Sunday, March 11, 2012

Gardening for the soul

Today was my first ‘official’ day in 2012 to spend some time pottering about the garden. I powerwashed the patio yesterday and today brushed away all the moss, algae and dust it had loosened. I weeded a little and removed some of the detritus of the winter, planned a few small changes in layout and in general relaxed through physical work.

Before you all start giving out to me for gardening a few days after I lay crippled with my back let me say this. Gardening is good for my soul mind, sense of well-being etc. It reduces my continuous boring draining existential angst. And I mind my back. I get down on my knees and have every weeding device known to man at my disposable and I rarely spend more than two hours at it because I have learned to listen to my back – so no giving out! Please?

It was a lovely mild spring day today, albeit a little dull – but thankfully winter seems to be well on its way to the other side of the planet and the evenings are lengthening. It’s funny – for some reason this time of year tends to be the time when I get most of my really bad depressive bouts – no moving no talking crying jags bouts. I don’t understand it – unless it has something to do with the fact that my beloved mother died in late March in 1991. January to early April – every year. Paradoxically it’s actually a time of year I enjoy on another level – again because each day brings new growth about me.

But at least at this stage of my life – twenty seven years into this awful illness I am sure of one thing – it passes. I avoid all cerebral pursuits and shun human company (I wouldn’t inflict my melancholy face on anyone) when I’m unwell – I walk, garden, cuddle the dog, listen to music, veg on the sofa in front of favourite DVDs.I wonder is it because my body is so low in Vitamin D after the winter that this happens? I think during next winter I will try taking a Vitamin D supplement and see how Spring 2013 treats me. I’ll keep you posted.

In the meantime there is my garden – the daffs are well up cheerfully bobbing their yellow heads at me, aconites, bluebells and the last of the snowdrops – the primulas are coming along nicely and the tulipss will be here soon. The buds are well formed on my wonderful choisya, the clematis are producing new growth and as all three are now a good size I’m looking forward to a riotous display this year. Gardening, like writing, is a long-term project. Never quite finished to our satisfaction and always always needing clipping,tending or tidying.

Of course Molly – the new dog in the house – has caused some havoc in my little plot but she’s forgiven. It’s in her nature to dig so I’ll try confining her to the spots she can do least damage. Anyway I owe the poor bitch for the awful haircut I gave her – she looks like that poor badly shorn sheep dog in the Specsavers ad!

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