Exploring The Garden And Our First Family BBQ In Years

Char outside in the garden wearing a sunhat and sunglasses, title reads: exploring the garden and our first BBQ in years. Personal update.

​Last year, at the end of Summer, we moved into this house that has a lovely little garden. It was the first time in years that I have had a private garden to explore and relax in - quite a treat when you're housebound and severely ill!

Last year we didn't do much in the garden, the family focused ​their time and energy on the inside of the house and I focused on recovering from the move and the disability assessment that came soon after it. This year was different - we have really enjoyed the garden this Summer!

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Glorious Flowers Everywhere

​My parents do all the gardening, my sister is not the outdoorsy type and I cannot dare to garden, no matter how much I might want to. ​So I tend to stay on the sofa most of the time and watch my parents gardening, and on better days I might go​ for a stroll while they're out there.

Char sitting in the garden by the wooden fence, a metalic peacock decoration hangs on the fence.

Enjoying the sunshine

Char's feet standing by the flowering border in the garden.

Such colourful flowers!

​At the back of the house we have 2 long flower beds, each with some well-established plants and a couple of small trees either in or overhanging them. We also have 2 decks and a shed. These are all arranged around a small central patch of grass which has a paved path around it.

The front yard is basically just a paved driveway with a couple of storage sheds on one side and a small flower bed under a little blossom tree, so we don't do much on that side of the house.

Yellow flowers in the garden

Such happy flowers

Bug hotel on the wooden fence, flowering bushes in front.

Birds love these bushes

A butterfly on a Buddleia

Butterfly on Buddleia

We have a lot of birds visiting our back yard, so we have ​a bird bath and ​a feeder by each flowerbed​. We ​get loads of butterflies ​too, so we ​sowed loads of seed for flowers that would attract more butterflies and bees​ to the garden. More insects means more birds too, right?

It was quite a wild mix in the end, but that just made ​the occasional walk around the garden that much more interesting and colourful.

Pale pink rose climbing up the wooden fence

Climbing Roses

Purple Dahlia in the garden

Purple Dahlia

Dark pink roses in a pot by the wooden fence

Pink Roses in a pot

Apart from the wild flower seeds, we also planted some of our favourites, which of course included a few gorgeous Roses. The pale pink climber ​surprised us, it came up through the floor boards of one of the decks and then just spread all over the nearby fence and our little greenhouse. It made loads of flowers!

We planted a dark pink ​Rose in a pot on that same deck, and in ​the flower bed on the other side we ​planted two miniature Rose bushes, one red and one yellow. ​

Apart from the roses, we also planted a few Dahlias in various shades of pink and purple as well as Irises, Lilies, Primulas, Petunias and Alyssum.

To cover some of the fencing we planted a few varieties of Clematis as well as a lovely ​mix of Sweet Peas. We did try to keep the colours in each flower bed restricted. In one bed we planted mainly pinks and purples and in the other we planted the reds, oranges and yellows.

Clematis climbing up a shed

Clematis by the shed

Purple and yellow Irises in the garden

Trio of Irises

Orange lilies in the garden

Orange Lilies

​The previous tennants must have planted some things we obviously didn't know about, because there were some pleasant surprises, ​and of course when they bloomed ​they mixed ​the whole colour scheme up!

​There were some gorgeous Peonies and bright yellow Arum Lilies and even a random solitary Sunflower ​- a seed probably ​dropped down from the bird feeder. Here are some of the surprise blooms:

Plant with purple leaves and yellow flowers growing in front of a wooden fence.

These just took over!

Pale pink flowers in the garden

​Three shades of these

Yellow Arum lily in the garden

Bunches of Arum Lilies​

Our First Family BBQ In Years

Being the first time we've had a garden since moving to the UK almost 9 years ago, we were finally able to have a family BBQ! We invited my aunt, uncle and cousin over and had a lovely time.

I stayed in my room while all the preparations were happening and only went out into the garden once the food was ready and the table was set up. They had put out on the deck one of our anti-gravity garden loungers for me and a little side table right near the table where they would all be sitting. A lovely sunny spot with gorgeous views of the trees and sky beyond our garden.

Char lying on garden recliner with a plate of food. She's wearing a sun hat, sunglasses and a bib.

On My Recliner

Char's view while lying on the garden recliner. You can see her feet and her plate of food. In the distance a patch of grass, wooden fence and trees in the distance.

My View

I didn't stay out there too long, because my skin started turning red, but I ate my meal and enjoyed the warm sun and fresh air until I had finished my food. Then I was helped back inside to my bed where I lay in the dark to recover while the family continued their visit outside. It was such a treat to spend that time with them outside and the BBQ meal was delicious!

​A couple of weeks later the 4 of us had another little BBQ out there, this time mum and I lounged out on the patch of grass while dad cooked the meat and then I moved inside to eat with them at the table before returning to my room.

Char lying on garden recliner. She's wearing a sun hat and sunglasses

Enjoying the sunshine!

Char's view from the garden recliner, in the distance her dad is BBQing by the fence and you can see tall trees in the distance.

Watching Dad BBQ

Having a garden, especially such a compact one, has been such a blessing to me this year - it's been over a year since I have been outside our gate, but being able to occasionally get outside in a safe and quite space is truly a treat!


​Bare Feet On The Ground

Fast forward a ​bit and I've not been outside in weeks, maybe over a month. Since I don't get out much anymore, ​because those walks around the garden ​wipe me out too much to attempt them regularly at the moment, I have decided to ​try grounding instead of walking. ​

What is grounding?

Grounding, also called Earthing, is the practice of making contact with the earth to exchange electrons. The surface of the earth is electrically conductive which means it holds an unlimited supply of continuously renewed free/moving electrons. By walking barefoot on the earth, we can absorb these into our body - this process, called grounding or earthing, has proven to reduce inflammation and pain and can affect the functioning of all body systems.

So instead of expending loads of energy on walking around the garden regularly, and only managing to get out there once or twice a month as a result, for the time being I'm focusing on simply grounding while seated - my aim is to get out there twice a week now.

​Our patch of grass is right outside the kitchen door, you can see the glass doors to the right of the grass in the photos above. It's literally 2 steps from the threshold, so my sister puts a chair out for me and I step out onto the grass and sit down.

Char is sitting outside with a mug of coffee, her bare feet are on the grass.

Brrr... crisp autumn air

Wet grass

Wet grass

Char is sitting outside with her bare feet on the grass

Bare feet on the grass

I have a cup of coffee or my snacks while out there, watching the birds and butterflies or the clouds rolling by and then come back in and rinse my feet in the tub before going back to bed to rest.

I am a firm believer that every little thing helps - it might not make a noticable difference at the time, but over time, all the small things add up ​to promote better wellbeing and quality of life.

I'm hoping that grounding will be one more piece of the puzzle for me.

I might not get to see the flowers close up, but I get outside, breathe in the fresh air, enjoy the lovely views and I get my bare feet on the earth for a few minutes.

I think it's worth a shot.

Char outside in the garden wearing a sunhat and sunglasses, title reads: exploring the garden and our first BBQ in years. Living With Severe M.E.

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What about you?

  • How was your summer?
  • Have you ever tried grounding?

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  • Modern Gypsy says:

    Such a beautiful garden! Grounding and earthing sound like excellent practices. And with time, they will help promote a sense of well-being I think.

  • You have a beautiful garden. I’d not heard of grounding, but the principle seems solid. We need natural things in our lives and our food. Btw, we don’t do a lot of putting bare feet in the Florida grass, as it is the domain of fire ants, creatures as nasty as their name. I think I’ll try it with my hands touching a native plant. 🙂

    • Thanks, George!
      Eek, those fire ants sound scary. I remember the tiny red ants in South Africa had a horrible bite too.

      I just get a visit from an earthworm everytime, haha… Maybe he’s attracted to the heat from my feet because it’s pretty cold out there now.

      Touching plants will probably work too, great idea!

  • Your garden is lovely! Years ago we moved to an older home, which we’ve since moved from, but the first Spring there so many mystery flowers bloomed; it was so beautiful and exciting!

    So neat to see you were able to enjoy a couple BBQs. Moments to cherish for certain.

    I haven’t tried grounding as I don’t have dirt or grass to get to by myself but have wanted to. I’ve heard good things and I’m hoping it gives you in bit of a boost!

  • Claire Saul says:

    Hi Char – this really brightened my day…stunning pics! I have shared on my reg blogshare feature – MidWeek magic Inspiring Blogs for You, Claire x (PS hubby is going to do a carer’s interview for you – he is thinking about his answers!! Will send you some photos of us x)

  • Mori Ganna says:

    I love flowers and gardens – wish I had a garden too. Maybe one day! I very much enjoyed your post, found my way here via https://painpalsblog.com/2019/10/24/midweek-magic-inspiring-blogs-for-you-3/ where the author had featured your post. 🙂 Your garden looks absolutely beautiful, and I hope you get to spend some more time there soon in any way you can. It’s starting to get cold now though (I’m also in the UK) and I hope spring comes quickly. I think I spotted a bee house attached to the garden wall if I’m not mistaken? The little house with little tubes for the bees to live in? 😀

    • Hi Mori, welcome to my blog! Thanks for letting me know how you found me. Claire’s blog is great.

      Thanks so much, the garden really has been a treat, I’m sorry you don’t have one to explore at the moment, I hope that will change for you in the future.

      But in the meantime, there are other ways you can enjoy nature indoors. Pot plants are a great alternative. Just about anything grows in pots.

      That was a bee hotel, yes! We found it in the garden when we moved in. Was hidden behind some bushes, so we just brought it out where we can see it. Not sure if anythings moved in yet though. We did have loads of bees in the spring.

      You’re right about the weather, it’s got really cold this week. I’ve skipped my grounding sessions because I just can’t imagine sitting out there in this weather! Will have to resume after winter…

      Wishing you a lovely weekend ahead. Hugs

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