Saturday, April 21, 2012

Adventures In Gardening: Coming Clean

From coastal NJ Zone 7b

I was startled by the humid air which greeted me this morning when I walked into the back yard for a quick garden walk. Our humidity levels have been unusually low since the Autumn and I can't say that I've missed the humidity for the most part.  Aside from that, a refreshing on-shore breeze moves the sweetly scented air tinkling the wind chimes and the sun is shining.  Very much the typical "calm before the storm" kind of day.  Tomorrow, rain arrives.  As much as 3 inches through Monday morning.  We're 8 inches below normal precipitation levels here in NJ for this time of year.  This will at least make a dent in our drought and reduce the State-wide fire threat.

As you can see above, the Rosa 'Radrazz' Knock Outs and Azalea's are blooming!  The sun is now resting on some Pansy's and past bloom Muscari (Muscari armeniacum & Muscari armeniacum 'Blue Spike' aka Grape Hyacinth).  It was looking at those same Muscari when they first re-bloomed a few weeks ago that gave me the idea for this post.

In July, 2010, I nearly kicked the proverbial bucket because of a bacterial infection.  The infection and fever from it put my left kidney in jeopardy, affected my heart and damaged areas of my long & short term memory.  The anesthesia from my follow-up kidney surgery 3 months later also affected my memory (as well as my sense of taste & smell).  Along with the extensive physical & emotional recovery, it has been a lengthy process of regaining memories, re-learning in general and finding ways to cope with my lack of short term memory.  (When you see me talk about my "memory issues" this is what I'm referring to!)

How much this has affected me gardening wise has become more apparent over time but it wasn't until I recently looked at those Muscari and had no idea how or when they got there that I realized the full extent.  That moment was as deeply unsettling to me as the day I couldn't recall where my Nana was born in Ireland (or when I got us lost going to my Aunt's home last Sunday).  The more I realize how much information/knowledge I can't bring to mind like I used to, the more I feel like an imposter in the gardening world!

I find myself referring to my blog, old notebooks & textbooks often and not always finding what I'm looking for because the clue remains just out of reach.  I see trees, flowers & shrubs that look So familiar but I just can't bring their names to mind.  In some ways I feel like a beginner all over again!  It's altogether discouraging, disheartening, overwhelming & maddening, to say the least.

But, I won't give up!  Because there are some things I haven't forgotten:  The healing powers of my hands in the soil and how much I love my garden.

How does memory affect you when it comes to gardening? Please share with me in the comments below.

Until next time...
NJ Zones 7b & 6a
Diggin’ Around

New Jersey Through My Eyes


Susan Hemann said...

I'm sorry to hear you are having trouble with your memory in the garden. It happens to me. I have never been great with names, but when someone asks what is that plant and the name simple will not come out of my mouth, I feel like a fool. I have to constantly go through my garden and name each plant so I won't forget. I am not sure if it's my meds or one of a several chronic illnesses. My heart goes out to you Jo.

Jo said...

Likewise Susan! I appreciate your sharing with me here. (((hugs)))