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31/07/2014 at 23:01

I have a fairly large garden and just loved gardening following advice and tips from GW but in August last year I got cancer

Now need redesign as too many flower beds for me to cope with

Refused benefit so ideas on cheap but nice ways of slabing/paving/grave etc. to make a lot less flower beds and hence maintanance. I get stressed about it.

Sttach couple of pics so you can see my garden.


Back tomorrow

Advice welcome

Thanks Trudi



I will explain the lot sometime front too but no pics

31/07/2014 at 23:17
Hi Trudi, so sorry to hear you are ill. I understand how upset you must be, we are all very attached to our gardens.
Hope you dont mind me asking but what are you able to do? I mean can you mow the lawn etc, do you have someone who could help you with one off heavy jobs?
What about making borders around your lawn, and having lots of shrubs? Things like choysia, eventually, all you should need to do is keep the lawn tidy
Unless you are happy to use chemicals, i wouldnt go for gravel etc as the wweds always find it!
31/07/2014 at 23:41
Hi Trudi, until you are feeling better is there a local group who might be able to help? In our area we have an active scout / guide group and a garden club. Might be worth checking out before you make changes. Good luck
31/07/2014 at 23:51

I agree.   First find out if you can get help, especially of the cancer treatment is going well and you are likely to regain your energy.  

However I do understand it's dispiriting watching a well loved and tended garden going to rack and ruin.   I lost 2 years in my garden thanks to back surgery and then 2 feet reconstruction ops.   I have been OK since this spring but it is back breaking work trying to get back in control.

The simplest and cheapest thing to do would be to remove the plants - maybe hold a sale to raise a few pennies for you or charity - and then level and grass over the beds.  Paving will require a lot of preparation and materials and expense.

All the best for a full recovery so you can enjoy your garden again.

01/08/2014 at 00:10

Hi Trudi, where do you live? Anywhere in Surrey, I'll come and weed your beds!

01/08/2014 at 00:42

Hi Trudi, I understand how you feel as my mum is facing the same as you and can not manage her garden right now. I help by weeding, cutting back, grass cutting etc and mum is definitely less stressed for it. She also has pond like you and gets stressed as she can not get out and feed them. Have you any family that could help maybe by taking on one task each? If you update your profile to state wher you live I'm sure like Jane50 above many fellow gardeners on this site would love to come and help you. Would you consider reducing your pots, maybe have someone plant them into your borders for you? It takes me nearly an hour some nights just to water them and I'm fortunately fit and well. Your garden is beautiful and I'm sure you don't want to change it too much as I'm sure it gives you such pleasure. Don't be proud and refuse help or any benefits you are entitled to, you DESERVE it.  You could use it to pay someone to cut your lawn once a fortnight or for someone to come along and cut back, weed and tidy a couple of times a week. Please keep in touch with us all as I think talking to fellow gardeners on here will definitely de stress you too.  Also I know there are disabled gardeners on here who no doubt will have some top tips for you. Take care Trudi, I do hope you make a good recovery and make some good gardening companions now you have joined the forum x

01/08/2014 at 07:49

Morning Trudi.

Some nice comments there.  Just want to add my support..... Cancer and its treatment is a roller coaster ride, isnt it?  Hopefully, it will all go well with ??ou.

I,wouldn't worry too much about your what you can and enjoy what looks like a lovely garden. Theres no need to rush into anything drastic, is there ?  

Your garden it is....looks a relaxing place to be in so it will probably feature strongly in your recovery. 

Good luck.  Clearly you have support here too


01/08/2014 at 08:02

Hi Trudi - what a lovely garden ... and a lovely rabbit   

I'm sorry to hear you're not well at the moment - I hope your make a good recovery very soon and that the treatment isn't too bad.

I'm wondering whether the Macmillan Forum members may have some ideas of where you might get support for your garden .  I've known them to help out in all sorts of very practical ways.

Good luck 

01/08/2014 at 18:15

Hi Trudi

Just wanted to add my best wishes & to agree with many of the comments above.

Dove's suggestion to contact Macmillan is an excellent one. Similarly, many towns now have a local Volunteer Centre and they often have a list of people who would be pleased to help you look after your lovely garden - either short term or long term.

On a practical level - if you (or somebody) is able to manage the lawn, I think I'd keep it (or most of it) - a neatly edged & mown lawn can detract from a multitude of sins elsewhere!

The suggestion to significantly reduce the number of pots is a good one as they are really quite labour intensive and unforgiving if neglected for more than a couple of days in hot weather. I would also consider planting a lot of low maintenance shrubs in the borders (things that require a once a year tidy up rather than regular dead heading) - viburnums, eleagnus, cotinus spring readily to mind. Some good ground cover plants in between will help cut down on weeding.

If you are still able to be out and about pottering you can still have a couple of small areas to do the jobs you really enjoy doing - perhaps a couple of patches to sow some annuals each year for a bit of colour allowing you to keep your hand in with some light dead heading - especially if you can do it whilst sitting down.

Good luck with your treatment and - as others have said - give us an idea of where you are & you might have a small team of new friends turning up - trowel in hand  

01/08/2014 at 18:24

Hi Trudi. I'd like to echo the sentiments posted already. The suggestions for finding a local group of volunteers is a great one. The only drawback is that you may find it hard letting people loose in your little haven, no matter how well meaning they may be. I know I would. Perhaps someone retired who is looking for something to keep them busy would suit better. I think Topbird's suggestion about the grass is a very good one. A tidy lawn with neat edges is very pleasing, and if other areas are less neat, they aren't so noticeable when they're nicely set off with a bit of lush green grass. 

Good luck with your treatment. You'll get support here, and if any forum members living in your area say that they will help you - they will. I'm sure of that.  There's some terrific people on here   

07/08/2014 at 18:07

Thank you all, I am sorry but getting tearful at your kindness

I live in Felixstowe Suffolk

I have planted some of my pot plants into the garden, but not al am trying to get round to it. My hubby mows and does a bit but like I sad ge has no idea.

I hve developed periperal nuroligy or something like that meaning i have numb hand/feet, making it even harder. at the moment I am unable to do anything. The hospital told me I may be left with permanent nerve damage but after looking it up sometimes it goes after a few months, so I am hopeing it will go.

I will look into the scouts and no I do not have family able to do it.  My mum lives too far away and is elderly herself my sister can' be bothered as she puts it. Mum in law is elderly and has her own garden. A woman at church offered to help I may ask her. Althought do not want her doing it herself. When I am a bit better.

I will look into local groups as I feel sad watching it just go to weed. I have tried to keep on top f my raised bed and bog garden area as I want to keep them, slowly pots are going.


07/08/2014 at 18:37

Don't hesitate to ask the lady at your church Trudi.  You may find she knows someone else to help and if the other members of the congregation find out she's helping it may spur them to help too and take it in turns.  Sometimes people don't want to be too pushy and intrude but all the same would love to help.  Your garden looks very pretty.

07/08/2014 at 19:10

more pics


07/08/2014 at 19:16

For every person that can no longer manage their garden there'll be someone who would love a garden to manage. Matching them up is the problem.


07/08/2014 at 19:27

I agree, I think ive said this on another thread but you may have a neighbour who would love to grow vegetables but doesnt have the space or someone who is waiting for an allotment.  They might be keen to use some of your garden as a vegetable plot and in return provide you with some fresh produce.  Perhaps you could advertise in the local paper or put a notice up in the local DIY shop or gardening centre. Hope your treatment goes well and that you are soon able to enjoy gardening again.

07/08/2014 at 19:33

Trudi, there is help out there, the problem is a lot of us don't like asking. If we don't ask the answers are harder to find. Your garden looks lovely and loved. I am sure you will attract genuine help.  I had to have help in the garden and I contacted a card in the board at my local B & Q.  Good luck, wish I was nearer and I would come!

07/08/2014 at 20:06

Hi Trudi, I'm not very good with ideas sorry and nowhere near as experienced as the others that have already posted.

I really just wanted to add my best wishes for a speedy (and full) recovery, starting with your hands and the numbness, I hope it goes soon.  It must be heartbreaking for you, I sprained my ankle and even 3 weeks of not being able to garden has driven me mad and made me feel down so I can't even begin to imagine how you must be feeling.  I've just shown OH this thread and he said if we lived nearer he would come and help, that's coming from someone who doesn't do gardening apart from the lawns.

I'm sure if you asked about someone would be willing to help you.

in the meantime, I think your garden is beautiful and so is your rabbit 

All the very best and hugs (you'll get lots of hugs on here!!) xx

07/08/2014 at 21:36
If i could get to you Trudi, i would help, although your garden is sooo much neater than mine!

How are you? Keep your chin up, things will get better x
07/08/2014 at 22:17
Hello Trudi.
I can really understand your plight. It is true what the TV ads say, relating to cancer. We shouldn't have to face it alone. A shoulder to cry on and a little bit of help, but at the same time, not to the extent of having control of ourselves taken away. Our friend on the forum have mentioned some fine points. Please don't turn your back on benefits, whether they be of financial help or otherwise. As Dove mentions. Help is out there. Believe me, I am fighting hard to come to grips with the disease, but we must go on. Pleas PM me if you think we might have a chat. Chin up Trudi. We are all here to help. Mike.xx
07/08/2014 at 22:58

Trudi.  Sounds like you are quite down, and no wonder.  Just remember there will be many people wanting to help you, and by allowing them to do so, you will be helping them.  We all know how great it is to be asked to do something when someone is needing it.  Just don't get stressed and exhausted over it all.  Plants and gardens are resilient, they can wait!  Love to you.

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