A tactile pastime

Last week I started to tell you about my garden. I thought I’d say a little more in this week’s post about the challenges and joys that it brings.

Visual impairment is no bar to gardening and there has been a Blind Gardeners’ Association for years. It is a tactile pastime. You dig a hole, you carefully insert a plant, and then you gently pat the earth round it again. After that you tend and water it.

In practice, when it comes to gardening, my arthritis has proved more of a problem than my lack of sight. I love planting, but a few hours of kneeling by the border digging holes leaves me in a debilitated state and I have to rely on my versatile PA to act as chief gardener in my stead.

Watering took some figuring out, too. I am not able to carry a watering can full of water so my brother attached a hose to the outside tap and I now walk round the garden, unravelling the hose as I go. Once I get to a certain point I have to retrace my steps and start again from the tap in the opposite direction, as the hose doesn’t quite go all the way round the garden.

I have a table and chairs, too (purchased at a garden centre, of course), and the hose has  a tendency to get caught up on these. I have to walk back, try to locate where the hold-up is and free the hose. Then I return to where I was before. Each time this happens, my unhooking operation is accompanied by much dark muttering and unladylike language on my part.

Despite all this, I love watering my garden and, as I go, smelling the scents of the earth and all my wonderful plants. I especially love warm summer evenings when the air is filled with the scent of jasmine, lavender, geranium and my Munstead Wood rose from David Austin Roses.

At times like that, I forget all the aches and pains, and the problems unsnagging the hose. My garden just seems “heaven scent.”