Monday, July 26, 2010

Gardening: The Good, The Bad, and The Pain

Gardening is something I enjoy.  I even like to pull up weeds!  I know, there's something wrong with me, I'd have to be really sick to like weeding.  For most, weeding is their least favorite thing to do in the garden.  I think that's why weed killing chemicals are so popular.

I'm different, though.  I like to kneel, bend, and pull out those suckers by hand.  In fact, I enjoy it so much that I go over to relatives' houses (yes that's plural) to weed.

My Grandmother and Mother In-Law have small gardens and they are quite easy to maintain, a great plus for me and my Fibro.  But even if you have a large garden or landscape, you can still weed without killing your lungs with chemicals or your body with Fibro pain.

In today's day and age, society landscapes their property and this can cause a bit of stress for the meticulously inclined person because weeds will take up residence in an open landscape.





If Monk had a garden he'd probably go crazy trying to pull out every little corn flower and buttercup that graced its presence on his lawn.  Weeds grow because the wind and animals carry their seeds.  A lot of plants that we consider a weed today, were actually utilized by our ancestors.  Dandelions, for instance, were used in soups and as an herb for a bath.

Property was also used differently because people didn't have the luxury of going to a store to buy produce.  Their gardens looked more like a farm than anything else and those properties had very little weed growth.  Why?  Because there wasn't much room for them because produce can take up a lot of land.

Does this mean that you have to become Farmer Jane in order to have some weeding relief?  No, it certainly doesn't.  Some weeds are easy because they show up on the lawn and can be mowed.  Others will show up in the cracks and crevices of the sidewalk which can either be pulled every couple of weeks or dug up with a trowel.

Taking your garden on in sections also helps along with frequent rest periods.  You don't have to clean it all up at once, Rome wasn't built in a day and neither was your garden.  You can start with the front of your house and then leave the sides and the back for another day.  Taking frequent rest periods is also a must.  I only work for an hour at a time, but I still take a short rest in that short time.

Another thing that I also do is garden in the early evening.  I find that around 5 or 6 o'clock in the evening is the best time for me because it's still early enough where the exercise won't disturb my sleep and late enough where I won't get bothered by many bees.

I'm rather terrified of bees.  Hornets, wasps, and the like are the worst.  I've learned to like honey bees because they aren't bad.  They only sting once and if they only do it if they need to.  Hornets and wasps are all together different and they terrify me.  Sometimes just looking at them can gives me nightmares... Wait that's with all bugs LOL!

Okay, maybe it's more so bees and hissing roaches, yeah, don't like those either, especially after watching The Mummy.  All kidding aside, my fear has something to do with my Mom being attacked by a hive when I was little.  I'll always remember her running into the house with the bees swarming around her and yelling "Run to Grandma's!"  I froze for a second and then ran upstairs into the bathroom.  My brother, having a little more sense than me said, "We have to get out of here because the bees could crawl through the crack in the door."  He was only 3 at the time and a lot more wise than me at 4.  He darted out of the bathroom first and then I reluctantly followed in fear.  Everyone was fine, even my Mom, though sore from the ordeal.

The fear has taught me to pick my battles, however, and I choose to be a night time gardener because of it.  But the thing you can learn from me is to find the right time for you to garden. Pain is just as much of a factor as fear is.

Of course, I could totally give into my fear and do indoor gardening instead.  It's another past time of mine and has a lot of perks.  The air quality is better in my home, I can garden sitting down if I so choose, and there's less of a mess because the plants are in pots.  Three big pluses for Fibro sufferers.

No matter what you choose, I hope you give gardening a try.  It's good for the heart, the soul, and even your pain.  Okay, well not the pain of weeds, but your Fibro pain.  Gardening is great exercise and can give you just as much of a workout as a treadmill or weights, maybe even more.


Stay Fabulous!
Love and friendship,

Kimberley

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