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Green Therapy, August 5th

Jo Perry

August 5th
In the middle of June my 90 year old Mum went into a Nursing Home; a Home which specialises in care for people with Dementia. After being diagnosed in 2007 she had a gentle decline in health but deteriorated more rapidly in the last couple of years, resulting in her needing 24 hour care for many months now. Over the last few years the garden has become both a solace and a
therapy for me, even more so now.

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Just being out in the garden amongst trees and flowers, getting my hands dirty, picking a few vegetables for supper in snatched moments, has helped me through the ups and downs of the last few years. She is getting the best of care and I think she is as happy as she can be, and I know she is safe. So now my life has moved into another phase.

I am letting the dust settle and enjoying this amazing summer we are having. My garden looms large in my plans for the future, but things will have to change. I feel as though I have been on automatic pilot for the last few years and now, as I adjust to different priorities and a different timetable, I have an opportunity to refocus and make some long-term decisions for myself and the garden. The green therapy goes on.

On a more practical note, the garden has coped well with the drought and the roses and flowers in general have thrived in the heat. Salad crops have been a different story though, with lettuce being very difficult to germinate in the heat and then running to seed at the slightest excuse. We have had good crops of chard and beetroot but although the garden is full of pollinating insects, the runner beans seem slow to set pods. Early potatoes were scarce and would have greatly benefited from some rain. We are now trying to find space for winter brassicas that are outgrowing their holding bed, but overall the garden is looking good. As this wonderful summer goes on I am trying to make notes on what we could have done better if we had known how dry it would be, and one of the things I will try to improve over the winter is the humus content and condition of the soil. But for now, though I would appreciate the odd night of rainfall, I hope this glorious weather continues for the next few weeks. We have a house full of visitors until the middle of August.

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