it is.

morning glories growing on the fence and roof

The morning glories grow up the fence like a wild animal and grasp onto the gutter and then the roof. There is beauty there with that ugly wall as a backdrop.

That is the world in a nutshell. Beauty can border on ugliness, and vice versa. There can be but a thin line between the two.

As I stood out there this morning with Charlie, I saw a hummingbird fly twice over those morning glories, but it did not even pause or land. The hummingbird does not care that that is an alley between the fence and the back of the strip mall.

I stand and wait hoping I might see it again and suddenly a big black butterfly descends over the fence of morning glories, its wings as thin and delicate as the skin that shows our veins.

It did not land either, but I enjoyed watching it dip and rise and go over the other side of the fence.

I turned and saw a mourning dove on the top of the roof, its head tucked into its wings because it had just rained.

I saw wasps buzzing about the plants. I watched one land on the rock in the water.

wasp on a rock

I hear birds chirping, though I cannot see them. It is enough that they share their songs with me.

black petunias in container

I have what I need. I am content. I’m never bored because look what I have to see and enjoy.

I may go a week without speaking to a soul, but I am not lonely.

The secret is in how you view your world. The secret to true happiness is that you stop and look and listen to what is around you. Let it fill you up.

purple morning glories

It doesn’t matter that I don’t have cows out in the fields to gaze at. I can drive out to the countryside and take photos of them if I want.

All this to say that in my little world there is so much beauty. and that is enough.



  1. Gracious what a sweet, sweet post. Sometimes my world is so busy I forget how simple is better. Thanks for the reminder.

  2. Yes, there is much beauty to be seen and experienced in this old world if we just think to look and listen. And, I know what you mean when you say you can go a week without seeing anyone and be completely content, not lonely at all. That is true of me, also. Except right now my house and life are full with only short stretches of time when I am alone. I love my daughter and her boys immensely, but I do feel a scarcity of solitude, which is so essential to my sense of peace and wellbeing. But, I have to just roll with it for now and treasure the short times I do have to myself.

    I love my back yard which backs up to a designated wild area. The deer that live there come over the drainage ditch and into my yard and eat my hostas! I don’t like that they eat the hostas but I like the fact that they are close-by. I don’t see them as they steal in after dark but it somehow pleases me that they do. I was outside weeding late this afternoon and I heard all kinds of birdsong. I even enjoyed coming upon the earthworms in the soil where I was working! Yup, this blue marble we live on is a magical place if we take the time to be aware of its wonders.

    Hope you and Charlie are feeling well and happy. Have a peaceful weekend.

  3. Well said Brenda! Many times we get caught up with the stuff and we don’t look around. Bigger is not always better. The best things often come when we slow down and enjoy the smallness of our own little worlds. As you said, the chirps of the birds, the wings of a butterfly…I love catching little glimpses of your garden! Thanks for sharing!

  4. Beautiful post, Brenda. I have learned to appreciate all of the little things in the garden. I love to go into the yard and check everything around me. I will reread this post many times. Thank you
    I hope Charlie is doing well.
    Marilynn and Hayley

  5. I’ve loved watching our Autumn Joy too, Brenda! It really is beautiful in all its stages but seeing the green turn more rosy each day is like a little miracle. We only have one inside the fence, the others we planted in the front garden get nibbled to the ground by deer so our one in the back is precious to us. Next spring I hope we remember to transplant the front ones to the back garden.

    My world has shrunk too, Brenda, and that’s just fine with me!

  6. One can find magic wherever one is if one only looks for it. When I was a little girl I read a book about a little girl who lived in an apartment house in the city and her playground was behind the apartment in a bare lot with only trash cans and junk piled around. In that little girl’s bare playground she found a whole wonderful world of magical creatures and beauty that only she could see. I like to think I’m like that little girl and can find magic and beauty in whatever circumstances I find myself. I think you are like that little girl. I am blessed with a half acre of flowers now, but it is not any prettier than your garden that you are growing in your yard. Your world is as big as you dream you can make it and your world seems pretty amazing to me. Love seeing all the beauty.

    1. What would we do if we didn’t have an imagination? Kids these days need to get off their electronics and entertain themselves with their imagination.

  7. I shall have to get a pot of sedum. It looks so pretty in your garden and provides “entertainment” through the seasons. So much of nature does provide entertainment. I was just outside watering a few droopy plants and felt like I was being watched. Finally I realized that a squirrel was on the baker’s rack hiding his pecan (pecan tree near the back fence) in my flower pot. He looked so cute peeking out at me from the back of the shelf. And this morning while on my walk through town, I watched the pigeons at the fort making their nests high up in the fort’s walls (using the indentations where old cannon balls hit the walls). What a beautiful fascinating story nature has to tell if we just pay attention.

    Take care and have a wonderful weekend with that handsome Charlie.

    1. Whoops! I do not know what I have done but I do have to rekey my name each type I post. Forgot to do it so I am doing it now.

    2. Nature is so miraculous. Yet there are busy people in the world always being busy and they don’t even notice it.

  8. You know the secret to a good life -gratitude and enough-iness I regularly enjoy reading your posts, even the sad ones give me food for thought. Your wisdom in today’s post is my favorite

  9. Great post Brenda, I love how you see the beauty in everything and have such a positive outlook. Very inspirational to me as I try hard to do the same in my life. I am so fortunate to have the life I do, and I am thankful for it.

    1. I too am fortunate. I used to worry myself half to death. Income is different all the time. What if my ex died and I lost the nearly $1000 annuity I receive? Stuff like that. I finally had to just put it aside and tell myself I’d figure it out if it happened.

  10. Beautiful post. Appreciating what you have is so important to mental health. There is a down side to seeing cows out your window. We put a cart with flowers near our rear fence. Too near the fence- a cow ate the tops off all of them ! My husband now calls her flower. She’s his favorite. Certainly not mine !

  11. Hi Brenda. A very pleasant post full of truth. I first got a piece of Autumn Joy sedum back in the ’90s from a neighbor, and fell in love with the rusty red color it becomes over time. I also got a kick out of how the stems with the flower heads seem like funny stalks of broccoli! Because of a move or two I didn’t have any Autumn Joy for awhile, but I got some from a relative last year and it has turned into a very nice, medium-sized clump. Thank you for sharing photos and text about your peaceful, contented life.

  12. Well said Brenda – you create your own country ~ enjoy – it was a lovely post to read …..Lorraine

    1. I have always kind of created my own world. I had a massive imagination. You can do a lot with that. Yes, I create my own country.

    1. Someone always has it worse. Everyone knows that. If you choose to look at the world in a more positive light, then you are simply happier.

  13. I need to read to read this everyday! Because of several life happenings, including retirement I struggle with loneliness. I have things to be thankful for so I guess I need to concentrate on the good. As usual you inspire me in many different ways. Thank you Brenda.

    1. I’ve never been one to get lonely. But I think it’s part of having Asperger’s. I just don’t need people. My daughter and I have lunch 1-2 times per month. And that is just enough for me.

  14. Brenda,

    This is a refreshing post because our world is filled with people who do not think they have enough, they are searching for the ever elusive next thing, bigger and better instead of just enjoying their world.

    I think perhaps that wisdom comes with age.

    Have a great weekend!

    1. Almost every time I go out, I see the homeless. The other day just around the corner I saw a woman, possibly my age, riding a bicycle with bags of things and a little dog riding on the front. I worried for her. But I knew she was not alone. She had that little dog. She was riding toward the alley behind my apartment. I wondered if she maybe found the small haven in the space behind my gate. I know people have stayed back there before.

  15. Beautiful post, you are one of the lucky ones who is appreciative of what you have.
    Through your ups and downs, you find a way to know what is enough.

  16. What a lovely post; thank you for sharing your world! I don’t think a lot of people realize what is “enough.”

    1. I didn’t know what was “enough” myself when I was younger. Just in the past decade have I figured it out.

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