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First! I know its a bit early to be posting on here but i really wanted to talk about something Verdun mentioned yesterday.
It is no great secret that the reason I retired early was after a long battle against depression which after several years I lost. It is my belief that gardening was the main reason that I repaired my life and that this may be applicable to many sufferers.
I think that there are several reasons for its beneficial effects: firstly the exercise and fresh air, then there seems to be some sort of reconnection to a more primitive way of life which seems to be good for us. Also seeing new life whenever we grow things from scratch seems to produce an effect a bit like the bringing of new human life.
Also I think that when depressed so much in life seems to give you negative feedback but, the garden always seemed to be telling me that I was good at something.
Sorry to be so serious but, talking about it is a great help to me.
I find gardening is a great stress reliever. If I am really wound up, I go out with a pair of loppers or secateurs. If I'm just musing, I might do some light weeding. Just watching all the wildlife, going about its everyday business is a reconnection with life.
I hope you are better now punkdoc. The other thing that might help is a dog.
I don't have one of my own, because when we are both working it would be on its own for too long. However we do borrow neighbours dogs and take them for long walks, down by the canal or river. You don't need a gym after walking cassie the great dane. Its a full body workout. A dog that is so pleased to see you when you rattle the dog lead can't help but make you smile.
what a coincidence, I have a great dane called Cassie
Puncdoc, your story is identical to that of my ex/ex next door neighbour. The garden had been neglected for years as prior owners never touched it. Totally overgrown with brambles - nothing growing.
I'll call neighbour by his name. Graham started very slowly, just going in the garden first of all to sit then very gradually, started cleared it. Found a motorbike buried at the back. Borders appeared, followed by flower beds, grass became lawn. He used to shout at his wife is she trod on the edges. During the better weather, I used to hear him out there at 5 in the morning. He built a small gazebo which he named 'Marie's Folly'. Eventually, he had the most beautiful garden much admired by all. Started taking an interest in the birds also. In time, he was able to return to work, but the garden was his first port of call.
I find great serenity when I am in the garden. It's as if I slip into another world.
I think I will have to give myself a detention for posting so early.
Punkdoc...depression is never far from me .....great credit to you to open up. I have family that mostly does not talk having lost the one that did. My niece though fills that role, same level as me ( without the depression which maybe I have always had but thought it anchored in events) and same empathy efc. I found something...not solace...in being a samaritan, working with the CAB, Victim Support and others. Gardening started as a chore but developed as passion....a passion that sometimes desserts me. I find humour covers a lot though. As you say negativity is the controlling factor.
Currently been trying to resolve issues with someone but as we are both stubborn, volatile,people those issues are worse than ever.
Fidget, having a dog is a help too.
my experiences however do not deny me feelings of empathy, sympathy or of wanting to help so it's not all bad I guess
Hey, another agastache has opened
I think gardening and talking about it help many of us on here. Nearly 15 years ago my husband died (some of you may know already) leaving me with 3 children at university and 1 at school, I was 47. We were living here in France. I was like a zombie the first year and for 2 or 3 years I neglected the garden. Then I became interested again. One thing that helped as well was my mad horse, Hannah, who I don't ride any more because I don't want to die anymore! She's lovely and affectionate but terrified riding out.
I never really wanted to live in France, I love England and all my friends and family were there, but I've grown to love France too. I'm very lucky, I met a lovely man 3 years ago and I have a lovely house and garden, but I'm still homesick for England, which is why we go there on holiday, also we visit friends and family of course.
Anyway, it's good to write to people who like gardens too and to exchange views. The French aren't quite the same and the language, although I'm fairly fluent does make a barrier. So thank you everyone for being there.
Punkdoc, having worked with people with dementia and their families for a lot of years, I retired early, wasn't the best job for me as many kept telling me. I had my own depression battle and became a sponge for other people's upset and pain. I've always found solace in my garden. Now I make my own stress, haven't done this, forgotten to do that, but plants are forgiving.
Like Verdun I find humour lifts me, sometimes I think ( too much thinking not good) that people believe I'm always bubbly and up beat. I'm getting there.
BusyL soz about back, must be very frustrating as well as painful, I know we're dropping like flies, so hope all who are not good get well soon.
I came on here to report a theft!!! 3 almost ripe strawberries, ready to pick tonight, they were there at 10am and gone at 2pm. They were in a planter outside GH. The remaining bits have been left there and the planter moved, whoever eats them gets the blame. Hubby currently has the job of watching for suspects. I didn't watch Morse for nothing.
Have a good " Evening all" Oh! that was Dixon of Dock Green wasn't it ?
Well I could blame the missing raspberries on the birds, but.......
My wife died last year and we had always shared all the gardening, for at least as long as she could manage it. She said she would see the garden through my eyes which is my motivation... "she's still here, holding hands"
Muddyfork, you don't have one called Harley as well do you?
Both are golden colour
BusyL, I see you in a different light now. You deserve what you have now and credit for getting through those tough times.
KEF wasn't me who are those great big luscious looking strawberries there next to that,nice plant. ,and it wasn't 3 ...oh yes, but it wasn't me!
Hey, good , evening FORKERS. Beautifully hot, sunny day today and still is
Evening. I came on here to tell everyone how excited I was about seeing a hedgehog ten minutes ago snuffling around the pots below the feeder and how he let me come very close to him and take photos.... but I find myself reading these posts from earlier this afternoon. I lost my Mum for years to depression until she got help. I suffer from it too and like punkdoc and Tina and Verd, BL and Kef, the garden is my salvation, which is why it's been hard to deal with the recent issues I've had since moving to this house. The garden means so much to me and it's vital that I can use it and feel happy in it.
We're a good little family here and we can support each other - whatever problems we might have. Times like those are when the internet can do some good.
Love to you all.x
Nice post Fairygirl. Didnt need the magic to get my best wishes. So you won't turn me into a frog now then ?
Only if you stop stealing strawberries you naughty monkey..
And here's my litle visitor...need Dove to advise me on food for him/her! Wonder if I've disturbed his little world round the shed with all the 'fencing activity'.
After reading Woody's post earlier, I just couldn't follow that. I hope I have a little understanding on how he feels from how my Dad felt about his home and garden when we lost my Mum.
I have to agree with you FG. I'm always moaning about something, but feel I can. I hope everyone else feels like that too.
Just been watching Paul O'Grady. Do enjoy that prog. It has been followed by something called 'Happy Families'. I want to know why parents allow their children to be soooooo rude to them. If any of mine spoke to me in that way, i would have their guts for garters. Still not too big to put over my knee.
Must try and do something tomorrow. Has been really nice having my son home all day as he's been on late shifts, but I don't seem to get anything done. Being a doting Mummy, I've cooked his breakfast and then make him a meal before he goes to work. Well, he has done an excellent job of the porch and several other jobs, so that's a fair exchange.
Kef, I saw Verdun earlier and he had a red stain round his mouth and was clutching a pot of Cornish Cream. Not telling tales but...............
Very quiet tonight isn't it.
What a lovely little visitor, Fairygirl, a nice surprise.
I will be having my son here soon as he will be having his knee operated on soon and his wife will be at work. Luckily they don't live too far away. He will need taking to physiotherapy.
As I fell asleep very early last night I've only just read these. Brought a tear to my eye.
I have been off work for five months suffering from depression. The problem goes back 30 odd years( hard as I'm only 27). Suffering for a few months , then being 'cured' enough to resume normal living.
I have found both gardening and being part of this lovely family as Fairy so nicely called it, has helped me enormously
Sorry, I know it's the wrong time of day, but this needs to be done before I go to work ((hugs)) for all our Gardening Family here, for all our cares, worries and troubles and for all the fun and friendship we share - you're all complete stars, a vital part of our lives, and don't ever ever forget it ((more hugs))
And as for feeding hedgehogs FG - I buy special hedgehog biscuits from the GC, there are several different brands, all of which seem acceptable. To these I add peanuts which I've chopped in the food processor (the same sort as I get for the birds) some dried mealworms and a few broken up dried banana chips and some sultanas or raisins (not too many, they're a bit sugary, think of their teeth). I put these out in little terracotta plant saucers in the early evening, and a small china straight-sided 'cat dish' with fresh rainwater in it. This is nearly empty most mornings.
Try to put them where they won't get too wet if it rains - they seem to prefer it crunchy. They don't need a lot - don't want to spoil their appetites for all the vine weevils and slugs etc they're going to eat for us.
We've got a bought hedgehog house and made another and both were occupied over the winter.
Oh, and make sure they can get in and out of your garden - we have a little archway cut in the bottom of our back fence - hedgehogs actuallyneed to roam quite a long way each night, and although basically loners, they do need to be able to meet up with each other occasionally
Lots of info here http://www.hedgehogstreet.org/
Posting at entirely the wrong time, because I did not get the chance yeterday. I, too, have read these posts and been moved by them. After a somewhat abusive childhood, | have had my own struggles with depression and facing and dealing with the realities of life, so I feel the pain of other contributors to the thread. Being in touch with living, growing things in the garden is a very healing thing.
I echo what has been said about dogs, too. When a series of disasters happened to me - my son's illness, my brain tumour, financial reverses, my grandkids moved away and finances and friendships were undermined, cuddling my dogs and laughing at their antics was a life-saver. However, I can get a better walk if I leave them behind - they keep wanting to stop and sniff, mark and bark at cats!