I’m unexpectedly confined at home. Immobilised for several weeks with a foot fracture and only able to look at my garden from our windows.
Plans to make the most of winter and build new terraced beds; complete black staining of woodwork; lay proper pathways and construct a growing tunnel are completely on hold. Because we live on a steep slope there is no way I can access the garden even to sit and look. In order to get to my medical appointments I have to crawl down the outside stairs wearing knee pads and gloves and then hustle myself into a car, driven by some willing helper – it’s an undignified sight and exhausting.
The garden won’t fuss about my absence though, in fact it will likely thrive without my secateurs and tidying habit. Layers of spent foliage will build up and be good for soil life. Weeds will fill empty spaces that were supposed to have plantings of peas, broad beans and kale. Fruit trees will carry on with or without my pruning and the birds will pick amongst the mulch looking for insects and worms to keep them going.
Nature has been left in charge.
Does that mean I’ve entirely given up on gardening?
No, I’ve just had to be creative about the tasks that can be done inside (while balancing on crutches or sitting with one leg elevated). Yesterday hubby brought the strawberry beds inside for me. Once a year I pull all the plants out, trim off old foliage and separate runners before popping them back into the bed. This I realised I could do in my living room and I’ve propped myself on a low stool with potting mix to tuck them all up while awaiting re-planting outside. Someone else will have to clean up my mess though!
Hubby has measured and drawn a scale plan of the garden so I can note, which plants he can re-juggle to where; what needs to be planted in spring and how many more fruit trees can be squeezed in. He also brings the harvests in and takes regular photos of the veggie beds for me to see how our winter crops are progressing. A month or so from now I’ll be able to get some spring veggie seeds going from my kitchen windowsill. I’m thankful for the gardening blogs and you tube clips of other gardeners which help me feel I’m out there in nature.
Moving around on crutches and balancing for tasks is tiring. I know hibernating is good for my trees and perennials, I just hadn’t realised that the universe had in mind for me to hunker down this year too.