Thursday, 24 June 2010
Uncovering the Garden
I received my Aircast scarcely a week after I slipped while feeding weeds to the neighbor's sheep and broke both bones in my right ankle. Relieved to be out of the splint I asked Dr. Moore if once I was allowed out with walker or crutches I could garden. I promised to put a plastic bag over the boot. He looked at me as if it was quite clear I was out of my mind and merely said, "No." Fair enough, but the weeds won't take a holiday. Summertime, frequent rain (at least back then we were getting a delightful inch of rain each week) and the weeds were revelling in it. And then when I was at last cleared for weight-bearing as tolerated while wearing said Aircast I didn't bother to ask. I sallied forth and gardened!
There are advantages for a gardener with an Aircast in comparison to a plaster cast.
It's lighter, it is removable, and that makes it easier to clean dirt and stuff off plastic.
The difficulty is in schlepping tools around. I also fatigue fairly soon.
But there is a way around both issues. A quick on-line search turned up
a seat. Black plastic, slightly dished for comfort, it just snaps onto a 5-gallon
bucket. Even better, Fiskars has a very nice multi-pocket tool caddy that
fits said bucket. I loaded it up with various hand tools and ventured forth
to do battle, I mean, to weed. Being careful of cultivator when sitting.
There's a garden around here somewhere, I know there is. Really. But if you have to pull weeds, and
well developed weeds at that, go for jewelweed, Impatiens capensis every time. And that's because
even big ones, tall as me or maybe even larger, pull out quite easily.
And sturdy perennials such as these hosta are quickly revealed.
They try, these disguised perennials, to make their presence known, sending up a spike of lilac flowers
that bees just might make a visit. A little weeding and they're much more obvious - at least to me.
It feels so good to be out and about in the garden, to see what's survived without my attentions.
Quite a lot, actually. Including the weeds. Now, if I can head them off before they go to seed.
Remember the old saying, "One year's seeding, seven years weeding." I'll accept that as fact,
no need for a controlled experiment. Weeds will always be with us, without such encouragement.
At least now they again have me to deal with, the Gardener at BelleWood Gardens. Yes!
UPDATE: It is just 7 weeks since I broke two bones in my right ankle. At my third doctor visit, on June 25th, Dr. More releases me from the Aircast. I'm healing more quickly than expected. Weight bearing now permitted as tolerated without the boot. As he starts to leave the room I quickly ask about walking on uneven surfaces, such as a slope. No problem on pavement, apparently. Then I point out that I'm a gardener.
"Fit her with an ankle brace." he tells his physician's assistant, and heads out the door to the next patient.
Yes! The fabric brace slips over my foot and up over the ankle. It has two pockets that each contain a metal piece. One over the medial malleolus and the other over the lateral malleolus - the bony lumpy bits of an ankle. Velcro straps hold the brace nice and snug around my ankle. Safe and secure I'm out in the garden. Covered by my blue jeans the device even doesn't get as dirty as did the Aircast. Happy, happy gardener.
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