The love of gardening came into my life before the age of nine. By the time I did turn nine, I was already growing and selling my produce to our neighbors. Living in the Hawaiian Islands found me in a wonderful climate for growing things. Being in a “melting pot” of many nationalities, my Chinese cabbages sold like crazy!
Back then twenty five cents for each cabbage sold was big bucks for a nine year old girl! My new life has brought me to a new locale in the deep south, the beautiful bayou land of Louisiana. As far as I know I’ll be here till it’s time to be “kicking up the daisies.” No matter where you choose to call home, a garden can always be included, even in urban environments.
My love for gardening is the major reason for my doing so all these years, however, there is another very explicit reason for my being so adamant in continuance of gardening. Along life’s course for me, there have been many injuries sustained from riding fractious and non-fractious horses, surfing, and one very life altering automobile accident. (The way I was treated by doctors for a good many years was horrible since there were no MRI or CT scanners until 1987 or 1989, and for a really long time, I was just not believed. This was very, very hard for an honest person to endure.)
To date I’ve sustained some injury to every level of my spine. After 4 disc fusion surgeries, the fat lady is still not singing! Daily pain of high magnitude accompanies me just like it is my very best friend, or maybe a darn tick stuck on my body, or maybe worse, a chigger that gets under the skin! I sure have learned my southern!
But without the solace gardening brings, my life would be very empty and depressing indeed. No matter how bad things get, I can still go outside and do some small things.
Having fenced in gardens and raised beds are a big help.
Prior to the surgeries, my neighbors here have seen this nut case walking around with a cane, and when I couldn’t bend to do that kind of work, they’d see me on all fours crawling to where I needed to be in the garden. Now,they probably only recognize me by my hind end, rather than knowing me by my face! That’s all right though, it’ll take more than the surgeon’s knife to keep me from my garden.
So, with this said, it is mainly the love for the outdoors and what I can grow, is what keeps my frame of mind where it needs to be. I heartily encourage all those with disabilities to go out into the great outdoors and try to care for something belonging to nature, even if it is only one small flower or plant sitting on some fake grass. Without this, I honestly don’t think I could exist.
To hear the birds singing and chirping, setting out food for them, along with feeding the squirrels, rabbits, raccoons, possums and all that come here, makes for a peaceful setting, especially when these little creatures come to trust you. It is a graceful and fulfilling “chore”.
To see a gorgeous flower open up and give of its beauty is worth the pain that’s caused by getting down on your knees to plant it the year before. I am extremely grateful I can still walk!
The old adage that says, “One who plants a garden, plants happiness”, couldn’t be truer for me. No matter where life takes you, the wonder and solace of your very own beautiful garden is an elixir in itself. Add to this elixir, love and nurturing… and you will be blessed more than you could ever imagine. Plant a garden for love, therapy, and for happiness, and also remember to ”bloom where you are planted!”