The Tired Gardener

Healing Through Growing

Healing Through Growing Blog



  • Tea-tree and rosemary before the snow.
  • Tea-tree fronds. Resurrected!
  • Rosebay on a rainy day.

Get Outside!

'You can be miserable anywhere, so GET OUTSIDE!' I took some good advice from a friend on a miserable day and my garden took care of the rest.  

Mindfulness and the Call of the Wild

When my head is full of cobwebs my garden calls, and as I immerse myself in the wonder of nature, my head miraculously clears and the world is wonderful again.

  • Blackbird eating ivy berries.
  • Female blackbird, nesting.
  • Sparrow.

Playing With Time

I have been given a time machine for my birthday. It only looks like a camera.

A Miniature Expedition

When the outside world is too big to face and you don't have the energy to re-connect with nature outside, a cheap microscope opens whole new avenues of connection and beauty to lift the soul.

  • Crocuses, hellebores and snowdrops: bee survival supplies in the late winter.

Spring in My Steps

Recovery is a frustrating business with lots of twists and turns. Today a bumblebee helped me to navigate a corner.

  • Mango
  • Mango stone
  • Avocado

Baby Steps Towards Recovery

Should I be resting or moving?  Learning how to take baby steps and manage frustration is a huge challenge in the early stages of recovery or after a relapse.  Sowing a few seeds is a manageable activity that gives a sense of achievement and anticipation.

  • Winter blue: photo courtesy of Conor McGrath
  • Winter blue too
  • My Secret Garden in January

The Lockdown Blues

For some, lockdown means isolation and loneliness, for others the relentlessness of living in close quarters with other people.  Thank God for my garden and the freedom it gives me to choose between isolation and companionship.

  • Just one crazy shelf in my real library
  • Courtesy of University of Illinois Library, CC BY 2.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0>, via Wikimedia Commons
  • Trinity College Library, Dublin. Courtesy of Diliff, CC BY-SA 4.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

Healing my Inner Library

OK, so this has nothing to do with the natural world and growing, it is all about the inner world and healing the damage that fibromyalgia et al do to your mind and mental capacities. Sometimes when you sit down to write surprising things happen.

A Single Rose can be my Garden

When dark wet days and miserable headlines engulf you in worries about the future, nature has a knack of catching your attention and providing some perspective.

  • An October tow path walk
  • Hedgerow bounty: sloes, haws, rosehips, blackberries
  • Sloes

A Sloe Walk Down Memory Lane

A canal-side walk on a sunny October day brings me close to my Nan and childhood fantasies around her illicit brewing habits.

  • The Path into the Woods
  • Wild Woods
  • Walking through a Clearing

Into the Woods

The recovery ‘journey’ may be a cliché, but there are few better ways of understanding the ups and downs, the twists and turns, involved in finding one’s way back to full health. The journey is a hard one, but sometimes the most difficult part is not looking too far ahead, learning to focus on the path under your feet and to find companions to share the highs and lows along the way.

A Corsage of Runner Beans

There's a difference between learning about recovery and understanding.  Sometimes it takes a set-back to help the penny drop and grasp what being guided by your body really means.


My illness has meant that I have had to give up my work and so I am now looking to find a new career through my writing. If you have enjoyed this page and would like to encourage me to produce more, click the coffee cup below to make a small donation; no strings, no fuss, just a little, 'Thanks, keep it up.'


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