Glorious day planting

Glorious sunshine today so a joy to be spending time in “allotment area” with George planting out first veg of the season. Broad bean, mange tout and early pea plants we have brought on in the polytunnel and little sweet snowball cauliflower. Let’s hope they grow on as healthily as they have so far – but should only be a few weeks before first they are flowering and then cropping. While George planted the plants out, I rested on the edge of the raised bed and planted seed; 2 types of spinach, “cello” and perpetual”, mange tout “yellow sweet” seeds directly into the soil rather than plants already established, celtuce and chives. Two pots of herbs also filled, one with rosemary with the cuttings from my trim of the rosemary all put in the soil along the edge of the raised bed, a really easy way to propagate rosemary. The second pot was planted with marjoram and two types of thyme, one a trailing variety to climb over the edge. Nice gritty mixes for these Mediterranean plants that need really free draining soil. So exciting to look forward to harvesting it all as we move into spring and summer. Onions, shallots and garlic planted in autumn all looking good and should be ready in July. Cabbages overwintered got hearts hardening up so wii be ready soon.  Really hoping both for healing garden service users to find the mindful peace I do tending the allotment with support and also that people actually do help themselves to the veg (and flowers) as the plan has always been. Tulips will be flowering soon bringing a smile to passing walkers/riders and remind us all that summer is on its way. Fingers crossed for no further random snowfalls.

One of the new challenges for me to remember about is that as part of my health interventions last year I had a PEG (percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy) feeding tube inserted directly into my stomach through my abdomen so that fluids bypass my airway. It was clear from tests that fluids were going into my lungs because of swallowing problems and causing lung infections and pneumonia. I am now connected to a little pump and fluids 24/7 which are transported in a small rucksack attached to the PEG tubing– soooo easy to forget I am attached and try and shuffle along the edge of the raised bed without moving the rucksack as well! The whole contraption is fondly known as Peggy and used for giving dissolved/liquid drugs as well as fluids meaning I only have to take 3 tablets by mouth instead of 39. No doubt Peggy creates some hassles but she has definitely been worth it. No serious lung infections since she went in in March 2017. Thankfully with a number of restrictions and ensuring the right consistency I can manage to eat a reasonable variety of foods. And it doesn’t stop me gardening, knitting, sewing etc so that’s to be celebrated. All in all a great day and I would encourage anyone to get out there and plant some seeds even a few on the windowsill that will give you some fresh herbs for your cooking. Happy growing and don’t let disability and difficulties put you off – find a way to work round them if at all possible. Life may be challenging but it can still be fun.

Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts. Rachel Carson

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