Sunday, 13 April 2014
In the Garden
Gardening was always one of my biggest passions and to lose the ability to do this had been yet another literally heart breaking thing for me. I used to love getting outside in the fresh air, getting my hands dirty and doing a good days work on the garden. I would garden in all weathers, I've been known to be gardening in the pouring rain and even in the dark at times. It is something that can give you an enormous amount of satisfaction, feeling a healthy tiredness when you've finished and then seeing the rewards as you look out over your garden and seeing your seeds and plants grow. It can be very therapeutic and instantly rewarding.
Throughout my illness, I've tried to be involved in the garden as much as I can, but it was really impossible for me to physically do any work on it as I was unable to do the bending and stretching that is needed and I hadn't got the sustained energy for hoeing, digging or weeding. I used to try really hard to find ways to do things, such as make the pots and baskets up sitting at a table. Even that was a massive struggle though, as it was difficult not to have to keep getting up and down to get compost and all the bits needed and then I'd still need help to move the pots around and Rob would have to do all the lifting and carrying, getting everything ready and organised for me and then tidying everything away afterwards. I really just ended up choosing plants and planning where things would go and then Rob would do all the rest.
During this time though, the garden still gave me lots of pleasure and enjoyment and I loved to sit out in it and enjoy the peace, sunshine, flowers and wildlife. It is always amazing to sit and watch the birds, we often have goldfinches, greenfinches, long tail tits, blue tits, great tits, robins, blackbirds, thrushes, magpies, wood pidgeons and sparrows. From time to time we've had visits from woodpeckers, blackcaps, fieldfares, redwings, gold crests, jays, nuthatches and pied wagtails. They come in from the farm land behind us. We have spotted red kites circling above and occasionally moorhens have visited the pond in winter. We also get herons trying to eat the fish in the pond! Once or twice we have had pheasants wandering through and hedghogs, muntjac deer and foxes like to pass through to wherever they are going. The pond is currently full of frogs getting up to no good and there are pond skaters, dragonflies and newts. We've made a lot of effort to choose colourful plants that will attract bees and butterflies too. It's a hive of activity if you watch carefully! There is nothing like sitting with a book in a quiet space, but keeping a crafty eye out on what's going on out there!
Now I'm back in the garden once more and taking a more active part albeit I have to keep my mouth and nose covered and wear gloves when I'm digging around in soil, because of my shiny new lungs that need protecting from fungi spores and bacteria - these may cause infection. I still can't do chores that are too vigorous like heavy digging and mowing, but I'm able to do lighter things once more like tidying and making up pots and baskets, short bursts of weeding and hoeing, deadheading and tidying. It feels fantastic to be more mobile again once more, being able to bend, stretch and able to crouch down. Simple acts that were once lost, but now I've been given them back. I never really thought I would ever see the day. I am so excited for summer.