Monday, July 4, 2016

Grow positive thoughts

 As I began to recover from Lyme disease, I decided I wanted a project I could work on, something different, something new.  Perhaps it wasn't conscious reasoning at the time, but I think doing something I'd never done before was important.  I couldn't compare the 'before' me to a reduced capability, slow working, inefficient 'new' me (or 'me in progress'.... perhaps). I chose to grow vegetables in containers. I researched, I joined a gardening forum (a PAID subscription forum..... no messing about here; I was going to LEARN & I was going to SUCCEED). 

I'm not sure why exactly I chose container gardening. I considered painting classes, or yoga classes, but I wasn't well enough to make any kind of time commitment,  especially to a course I'd paid for - my health was still very unpredictable (& my wallet not exactly overflowing with spare cash for classes I may or may not have been able to attend) - I needed something I could do at my pace. Container gardening, specifically, removed the physical barriers - I wasn't strong enough to dig, and it let me explore something new. And I discovered I LOVE it! 

THIS is totally true:

Below is an assortment of random photos of growing my own veggies (it quickly went from 'my' garden in the first year to 'our' garden in subsequent years. ... my mum loves it too! And grudgingly, I have to write it is (/she calls it!) her garden now, since I'm not there - but I have got to enjoy it at different stages, for different lengths of time since the year I started it!) 

Initially,  my dad seemed to find the whole thing hilarious, frequently laughing at my excitement when seeds successfully germinated,  and my baby plants began to grow.... then fruit..... Until the next spring when he said, rather hopefully, "so, are you going to grow those tomatoes again....?"

Mostly from year 1 - MY veggies!
But LOOK - we grew a pineapple  (took 2 years)!

Pepper seedlings, baby tomato plants, yellow tomato flower, aubergines (eggplants), baby courgette (zucchini), baby corn plants, cantaloupe melon, accidental zucchini /squash creation, mixed salad leaves, multicoloured carrots, "those [cherry] tomatoes", sugarsnap peas, PURPLE bell peppers, CORN!, PINEAPPLE!, beetroot  (beets) - quite a selection.... & we added more/ tried new things different years. 
SO rewarding, & OK, yes, I got excited! :-)

Research published relatively recently (last few years) that shows microbes in soil might actually affect our human 'microbiome'; and this may contribute to positive mood, and feelings of relaxation and contentment felt while gardening. So it was a GREAT choice of 'new hobby' - all round beneficial.... and those freshly picked veggies and herbs.... just can't beat them!!

"Adopt the pace of nature:
 her secret is patience."
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson ~


  1. I love this post. I have been able to garden without fear of tick bites. I found a wonderful helper who doesn't charge much and thinks like I do. Being able to purchase plants and plan out flower beds while she does the heavy lifting under my direction is fantastic. (Yes, I worry about her exposure to ticks, but this is her chosen profession.) Gardens heal!

  2. My first thought reading your comment was, oops, perhaps I should have mentioned that! But honestly, it's not a factor for me. Although I'm tick aware, I actually have rarely encountered any ticks (unless I count the freckle on my foot - that I've had MY WHOLE LIFE - that now gives me a few frights each summer because at a glance...!). I don't know if my organic pest-spray repels ticks from my plants; or if there are so many deer in the area, they find their home with them....? Or maybe because I think the farm behind us has chickens....? I have no idea why. It's a bad area for ticks.

    But, honestly, I think we know we are at risk from ticks almost anywhere - a pet could bring one (or more) home; a walk through a city park could give a tick an opportunity to find a new host after hitching a lift on a bird.... or a million other outdoor possibilities. I guess I don't really think 'avoid outdoors & avoid ticks' (honestly, despite pulling a bee out my foot, and subsequently developing cellulitis, I still walk barefoot on the grass in summer. I do watch out for clover though.... Not a goal to squash the bees anyway!) But I love being barefoot in summer, I think it's a gymnast thing.... being barefoot. I'm definitely going to leave my shoes somewhere eventually though. Probably physio, I've come close a few times!

    But I DO check for ticks (yup, *tick check* everyone, should have written that!) I check in the shower, I check extra carefully if I've been in long grass, I even check between my toes. I am aware.... but they have ruined my life enough, they don't get to dictate where I find enjoyment!

    I'm glad you feel the same and also benefit from gardening therapy - but thank you for the reminder!!

    (So yes, everyone, bug spray! Tick check - very important!)

    1. FYI... anyone who us reading this and doesn't know - chickens eat ticks. That sentence might make more sense now.
      Additionally, I recently read a single possum can keep an average US yard virtually tick-free. They groom themselves and eat them (no reference - newish article - Google will help....! My parents are pretty country-suburbs, perhaps there are possums.... well there ARE possums, perhaps one lives under the garden shed or something.

      This IS something I wonder about....

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