This day has come much sooner than I expected, I was hoping that we would have another 10 yrs maybe in this house, before the garden got too big for us to manage.
As most of you know, unfortunately the undergardener was diagnosed with prostate cancer at the end of 2014. After all his treatment last year and being told that it was successful we were devastated to be told in May, this year, that it had returned. My husband looks fine but has no strength and no stamina, so any gardening that is getting done, was being done by me these days.
My muscle problems are still in the background with good days, when 3/4 hourly stints are all I can manage, and bad days when nothing gets done at all. As you can imagine this means that the garden is looking very neglected and it is so frustrating to see it looking like this. I have had to be very careful when taking photos for the blog, not to include all the weeds!
So yes, we actually had the conversation, should we move or get a gardener to help. After a lot of thought, well no, immediately I said I preferred to get a gardener! I could quite happily leave the house, but having made the garden from scratch, I just can’t bear to leave it, not for a long time yet! I know the day will come when I will have to leave it, but I’m putting it off for as long as possible.
I went on line and found a website with gardeners in the local area, but didn’t just want someone who only cuts lawns and then doesn’t know their plants when it comes to weeding or pruning! The undergardener still enjoys riding round on his lawn mower, so I needed someone with muscles, to do the hedges, dig out tree and shrub roots as well as help me with the weeding.
I managed to find someone, Neil, who has RHS certificates and diplomas, so should know what he is doing and not pull out my precious plants as weeds! He came and had a look at the garden and the work that I needed help with and agreed that yes, he was happy to come and work with me and will slot me in between his other clients until he has a permanent slot for me. To start with he will come once a week to help with the restoration, then when the garden is looking more like it used to, then he will come once a fortnight to help with the maintenance.
Neil came the last two Saturdays for 4 hrs each time and again yesterday for 4 hrs, in spite of all the rain, and each time has worked so hard and got an amazing amount of work done. I think we are going to work well together and hopefully the undergardener and I will have many more happy years here in the future.
We saw the Oncologist last week and she now has the undergardener’s course of treatment sorted. She has the results of all the scans and blood tests that have been done over the last few weeks and says that the best way forward is for a course of chemo. We had a feeling that this would be the result, so were not very surprised. The treatment starts this week, one session every three weeks and will last until the beginning of February, but we have been told that we will know before that if the treatment is working. Everyone round us has been wonderfully supportive, it is so easy to stay positive when we are surrounded by such a cocoon of love, long may it continue.
I have been warned that the undergardener will be very tired for a few days after each session of treatment, so I’m trying to get each sitting area back up to scratch, so that he will have a choice of places to sit, either in the sun or shade, whatever takes his fancy. I will try and get each area surrounded with lovely perfumed plants so that he can enjoy a bit of aromatherapy while he is resting, even though he might not realise it!
So the answer to the question in the header – To move or not to move?- that’s easy, we’re staying put for as long as possible!