The Tired Gardener

Healing Through Growing


Welcome to my virtual library. These are all books, websites or podcasts that I have found inspiring or helpful. I can't guarantee that you will be able to get hold of them all but will give pointers where I can.

I have many more items to share with you as we go on but here are some to get started with …




Health and Recovery Websites

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Please see my note in the side panel about searching online for material related to fibromyalgia/chronic fatigue/M.E.
The Chrysalis Effect has a comprehensive approach to these conditions, with a huge range of webinars and suggested readings. There are also weekly sessions which teach as well as helping you to explore the causes of your illness.

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While we all share a lot of common symptoms, everyone will experience fibromyalgia, ME or chronic fatigue differently. One of my most intractable symptoms has been a very low pulse rate, on occasion tipping into frantic palpitations. I was pointed to this YouTube channel which has a brilliant set of videos explaining some complex heart problems in easily understandable terms. Once I understood why I had the palpitations they almost entirely disappeared and I am no longer living with the fear that my heart might just stop.

This cardiologist has also opened a new door to understanding why all the investigations over the years have shown no heart diseases. My low heart rate and palpitations are indications of the wider body imbalances that have shaped all my other symptoms.

For an introductory video on Dr Gupta's approach to cardiology click here.
For the the York Cardiology YouTube Channel click here

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Following on from the cardiology lead, I have learned a great deal about how chronic stress and traumatic experiences can arise from issues with the parasympathetic nervous system (the one that makes all the stuff in our body work without our having to think about it).

There is some pretty heavy stuff out there about nervous system pathology and Polyvagal theory. However, Irene Lyon's YouTube channel offers easily understandable explanations of both what can go wrong and what you can do to heal the damage.

Start here with an explanation of how your nervous system can go into a permanent state of Freeze, rather than temporary Fight or Flight.

This is then a useful follow on video.

For a beautiful visual explanation of Polyvagal theory click here.

Gardening Websites

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Garden Organic is a charity dedicated to promoting organic gardening as part of a sustainable way of life. On these pages you will find advice on organic growing as well as information on the charity's volunteer programmes and campaigning work.

Royal Horticultural Society Advice Not organic, but a useful site for information on plants and how to grow them.

Vertical Veg, This is a great site for people with limited space, who want to grow their own food. Mark shows you how to use containers to the best effect and even how to make your own self watering containers, saving an awful lot of tiring work carrying watering cans.

This website about making your garden wildlife friendly was flagged up for me by a group of children in an online learning programme, who had been researching nature and wildlife. For more about this, have a look at my blog, Wild Childhood.

Nature Websites

The Cloud Appreciation Society Cloud spotting is a wonderfully relaxing activity, whether you are laid up in bed, looking out of the window, or need a reason to take a break from gardening.

RSPB Sit quietly and watch the birds that visit your garden. What can you identify using this guide? Are there any regular 'characters'? If the winter blues are getting you down you can listen to the recorded songs.

Overwhelmed by your weeds?

Here are some sites to help you identify them and find out more about their habits, their uses and what they tell you about the ground they are growing in.
RHS weed identification

Learn to identify the wildlife in your garden, from mini beasts to deer.

Find your local Wildlife Trust or just explore what's going on across the UK

Naturespot, this is a charity which is local to me in Leicestershire, but much of the content will be relevant to large parts of the rest of the UK. On it you can see what other people have found on their patch, all located on a map, and add your own pictures and recorded sitings. They are very helpful in identifying mystery species.

Stuck indoors? There are lots of sites with webcams, which will bring nature to you. Try:

Wildlife Trust webcams these can be mesmerising. Nature goes at its own pace and after a while you find your whole world slowing with it as you get drawn into the slowly unfolding dramas.

Rutland Water Ospreys (between March and August). From February you can track ospreys returning from Senegal on the site map and then watch a pair build a nest and raise chicks in real time. My father was an RSPB member and I had this on my laptop as I sat with him in the hospice during his final days. It was hugely comforting and calming to see new life beginning as his drew to a close. They also made me laugh, especially the male as he battled with enormous twigs and almost swept his mate out of the nest!

What else can you find online?

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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