Don't be fooled. Inside this thin coating of sweetness is a fiery core of total insanity.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Still Not Doing Much Actual Gardening

Given the eclectic selection of topics I've been posting about -- foliage, houseplants, storms, etc. -- it may be obvious that I'm still not doing any real gardening. I tried, about a week ago, to do some weeding in the front bed. But I gave up after an hour, when my leg and my back both started hurting. When I stood up, my left leg was all tingly and my foot had a numb spot on it. I was actually afraid my leg would buckle under me.

These are not good signs of spinal health. I love my garden, and I love my plants, but the garden is not worth the risk of maybe having a permanent limp.

I'm going to take a long, long. Long. Rest from it. I'll still take pictures and post on my blog. But planting anything and re-arranging the bed I had plans for are pretty much out of the question for a few months. I'm going to take a zen approach to the many plants that are still not in the ground. Whatever lives, lives.

Maybe I'll do some crafts. Some constructive staring. Also, more walking and less sitting. My back feels best when I'm on my feet for long periods of time, so maybe I'll become one of those mall walkers, and get more exercise. I can stand to lose more weight.

Last time I injured my back, it got better on its own. I'm hoping this will get better on its own too. It should, it's not even as bad as that time. (Please don't tell me to go to the doctor.)

But you know... it is hard to resist doing just a little something. Pulling a weed here and there. Taking a short 15 minutes to just cut back something ugly.

So, here's a long good-bye to the garden. Its Last Hurrah for 2013.

I made a half-hearted attempt to push this fallen branch back into my neighbor's yard, but no success. I'm going to let Nigel deal with it.

Same with this enormous fir bough hanging suspended above our fence

I had to take a picture of the cute lichens on this twig before tossing it into the yard waste.

This mum, which I'm pretty sure is 'Sheffield Pink,' was planted in the wrong spot, behind the taller Hydrangea and clumps of 'Golden Jubilee' Agastache -- just another "What was I thinking?" moment. (I stepped into the bed to get this picture.)

Too pretty at this time of year to keep hidden.
Here are a few more plants that are still flowering too.

The hummingbirds still come every day to this Fuchsia magellanica

Like me, Penstemon doesn't want to say good-bye.

Salvia 'Hot Lips'

The Brug that I bought this summer at Means Nursery in Portland is still flowering.

This annual Calendula 'Solar Flashback' is still flowering too, and I'm saving seeds from it to sow in my new beds in the front garden.
I'm still planning to take out a lot of grass and put new beds and a greenhouse in the front, maybe over the winter. But fortunately, I can hire someone else to do that.


  1. Can you get physical therapy without a doctor's order? I am a believer since I tried that after an injury. After fractured vertebrae another time, I had a doctor but no physical therapy. All I did was walk and eventually new bone laid down and I was as good as new even though he said I would never be the same. I didn't sit; I perched on a stool for computer and mostly otherwise stood or lay down. I still don't use a shovel much; a post hole digger is straight up and down work, no twisting.

    Cute lichens? You threw them away? I have an ice cream container into which I am putting 2" twigs with lichens and I'm also saving all that wonderful grey stuff on longer pieces. I have a Pinned photo with 2" bits, I never thought of making them short and putting them around something else or in a wire container.

  2. Well hell! At least it's a good time of the year for taking it easy, right? I mean if it were spring it would be so much harder, at least for me. I don't know if I see you being a mall walker it Watson's that has that big covered area? I can see you becoming the Watson's walker...

  3. Plenty to see and post about without doing any actual work. Here's hoping you will be all better by the time Spring rolls around.

  4. Sorry to hear you're still not feeling great but you can utilise winter to not do much and recover as much as you can. Hopefully by spring you'll be fine. The garden can wait for now, the gardener is the priority :)

  5. Winter is on the door, so no problem to keep a rest from gardening. When spring is there again you will be recovered we hope. Your 'Sheffield Pink' s chrysanthemum is of an outstanding beauty with this special colour.

  6. I'm hoping to help Tom finish up the fall clean up this month - raking the lawn, edging, and picking up debris. i have an appointment with a neurosurgeon in early December. It looks like I'm due for some kind of back surgery in January. If I had to pick a time to be laid up, that would be it!

  7. Gardening activities can take their toll under the best of circumstances. Given your weather conditions, it certainly seems a good time to give your back a rest. You can always read some great new garden books, draw up future planting plans, start a PinInterest board of new ideas - frankly, the notion of a hiatus from gardening appeals to me!

  8. Do as I do...Let the worms do all the work ! And leave the rest to the birds .

  9. You might have to turn into a permaculture gardener! Do take care of your back - I think walking really strengthens - also pilates, but I find that very hard :) Your garden is lovely - I love those fuschia.

  10. Six more weeks...or less...and I will be on staycation and resting, as well. I have sort of vaguely resolved not to do any big at home garden project in winter weather. Another part of me want to tear salmonberries out of the bogsy wood. I remind myself that a winter of rest would probably be healing.
    I hope your back feels better....A chiropractor really helped me once upon a time.

  11. Alison, you know I'd be the last one to tell you to see a doctor, lol. I had the best time reading all the posts I've missed. I'm sorry to hear your back is bothering you. Do you remember when I fell down that staircase two years ago? The only thing I could do is walk, since I certainly couldn't sit on my bruised behinder. The walking was wonderfully therapeutic. Maybe Ms. Sansone would be helpful?

    I'm just amazed at all the plants you are wintering over, you have a lot of ambition. I have nine geraniums in the garage and since the nights have been down in the 20's already, I'm surprised they're still hanging on. I love the critters you brought in on your plants, they are really unique. That must have been quite a wind storm you had. Scary, I'm glad you didn't have any structural damage.

    I went back to work in the garden this week planting those 729,332 daffodil bulbs and boy, was I stiff again this morning! Since the thyroid woes, I'd slacked off on stretching and getting down in the dirt. Luckily winter is almost here, lol, so I can take it easy again.

    And those leaves you brought in, oh, they are gorgeous! Will the color hold after they dry? They are simply beautiful.

    Take care, Alison, I'm thinking of you and wishing you a speedy recovery!

  12. It's miserable to contemplate what you want to do without being able to do it, Alison, but it could be so much worse. At least it's late autumn, and the garden can manage without watering or digging. Maybe you can take long walks around your neighborhood and post about your neighbor's gardens for a few months. Here's to a steady and long-term recovery. You are so sensible not to push it!

  13. You definitely want to take care of your back. Don't know how it is in the PNW, but here it is a good time to take a break from gardening - there isn't that much to do anyway. Maybe by spring you will be back to your regular self.

  14. I don't go to the Dr but the acupuncturist and massage therapist who have helped my back and other have to do what feels best for you! Your garden will look after itself and you can hire someone. With injuries, illness and my work schedule, I have had lots of help but my garden has been left on its own more and more. Walk in your garden and heal. Feel better.

  15. Nothing wrong at all with taking a physical and mental break from the garden. It will give you a fresh perspective. Take care and heal up.

  16. Alison, I know how frustrating this is and am sorry that it's happened. The garden will still be there when you're ready! I wouldn't recommend going back to the Dr. because they'll just give you medication. Have you considered going to a chiropractor? I can recommend a really good one who helped Tom immensely with his back issues and did wonders for me when I injured my back.

  17. Oh man, I'm so sorry about your bad back--that is the most disruptive injury and it affects everything you do. :(


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