This week I have been focusing myself on my back garden. It has been an ongoing project for the last two years or so but late last year my family and I spent serious time improving it. We pretty much gave up our Christmas/New Year break to re-landscape it into a water-wise garden. Our area is having severe water shortages – there has been hardly any rain since we moved here almost three years ago – so we decided to remove our back lawn and put down gravel. Any rain will soak through the gravel and landscape fabric underneath it, plus it looks much nicer than the weedy dust bowl that was there before. The turf had long since gone when we moved in and when I realized I was watering a large expanse of weeds I stopped, they died off and our garden reverted to the desert it is. As I like to line dry my clothes it has been especially annoying as either our clothes have to be dried in the dryer (expensive) or we look like extras from Ice Cold in Alex. The gravel and laying out of new beds made a huge improvement but now it is warming up a bit it is time to plant!
I spent a couple of days raking leaves up from the gravel, filling up our green waste bin quickly, and digging the remnants of weed grass out of the first bed. A couple of days ago I decided to buy plants and had a happy hour choosing drought tolerant plants and arranging them in their pots where I wanted them to go. Sticking to my one hour max was hard but I managed it. But then yesterday – disaster. After popping out to buy mulch and some potting compost I overdid the final bit of digging and strained my back. So here I am, able to stand (for a while), and walk slowly but absolutely no bending at all. Argh! I was doing so well. I had continued with the yoga and dog walking and was feeling great. The dogs were happier too.
Now my old habit would be to give up everything until my back was better. No exercise at all, eating poorly and generally wallowing in self pity in my PJs. This time however, I have decided not to follow that pattern. Ok the yoga will have to wait, I will do some very gentle stretching in place until I can get back to it (could be a couple of weeks but I’m hoping sooner), walking the dogs is just not possible as the slightest pull forward sends my back into spasm, uneven ground is a killer too and as I look like a little hunched old lady I am a bit embarrassed, especially when crossing the road. Drivers can be so impatient! But there are some gardening tasks I can still do, I have some plants to put into containers if my 14 year old will be my substitute spine and lift them down when they’re done. I suspect he will as the parole board (me and my husband) met last week and granted him early conditional release from his grounding starting the week after next.
I have some stuff in the garden to freecycle so I can arrange that. I can also still cook. So I am spending the day (slowly but doggedly) filling up the freezer. I make all our bread. It’s a no knead recipe luckily as I tried kneading briefly and paid the price (which is why I am sitting down typing this now). I started doing it a couple of years ago and now hate having to buy it. My bread costs under $1 a loaf and tastes so much nicer than the stuff at the supermarket. I know what’s in it too. I usually make it fresh every couple of days but it freezes well and the way I see it, it will save me time next week. More time for rehabilitation.