Tuesday 14 October 2014

Gardening with ME: an introduction to a new meme

In a recent conversation on Twitter (late September) between myself, Harriet ThomasPhilippa Burrough and Arabella Sock, we discussed following other people who garden with chronic illness, in particular, ME. ME is Myalgic Encephalopathy, and depending on the person may also be called neuro-ME or CFS (Chronic Fatigue Syndrome), and several other names. Whatever you call it, it is a chronic illness that can go on for years, for some people a lifetime, and it effects every area of your life.

Although I blogged about ME In December 2013, that was a one-off post. But after the aforementioned Twitter discussion I started thinking about how many people with ME, and other chronic illnesses, garden, and find gardening either helpful or an important part of coping with ME. I gardened before I got ME and the idea of giving it up was impossible. Gardening, of both ornamental and vegetables, wasn't just a hobby of a keen amateur, but an essential part of who I was. Since having ME, gardening hasn't always been easy, but it has always been a joy, and on some occasions, gardening is one of the few things that helps me through the dark and painful days.

Prompted by the Twitter discussion and these thoughts, I've decided to start a new meme: Gardening with ME. These will be occasional posts focusing around the issue of trying to garden when you have a chronic illness. In part I am blogging for myself, to remind myself of both the problems and delights. But I am also blogging to share these experiences, in the hope that other people, whether gardeners or not, find them useful and/or informative. And I hope to find other gardeners who are gardening with ME, or another chronic illness, and who are willing to share their experiences.

My first post for this new meme follows. My idea is to keep the posts short, occasional (since ME doesn't always allow you to keep appointments...) and reveal the challenges and successes that are involved when you garden with a chronic illness such as ME.

Twitter hashtag: #GardeningWithME

Now, for my first post...  Gardening with ME: French Beans

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Want to take part? Please do! If you blog about gardening with ME/a chronic illness, link to this post in yours, and leave a comment below with a link to your post, so we can all find each other.