Long neglected, finally an entry in the blog reappears. Much has happened in the intervening 18 months, far too much to detail but essentially late 2016 and the first half of 2017 were marked by extreme and scary ill health. However, changes in treatment over the subsequent months and obsessive avoidance of infection have managed to produce a remarkable change in health and functionality. Much to deal with every day health wise that need checklists, reminder alarms and systems in place to ensure nothing is forgotten but life is rich and full despite all of these. The garden has progressed and perennials planted a year or two ago are beginning to show their little green heads above the soil ready to treat us to a show of colour and healthy growth as spring and summer progress. Broad beans, spinach, salads, mange tout are all promising delicious meals in a few weeks and even tomato plants and chillies are little tiny plants in the propagators. Flowering plants overwintered in 9cm pots in the polytunnels and sweetpeas planted in October are all thriving despite the icy, bizarre winter we have experienced, and the overwintered plants will be potted on in the next few days ready for hardening them off and allowing them to spread their lovely green wings into the spring air. And today really did feel like spring….the sun shone, it had some warmth in it and the sky was a glorious blue. How is it not possible to celebrate life potting on plants, walking with dogs in the woods or even just reading in the conservatory on a day like today?!
Real progress towards the healing garden has been made and this year we plan to have our first formal users who initially will be self-referred in response to leaflets put in local shops, local post offices etc. Volunteers to help with the garden are also being looked for. I am just finalising the leaflets and then I will put an example up on the blog as well. All the legal stuff like public liability is in place and the first plant sale of the year planned for the beginning of May. So, all in all it feels quite exciting if a bit nerve wracking. I am really looking forward to sharing the garden with people who can benefit from it in the way that I have myself and there will be a range of activities for users to choose from depending on their needs/wishes. And finally for this posting many thanks to Thrive, (https://www.thrive.org.uk/) , the national organisation for social and therapeutic horticulture (STH), who have started doing on line courses and the two available so far are both excellent, enjoyable and very useful as well. Highly recommended to anyone with an interest in STH. Not promising to post every day or even every week but I am promising to post much more often than every eighteen months (not difficult!) with thoughts on the benefit of green care (therapeutic aspects of nature/gardening/care farms), updates on progress here at nurturenature and general ramblings about gardens, nature, plants, disability etc. Will be back soon. Here’s hoping spring has sprung – or at least no more snow….
I go to nature to be soothed and healed, and to have my senses put in order. John Burroughs