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GARDENING AS THERAPY

1 APRIL 2020

The hospital rang at 5:30 am to say that Jean will be coming home in hospital transport during the morning. She has fractured her arm and has a urine infection, she arrives at 8:30am. We manage manoeuvre her into the chair with the help of the two ambulance drivers, myself and Diane… this does not bode well for ongoing care tasks. Poor Jean looks terrible, with two black eyes and a cut nose, she is miserable and not even interested in breakfast, which is very unusual if unsurprising. Luckily she sleeps for a large part of the day probably assisted by increased medication and seems a bit brighter by the evening. However, it now takes three people to move her safely if she needs to get up. When Jean is settled I spend some time outside, although I am now checking Jean and Dad even more frequently even though Dad will press his buzzer if he or Jean need anything.

Five Rudbeckia Hirta Prairie Sun arrive from Parkers, and I pot them up and then I walk around the kitchen garden to check whether we are succeeding in keeping out the badgers. A couple of days previously I noticed that they have also dug holes in my garlic and onion beds! As far as I can see we are succeeding in stopping their entry into the kitchen garden, but later when I am at the front of the house I notice they have dug up some tulips in my ‘organ pipe’ bed. What is it about badgers and tulips? Patrick comments that he has noticed the badgers digging all along the track beside the graveyard – not very reassuring!

I decide to focus today on planting the tiny Ixias bulbs into the terraces of the mount. I need something to distract me because the episode with Jean has been a massive set back and has really upset me. Prior to her accident I felt we were managing quite well and now any confidence I felt is feeling drastically shaken and my anxiety about the virus goes into overdrive. It is at times like this that I cannot recommend the therapeutic effects of gardening highly enough. By the end of the day I had planted 400 more bulbs and the repetitive, careful, rather precarious job as I literally ‘tip-toed through the tulips’ planting hundreds of bulbs no bigger than M&M’s went some way to soothing my frayed nerves. I am very lucky to have my beautiful garden especially at this horrible time.




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