Sunday, April 29, 2012

Getting In My Own Way

Thursday as soon as a late lunch was cleared away, I headed out to garden.
With a multitude of tasks that need to be done, I worked for a bit in the jungle of the lower perennial strip--a slow slog of removing weeds and discovering plants which have spread themselves by root and seed.

Just before sundown with the sky full of feathery clouds.

A quick cup of tea, then back out into the mild evening to work in the stone bordered area which hosts peonies and transplanted iris.  There the soil which D. moved in from the back field to create the raised area, has been very hard-packed.  I took the slender hoe which J. keeps honed to razor sharpness and loosened the soil around the plants to coarse crumbles.
I moved several small nepetas to the outer edge of the stones, tucked in creeping thyme which I hope will spread to embrace the upper edge of the rocks and carpet beneath the peonies.  Pleased with my progress I carried flat stones from the rubble behind the garage, placing them so that I'll be able to step carefully among the plants.
Dusk came, the automatic yard light kicked on with a metallic hum.
I struggled up from my knees, gathered my muddy tools and limped stiffly to the shed to put them away.
A few birds made sleepy noises, fireflies, the first of the season, dotted the meadow with their tiny lights.

I woke on Friday full of plans to continue in the garden.
My morning chores seemed to take a long time, and I moved stiffly.
I went with J. after lunch to buy sacks of composted manure at the Wal Mart garden center.
D. arrived after school and while he and J. laid down a length of landscape fabric and cut holes to accomodate tomato plants, I selected 27 of the largest ones from the cold frame.
Tomato blight has been a problem each summer here--and we're told that it is an issue that always must be dealt with.
Two suggested 'home rememdies' are the addition of calcium  and sulpher to the planting area.
We bought bone meal to supply calcium and were advised that ordinary epsom salts [magnesium sulphate] will supply the sulpher.
I crawled about, dosing the planting holes with the minerals while D. shoveled in compost.
My knees hurt; getting up and down felt like a ponderous accomplishment.
I fetched water for the transplanted tomato plants, reorganized the small ones to better advantage in the cold frame. I looked at the newly purchased flowers needing to go into the perennial strips, but realized that
unless I did some kitchen time meals would be unappealing.

A peony bud glows at dusk.

Poppy buds remind of birds with heads tucked down.

A gallardia blooming quite out of its remembered location.

Dianthus in the driveway border.

I remember, [was it so many years ago?] when I could work at my day job, come home and snatch a cup of tea, a sandwich, then labor in the garden until full dark forced me inside.
It is being borne in upon me that at this point in my life, 3 or 4 hours of heavy garden work on any given day will leave me aching, complaining and nearly useless for the next  two days!
There!  I've said it aloud, written it down, confessed to the fact that age [and fibromyalgia] are altering the way I do things.
I spend a lamentable amount of time getting in my own way.
But--I can still garden!  I can still enjoy gardening!
As my son reminded me on the phone today, Advil comes in large economy size and there's no shame in taking one after a hard day's work.
Perhaps I need to take a hint from Willis the Cat--a time for doing--and a time to
rest and recover from the doing!
Tomorrow is another day!


  1. I know what you mean about the spirit being willing but the body not listening!!

    We are having SUCH a cold spell - right back to Winter - and so gardening is not an option. Even if it weren't so cold, the gale force winds and rain are not welcoming gardening companions!

    Lovely to see your garden blooming. My plants want to go back under the soil!

  2. Another great post about gardening there at your place. I felt like I was right there with you. I feel your aches and pains too. I also am thankful I can still garden and that I enjoy it.

    Happy Gardening and country living to you dear lady. Have a great week.


  3. I can commiserate with you, Sharon. The things I used to do when young without giving a thought are now chores. Cold is driving us inside and the weeds are piling up here. I think I need to relocate to your neck of the woods, where spring comes earlier. But for now, I'll just enjoy your garden through your picture and lovely words!

  4. What do you mean by tomato blight? We have trouble with our tomatoes here too, they bear some tomatoes and then turn yellow and die. It's not from too much water either. We treat the soil with epsom salt, that helps the tomatoes ripen. May give bone meal a try.
    I'm right there with you about coming to terms with what I can and cannot do any more.

  5. I always love to see your whereabouts in the garden. You do so much! For any age! It's hard to relax when the work is never done. We are having gorgeous weather here and I have been puttering away in the flower beds.


  6. I was so impressed with all you did! I am especially interested in that thyme and the walking stones.
    Many people don't do half of what you do! You are keeping yourself limber and strong. My role model - really!

  7. One of the things I have found for the fibro... that works for me, is to take frequent breaks, rest for a half hour and then start again. Overall I accomplish more and I don't suffer so much the next day. But this I know, with fibro... what works for one doesn't always work for another -- but still don't push yourself. I think that most of us with this disease have pushed ourselves all our lives and can't let ourselves slow down.
    I'm sure you gardens will look beautiful either way.

  8. I can sympathize with you - I spent a couple of hours on my daughter's garden yesterday afternoon and my shoulders and arms are aching this morning. It's raining today so at least I don't feel as thoufgh I have to soldier on, I can just potter about the house today. Willis has the right idea I think:)

  9. After three weeks away from home visiting children and grandchildren, I'm back home and trying to catch up on my favorite blogs. I so completely identify and understand. I tire of saying "I used to be able to..." but it's true. I simply cannot do what I once could. My fibromyalgia makes travel especially hard and it takes several days when I return home to "recuperate". Still, my spirit wants to do what it once could so I guess that is saying something. Now to keep on reading the other posts I'm behind on... ;-)

  10. its just too wet and too cold to do anything much here these last few weeks. the inroads i had made in catching up have now been undone- all the wet made the weeds grow again,. i am so behind again now...
    Leanne x