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Fairy Wren Cottage blog is a journal of sorts about seasonal living & stopping to see the beauty in our day.
Your time is precious, it's the greatest gift we can give ourselves & it's humbling that you would  take time out of your day to visit.

hello & welcome!

Jude 

Anzac Peaches.

Illness, injury, life changing circumstances, ageing.

It can be difficult to still do things after something in your life changes can’t it ?!

For me at times since my accident it has been heartbreaking and especially in those early days I became very depressed trying to hold on to being able to do everything like I used to but deep down knowing I just physically couldn’t.

Dainty Bess Rose.

Before my accident I identified so much of who I was because of what I could do.  If I couldn’t be a farmer (my life long dream) at least I could tend a large garden, a kitchen garden and small fruit tree orchards, keep heritage breed poultry and grow all of our fruit and vegetables, mow the lawns, do all the pruning and  garden maintenance. From the garden produce I cooked from scratch, made chutney, jam, sauce, pickles and preserves,  storing our harvest for the colder months when the garden wasn’t as bountiful.

Cocozelle zucchini’s. A heritage variety grown from seed. They hold their shape well & aren’t watery! Good for pickles.

Lots of adjustments have been made in the garden for me to be more independent since my accident. Holding a large rake, shovel or garden fork is near impossible because of the scarring on my injured hand, it is too painful using a lawnmower or pushing a wheelbarrow. Every eight months or so I try again without good results and realise again and again, focus on what I can do.

Huonville Crab, a heritage variety once believed to have been lost. What a treasure to have growing in our Back Orchard.

Like everything around here doing a little bit and often wins every time.  Just even knowing that I am working on something makes me feel independent and alive, that I am contributing to our household and the wellbeing of my family in what ever way I can.

I know everything has changed for me since my accident, I have come to terms with that and letting go of the life I had has been freeing,

Picking flowers from the garden is one of my biggest joys, I knew I couldn’t give it up so planted larger flowering plants, trees & bushes that take less maintenance.

Focusing on what I can do, not what I can’t do has been game changing, you will hear me say it a lot because in my heart I truely believe it has stopped me from going to a very dark depressing place.

Focusing on what I can do has motivated me to look for solutions, be inventive, keep trying to work out how to do something that I really enjoy.

Young berries, require little maintenance with big harvests. They make great jam.

So here are 10 things that I have learnt:

1. Look for equipment or tools that you can actually use, instead of putting up with something that is uncomfortable or worse still you stop doing an activity that you love because you don’t have the right equipment. eg. I am limited to how long and how much I can use secateurs but finding a light weight pair means I can snip the odd twig or flower.

2.Mulch heavily once a year instead of fighting a never ending battle with weeds.

3.Add more bird baths and shallow water dishes for bees & insects , the wildlife will follow.

4. Plant big, think shrubs and small trees instead of fiddly flower annuals and having to weed around them.  eg. plant hydrangeas & mulch well.

5. Raised garden beds are easy to manage. Much easier than maintaining garden edges.

6. Actually plant & tend what you like not what you feel you have to put up with.

7. It is ok to let your lawn go to flower (the bees will love you for it) and not mow the lawn as much.

8. Get tough with your plants, if it is high maintenance move it on.

9. Grow what you use a lot of or what you can’t buy in the shops.  Think herbs, berries, favourite fruit.

10. Spending 10 minutes a day in the garden, just walking around or sitting quietly before jobs & school starts makes the world of difference. Holding space for yourself, somewhere that you love to be.

Happy Gardening,

Jude x

 

10 things to make gardening easier.

January 7, 2019

  1. Ingrid Marsden

    January 9th, 2019 at 8:54 pm

    Just found your blog. It’s very beautiful but also encouraging and thoughtful. Will avidly follow now. Thank you. Stunning photography. Are they photos from around your home? Very inspiring.

  2. Jude Van Heel

    January 11th, 2019 at 4:43 am

    Hi Ingrid,
    thanks for leaving such a lovely comment.
    Yes! All the photo’s are taken here at our property Fairy Wren Cottage.
    Jude x

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