Things I Shouldn’t Have Done in the Garden

I have always loved a long weekend when the weather is nice.  There are many things I can do in the garden without having to end early to accommodate work the next morning.  I had a plan for this past Memorial Day weekend, a long list of things that needed to be done in the garden.  Seedlings that needed to be put in, moving the solar fountain, dead-head spent flowers from the Azelias and turning the compost pile were just part of the list I needed to accomplish during these three days.

Then came Sunday May 30, I went out in the garden bright and early to take photographs of new blooms.  It was a breezy morning so I had to pause during takes and wait for the wind to stop.  Instead of wasting time standing by the tripod, I looked around for a new photogenic objects for my next shoot.  He showed up.  A mole.  This tiny dark grey fuzzy guy crawling up the grass slope with his little paws.  What on earth was a mole doing above ground during daylight…this thought came to mind when I ran toward the mole.  I guess he sensed the vibration because he wheeled and ran down the slope.  That prompted me to turn as well.  Bam! It became the Memorial Day weekend that I will remember for the rest of my life.

The culprit

My right foot slipped on the slope while my left foot tried a different direction and I fell on it.  I didn’t exactly see stars, more like a whole galaxy and simultaneously a sharp pain in my left ankle.  Still able to wriggle my toes, no blood, nothing protruding from the skin, but I couldn’t stand up.  Everytime I tried, the galaxy reappeared with enough pain and nausea to knock me out.  Now what?  I was home alone, my cellphone was in the house and I couldn’t walk. I crawled back to the patio door.

Orthopedic surgery to add a metal plate and seven screws to my ankle and a month later I’m still in a cast.  I look longingly out at the garden, upset with myself.  I should have known better.  Things I shouldn’t have done that morning: Running + crocs + a steep slope = toast. Well, that’s all fibula over the dam now.  Gardeners be warned: Crocs are great for working in the garden but avoid the 50 yard dash, and if you’re a nose tackle stick with cleats.

Incapacitating yourself in spring is not recommended for gardeners, unless you want to watch your garden turn into a jungle.  Here’s the outcome of my mishap:

– I will have a lot of daisies, calopsis and coneflower in the garden next year since I couldn’t cut the spent flowers. The American Goldfinches love them and will now spread the seeds all over the yard.  I love them too, but I love a cottage garden more than a prairie.

– My garden has turned into a wildlife sanctuary.  I couldn’t chase anything with one leg and crutches.  All the unwelcome guests, rabbits, deer, woodchucks, chipmunks, raccoons, squirrels…, enjoy the garden jungle  and the food that it provides.  The lovely song birds have to fend for themselves among thieves like Grackels, Starlings and House Sparrows.

Depression has been my companion for more than a month since I can only look at the garden but cannot do much of anything aside from watering the vegetables. This once happy punter gardener has turned into a grumpy one.

Then came July 2nd, a month to the day of my ankle surgery, a gutted mole was left on the lawn just a foot away from where I fell.  I guessing that the lack of bird seed, suet, and fresh water for a whole month drove the birds to contract a ‘hit’ on the mole.  I think the Bluejays ‘whacked’ him.   There wouldn’t be anything left if it were a hawk or crow and they needed a ‘stiff’ as an example.  As yucky as it looked, its presence and my imagination brought me right out of my depression.

Thank’s for the hit, kids.  I remain your grateful ‘consigliere.’