Garden therapy

Now before you go expecting wonderful garden photos, let me stop you! I am by no means a gardener and have no experience, but I would like to be a gardener… of sorts.

When I get the opportunity I like to do my meditation out in my garden where I can feel the sun on my face and hear the birds and wildlife calling. It’s my garden therapy. It’s amazing, but I have to close my eyes as my garden is always a mess.

Garden therapy

The garden is partly a mess because I have a daughter who likes to get every toy etc out and leave it there but mainly it’s because I just don’t have the ability to look after it like I used to.

I no longer mow the lawn or do the edges like I used to. I find these tasks are now impossible. And anything that involves bending is out as I have orthostatic intolerance and am waiting to be tested for POTS. That said I still long for a beautiful garden to relax in.

I’ve decided to do what I can and try a bit of gardening this year. Hubby now does the heavy jobs for me so I don’t have to worry about them. I’m focussing mainly on trees and shrubs that are hardy. The main thing I do there is cut them back and train them to go where I want them to.

shrubs

This is my shrub corner that I’ve been working on for a few years. My brother kindly built me this brick wall so I could build up the soil level as there’s very little soil in our garden, it’s turfed building rubble sadly.

That said, the tree in the back was planted by me and Missy 6 years ago when we started our new life on our own. This tree has flourished, as have we and it is special to us. I can’t believe how big it is now after only 6 years and after starting out as a stick shoved in the ground! Wow!

The animal figures have been taken out at the moment as I found flying ants under them. I hate them. Also, please excuse the broken ceramic mushroom house on the wall. It’s one that I made years ago and got knocked over by our cat!

The one side of the shrubs has come on nicely with my hydrangea and crocosmia about to flower and add a splash of colour. The other side has had problems with the ants and the lavenders (3 types) that I put there have died or are struggling to hold on. I meant to attract butterflies, not bloody ants!

grycosmia

About to flower into a burst of colour

Even though I love the wild look I’ve had to cut back some of the tree, as it was crushing the shrubs underneath it.

Last year, for our first wedding anniversary, hubby bought me a pear tree for the garden. The first year is paper and paper comes from trees! You get it? I love this tree.

My next door neighbour gave me some advice about what soil to use and how to take care of it and I’m really pleased to say that it has not only survived my black thumb but also have fruit on it this year!

The pear tree that hubs bought me for our first wedding anniversary.

The pear tree that hubs bought me for our first wedding anniversary.

 

And look! There are pears on it this year!

And look! There are pears on it this year!

I put a bird/squirrel feeder alongside the tree and I’ve really loved watching the little birds and my girl, Celia the squirrel coming by each day for a snack. It’s very relaxing to watch and listen to my little friends.

Celia, my little squirrel friend. She even lets Missy stroke her now.

Celia, my little squirrel friend. She even lets Missy stroke her now.

Sadly, two pigeons have become interested in what’s going on. Even though they are too big to get the food they keep trying and have broken one of the branches off my tree with their weight. 🙁 I was really saddened by this as I lost 2 pears as well as the branch. I’m trying to get Suki cat to ‘Catch the Pigeon’. Did you sing that as well. 😉 So for now, the one feeder has been taken down and Celia can’t get her favourite suet snack.

As I had success with the fruit I convinced hubby to try to grow some veggies with me. Bless him, he struggled to make me a raised bed where I can *try* to grow root veg. We also have a recycled mini greenhouse thing for tomatoes. The chillis all died sadly.

Here is my raised veggie patch.

My raised veggie patch where I have carrots, parsnips and sweet peas at the back for a splash of colour up the fence.

My raised veggie patch where I have carrots, parsnips and sweet peas at the back for a splash of colour up the fence.

I put slug tape around the edge of my raised bed to keep out pests but they got in there anyway and ate all the tops of my carrots! Damn and blast it! I worked hard with those seeds. They don’t seem to like parsnips though.

So I am declaring war now on my garden pests and have slug pellets on the shopping list along with ant powder! My garden is meant to be my happy place and they are not helping!

We also have some tomatoes in the greenhouse.

Tomatoes in our garden

Tomatoes in our garden

The 2 big tomato plants in the back are from my father-in-law who bought them as he didn’t believe that we could grow anything! But in the pots at the front I have my own growing from seeds! They are a bit late as we lost the first batch while we were on holiday.

I mustn’t forget the potatoes. These are being grown in a bin! It’s the only way we can get soil deep enough for them. They are about to go over so I have to harvest them (with help) on the weekend. Missy doesn’t want to miss the chance to get dirty either!

Potatoes growing in a bin. They are about to go over and need harvesting now.

Potatoes growing in a bin. They are about to go over and need harvesting now.

Years ago I had a lovely herb garden, rockery combination. I used the herbs a lot for cooking as well. I’ve tried several times to grow herbs in a pot near my kitchen but only the chives survive as once again the slugs and snails get in there.

This year I’ve got mint as well, but in a separate pot to contain it and stop it from going wild.

My attempt at herbs!

My attempt at herbs!

The parsley looks almost dead but I’m hoping that it will come back.

Can you see the little mushroom houses that I made? It’s a shame that they are not a deterrent for pests! They are more likely to be living in them!!

I mustn’t forget the climbing rose that hubby bought for me last summer. It’s beautiful and smells so sweet. I’m training it up the side of the house now.

My beautiful climbing rose bought for me by a wonderfully thoughtful hubby.

My beautiful climbing rose bought for me by a wonderfully thoughtful hubby.

So my garden is slowly being turned into my happy place. It’s my garden therapy. I’ll post again if I get any success with the veggies. Fingers crossed.

I love being outdoors and I really miss my old garden. I’ve only got a small one now but I guess that’s not a bad thing given the amount of attention they can need.

Me, loving the outdoors. It energises me and restores some spoons.

Me, loving the outdoors. It energises me and restores some spoons.

Do you garden as a hobby? I’d love to hear any tips you have as I’m a complete novice and learning as I go. In particular, please share any tips you have for gardening with an illness or disability. I’ve got no stamina and can’t bend to do things. I’ve already tried to raise some beds up so that I can tend them while sat on a chair. That really helps. But what else could I do? Comments below please.


Today I am grateful for

  • lots of wildlife in my garden
  • lots of trees around our house
  • a hubby who is happy to help with the garden
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4 comments

  1. Donna says:

    Spending time outdoors is so therapeutic, isn’t it? It’s lovely that you get some wildlife to your garden (with the exception of those pesky pigeons!). It’s great that you are feeling up to doing small tasks around the garden 🙂

    • Cathy says:

      Even though I’ve never been sporty in my life I’ve always favoured being outdoors. I grew up in a beautiful valley surrounded by mountains that were my playground. I think that shaped me a lot more than I first realised.
      We also have our first 2 tomatoes ever! I can’t believe how excited I got over tomatoes! lol

    • Cathy says:

      I’m pleased to say that I’ve kept up with the gardening thanks to raised beds. I got some crops last year and lost some too. I’m learning though and planting even more this year. My conservatory is full of seedlings. It’s easier than using my tiny greenhouse!

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