Weekly Posts Coming in 2020

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Many working hours have passed since I regularly posted here on my blog. Folks sometimes ask about it, and while garden blogging has faded a bit, I’m not giving up. As a middle-aged woman who’s turned to horticulture later in life, in the years since I started this blog, I’ve become a professional horticulturist and I enjoy my career very much. It’s time for me to begin to regularly share some of the experiences that I’ve had with both the plants and people who mean a lot to me.

In the last year I’ve dealt with walking pneumonia, complications from walking pneumonia, entering into my third consecutive year of physical therapy for neuropathy, spinal, and hip issues from two falls, and the onset of additional autoimmune issues. I need to cut loose and have some fun online again. 🙂

My hope is to continue to inspire, entertain, and enlighten readers. No one in their right mind would be working in horticulture in my condition. It’s my passion though. It’s what I love—and folks are still willing to pay me to do what I do and to purchase what I grow. I entered into this world when I could barely move, let alone stand, and all I had was a new garden, a laptop, and some time to spare. It’s time to contribute more and give back. I think my employers also consider this “downtime” and they’d like me to do more of it.

So, expect weekly posts each Sunday in 2020!

And there will be houseplants… We know how much many of you love them too now. I know I sure do.

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Begonia dichroa in my collection.

 

The New Edible Garden Plot at Mt. Tabor Community Garden

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I signed up for a plot at this Portland Community Garden site back when it was created in 2012. At that time I was placed on a waiting list and there I sat waiting year after year. Much to my surprise, just months ago, I was granted a spot and it was an exciting day when I heard the good news!

Since I’d had a plot at a different community garden location in the past I knew that it would be a lot of work. I was worried. Fresh produce is a wonderful thing to have on hand, and yet, here’s where I openly admit that the other plot ended up being abandoned by me.

I was worried I’d fail again.

Let me explain…

This blog began in December 2007,  not long after I’d started to recover from a fall I’d had down the basement stairs at my house. It’s kind of incredible for me to think that it’s 2017 and I’m still struggling with the effects from that accident, but it’s true.

For the last decade I’ve been dealing with nerve damage and chronic pain. I originally created this blog as a kind of pain relief and pain management therapy. The fact that I even attempt to garden is sort of goofy since I’ve sustained damage to both the cervical and lumbar regions of my spine. (If you don’t already know I had back surgery 3 years ago to correct damage done during a second fall.)

Yet, the trouble caused by my first fall has taken longer to correct. For the last two months I’ve been in physical therapy and soon I will be getting the first MRI to look more deeply into my lower back. Things have not improved. I’ve walked the long and painful plank to this point. In the coming weeks I will be told if additional surgical intervention will be necessary and I already know that I will be in physical therapy for a long time. (I’m also dealing with damage done to my hip from the impact sustained when I hit the wooden steps.)

So why oh why did I want to get another community garden plot!?! Shouldn’t I be taking it easy?

I said “yes” to the plot because I don’t believe in a magical future when everything will feel better. Deep down I believe in trying again, and again. I believe in living my life no matter what comes my way.

Nowadays I’m remarried and my husband lives and works here (and not in another state) so I have more help. I also have more friends and they’ve become an important and necessary network of support as I live with my chronic health issues. (Many of them I met through writing a blog and because I’m a garden blogger.) They’re my community now, my people, my group, and I’m devoted to helping them in any way that I’m able to do so. They aren’t out there actually toiling with me, but they support my efforts, and that helps me feel embraced and lifted up. We all need that in our lives. Just as we build supports for our vines, our veggies, and our blooms, we can do this with (and for) other people.

During my time working as a caregiver—before I “retired” recently—I often worked with hospice clients. I also said “yes” because of them. It will be messy, imperfect, crops will fail, and it might even get ugly at some point. I promise to share those failures with you—along with the successes! My Sicilian family took great pride in their perfect produce and I will try to do my best, but it will take work, experience, and time. I’m living my life though, making memories, taking chances, and I hope to reach out to even more folks.

Even if I need surgical intervention, this garden is going to grow.