I was looking for a word to describe how I have been feeling about gardening, for at least 6 months. The word doldrums sprang to mind. Like those sailors in The Rime of the Ancient Mariner I was stuck waiting for a breath of wind to push my becalmed ship out to a place where I could catch the trade winds and send me on my way.
My lack of enthusiasm for the garden had slow beginnings, long before our 7,500 mile summer road trip to the Maritimes of Canada. I normally take gardening books and magazines to keep me busy during those days on the road, snipping out ideas from the magazines and dreaming about the garden back home. But strangely, I found myself barely thinking about the garden and I hadn't even packed the usual years gardening magazines.
On our return I got busy cutting back the overgrowth of 6 weeks away. But as the weeks went by I found myself having increasing difficulty bending, lifting and carrying. All those things that I had done so easily for all my gardening years. Physical problems had been bugging me for nearly 2 years. I'd had physical therapy, thinking the problem was muscular, I'd researched, added all kinds of exercises thinking that this time I had the answer. I saw an orthopedic specialist who told be "hip surgery" I didn't want to believe him. So much so that we continued with our planned trip to Galapagos and Machu Picchu in January. This is probably one of the most physically exacting trips we have ever taken and made me realize the time had come. Luckily I had made an appointment for a second opinion with an orthopedic surgeon for shortly after our return. X rays showed worn hip joints and huge bone spurs. Only one thing was going to put things to right and that was a total hip replacement. There and then I decided, and asked 'How quickly can you do this. I have two garden tours this April?' and so less than two weeks later he fitted me into his schedule and Friday I walked out of the hospital with a new right hip. And I really mean walked out. I don't need a wheelchair.
On the return from the hospital, pulling into the driveway I was greeted by the rosemary bushes in full flower. I don't think we have had a year when they looked so magnificent. I sent David out with camera to take a photo and also one of the clump of narcissi blooming in the English garden. I can glimpse through the windows that spring is on the way.
Things will be running a little late this year as I have been told to stay away from all those nasty garden spores until my wounds have healed. I will have to send David out to buy tomato plants and he will have to pot them up into larger containers. Then there are the old broccoli plants to pull out before the harlequin bugs go to town, and check the alyssum for harlequins ( they love the brassicas and alyssum is one) There are the seedlings of brachyscome I started and now require potting up. Pretty soon I will be able to do all the things I always did out there, bending, lifting, raking. I feel a breath of wind blowing in my sails. I am starting to think about all the things I want to do out there.
When I think I could have had this surgery done over a year ago and saved myself a lot of pain. I am now like all the other people who say, "I wish I had done it sooner"