A Little Gentle Gardening is a True Panacea

I am having to be very strict with myself when it comes to pottering in the garden at the moment, as you can imagine. Whilst everything is healing well on the outside I have to remember that I have had a major abdominal operation and muscles etc need to repair themselves. It is all too easy to get carried away and stretch to reach the back of the border or pick up a heaving watering can. It is very frustrating to say the least!

There are a few surprises in the garden. I have found some very tiny Cerinthe seedlings. Silly the things we gardeners get excited about isn’t it!? I love this plant and was so disappointed that all the tiny seedlings which came up at the end of last year had disappeared over the winter months.

A few months ago work colleague gave me a carrier bag containing some Alstromeria he had dug up, and I was happy to see that they have settled in their new home and producing leaves. I can’t remember if he told me what colour they are but seem to recall he may have said yellow, time will tell. Now it will be a battle against me and the snails, to ensure that it has a good chance of succeeding.

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The other lovely surprise was the discovery of a Solomon’s Seal in the front garden. My friend first pointed it out to me, and I initially thought she was wrong (I should have known better) because in 12 years of caring for the front garden, I would have known if I had this plant. However, she was quite right and at the back of the border, tucked up against the wall and underneath the lilac tree, growing quite happily is a Solomon’s Seal. Goodness knows how it got there but it was lovely to see.

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The north facing border, in the back garden, at the moment is very green full of Astilbe, yet to flower, hostas and ferns, so the Eurphorbia Griffithiii Fireglow is a joy of colour. I am always happy to see this appear every year. It dies down over winter and to see the little red shoots in the Spring is a good sign.

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I have a lot of Aquilegia (Columbine/Granny’s Bonnet) and love to find them dotted around the garden; they are such prolific self-seeders. Last year a majority of the self-seeders were pink, this year there seems to be an abundance of purples and blues, I don’t think I will ever understand nature.

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I can’t find any Nora Barlow this year, but there are still a few Aquilegia in bud so I am hoping it will appear again. There is a very pretty pale blue flower which I don’t remember and which I believe to be a cross-breed.

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We are getting close to the End of Month View so I won’t spoil that post by including too many photos of what is growing in the garden at the moment. Alliums get special dispensation and I make no apology for showing them in this post, because by next week they should be complete globes and make for a different photograph. I planted a lot of Allium bulbs last year and they have all come up making their mark in the flower beds.

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Health update:

My garden is going to be my saving grace this Summer. I had some very disappointing news when I visited the ColoRectal Surgeon on Thursday after the removal of the tumour. Unfortunately the cancer is what is classified as Stage 3 (old Dukes C) and out of the 10 lymph nodes removed there are signs of cancer cells in 4 of them. This means that I will now have to have chemotherapy, yet another hurdle to face. There is further wait now for an appointment to see the Oncologist to discuss the treatment plan, but I had a call from the MacMillan Nurse who said generally it is a combination of Oxaliplatin (given by injection) and Capecitabine (taken as tablets) given on a three weekly cycle over the course of six months. Once treatment is completed and I am back to full health, we then have to tackle the GastroIntestinal Stromal Tumour (GIST) which is in my abdomen. It is benign at the moment and 70%-80% of all GISTs are benign but will have to be removed. This means further surgery and possible drug treatment afterwards. They are resistant to chemotherapy, so the blessed thing is not going to be eradicated by the chemo. I had a very low day yesterday, feeling that life was bloody unfair, its bad enough to have one type of cancer (Adenocarcinoma) but to have a second tumour that could develop into another cancer (sarcoma) is just mean. But it is something I have to deal with and if I want to live as long as possible, it is a necessary evil and I will find the strength somehow.

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10 thoughts on “A Little Gentle Gardening is a True Panacea

  1. Ronnie it is indeed a wonder how plants can heal us emotionally and physically. Solomon’s Seal was used long ago to heal wounds and stomach issues. Its appearance is wonderful and I hope the time in your garden will help heal you.

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  2. So much new life in your garden! I love the aquilegias and the solomon’s seal too. Looking at what you grow we have so many plants in common! I am sorry to know you have more battles on your hands and I am impressed by your determination and astonishing ability not to feel sorry for yourself. I went through something similar a few years ago and, cliche though it is, it has left me with a much greater ability to live in the moment. Here is hoping for a lot of lovely moments for you as you go through the summer!

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  3. Your ‘Granny’s Bonnet’ Aquilegia is charming. My Aqilegia have bloomed, and I have been collecting seeds and spreading them around the garden for next year. I am so sorry about your disappointing news, and I hope you are feeling better by now. I still have a few chemo treatments to go. Amazingly it has all gone well. I’m still trying to maintain a positve frame of mind, difficult at times, but i have found strength from friends, family, and neigbors that I didn’t even know I had! They continue to send positive thoughts and prayers my way. And I will continue to do so for you!

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  4. Still with Solomon’s seal I wonder why it has chosen now to visit your garden. Such a wise old name and such a beautiful plant just for you.

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  5. That seems to be the game cancer plays, it knows no rules and cheats. It is tough on the down days but I think of my girls and grandchildren and bounce back. As for the Solomons Seal, it is against the front wall which butts up to the pavement. Wondering if a bird dropped some seeds.

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  6. and you were so optimistic in your last post. I expect it will be a serious of up and downs and I expect the most important thing will be trying to find a strategy for dealing with the downs. At least we have summer coming up and you can sit outsie, it would be worse if it was gloomy winter.
    I wonder if your neighbour has Solomons Seal and its crept into yout garden, I find it creeping around in mine.

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    1. No I don’t have it in my garden which is next door and love it more than any other plant. i have grown it in past gardens but hate the inevitable destruction that always follows.

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