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Latest posts by punkdoc

gardening and mental health

Posted: 19/03/2014 at 20:22

Verdun, one of the things that CBT has taught me is, too not spend time looking inwards, procrastinating, as this tends to cause a downward spiral; bad thoughts lead to more bad thoughts etc.

The idea is that we all do it, but depressed people tend to do it more and that therefore you should only allow yourself a fixed time period in a day when procrastination is allowed.

It might seem daft, but it is possible, with practice to limit this dangerous time. Now if I am aware I have been doing it for too long I, make a conscious effort to go and do something, even if it is just a walk around the garden, this will then trigger constructive thought. 


Posted: 19/03/2014 at 16:22

Hi all, had a lovely day in the garden, in fairly warm weather. Nice when weeding to see shoots of plants starting to re-emerge. You know they will, but until they actually do, you always feel they might not. [ if that makes any sense ]

In the greenhouse, I was particularly pleased to see shoots of Lychnis arkwrightii Vesuvius appearing. I sowed the seed in the summer, as although they are perennial, they are very shortlived. They are lovely plants with very dark foliage and, vivid orange flowers, they fit beautifully in my hot bed, with Cannas, dahlias, Rudbeckias, Calendula, Atriplex and other hot coloured flowers.

My tree lupin seeds are growing nicely, hoping to get first year flowers, if I am lucky.

Right off to check the budget, to see if I am any better off.

Identify attached plant

Posted: 19/03/2014 at 16:03

I dont know what it is ,but it is not a Sempervivum as their rosettes are evergreen.

Music in the Garden

Posted: 19/03/2014 at 09:14

I have a playlist on the iPod which I play on the odd occasions I manage to drag myself down the gym. I do find it much easier to cope with the boredom if I play fast lod music.

Today I feel like some real head banging music whilst working in the greenhouse, so I think I shall play some Led Zeppelin.

gardening and mental health

Posted: 19/03/2014 at 09:08

Hi, I have discussed my mental health issues on this site before. These are longstanding and eventually forced me to retire early from my job as a doctor.

Unfortunately I still take a shed load of pills, but the thing that my psychiatrist and therapists agree has made the most difference to me is gardening.

I think there are many reasons why it helps: exercise, a well known mood improver, fresh air and sunshine likewise, a connection with the soil, which is something that for thousands of years during our evolution has been important and, which has started to disappear. Finally an perhaps most importantly, seeing new life emerge and, being able to cope with, and even embrace death, seem to be hugely important.

With the encouragement of my therapist, I have been trying to write a book on how gardening may have a beneficial effect on mental illness. The provisional title of which is, Of Dahlias and Depression. Sadly I am finding it rather difficult to write. However writing it is proving therapeutic in its own right.


Posted: 18/03/2014 at 17:40

Oooh, Yorkshire puds, Yes please KEF, although not sure they will go with chicken and lentil soup that I am cooking. Glad your back is getting better.

Garden Gallery 2014

Posted: 18/03/2014 at 17:35

Love cowslips, I have some which have a red rim all around the top of the flower. They wont flower till May time though.


Posted: 18/03/2014 at 16:53

Very wet, cold and windy here today. Have been reading the Well Tempered Garden by C. Lloyd which I ordered from Amazon last week. I really love his writing.


Posted: 18/03/2014 at 16:45

Perennial bulbs. Sun or part shade. In my experience very sensitive to slugs and snails.

When and what to feed?

Posted: 18/03/2014 at 13:11

The most important thing is to feed the soil and not the plant. This means adding organic matter to the soil every year.

In Spring I apply fertiliser FBB or Growmore to the soil. In midsummer I try to feed with a high potash fertiliser to encourage flowering.

This advice is just a generalisation, as some plants need more food than others.

As for roses I just feed them like other plants, firstly in March and then in July. Many people would use specific rose feed, as it contains trace elements that roses are said to need. Either granular or liquid is fine.

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