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Long shot. Any other gardeners here????

kathyykkathyy Posts: 580
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:27 AM in Water Cooler
Just wondering how you cope after lumbar sugery or cervical surgery. I am a recently graduated master gardener and LOVE anything that grows! I'm just less than 3 months post op and here in Ga. (USA) the pussywillows are calling to me. Went out to prune my weeping pussywillow last weekend and did OK with my back.

Thought it might be fun (fun....what is THAT???? she says post PLIF) to find out if anybody would like to start a thread on gardening.

I am particularly into perennials but love anything that will grow for me!


  • Sorry i'm not a gardner but i sure would like to be. I love plants "all kinds" but i only have a very small green thumb. I'm surprised on one has posted on it yet. Keep trying tho.

    Evelyn :H
    Had PLIF in 2008 and a Laminectomy. One level fusion, L4-L5.
  • I love gardening too! I used to have a Troy Built Horse model garden tiller...sold it last fall because my back no longer made it possible to use.

    I still garden, but on a much smaller scale. I do container gardening. Tires, buckets anything I can get my son to fill with dirt so I can plant something in it!

    I love my flowers too, and prefer perennials because the work is minimal. I have lots of daffodils, crocus, day lilies, ragged daisy, cone flower and others I don't remember their name.

    I live in MD with extremely short cool summers, so the green season is very much appreciated! I keep going out to check the flower beds for the first crocus to poke its head up out of the ground...soon, very soon!

    Tell me about your gardening plans and flowers!

    Hope more join this thread so we can discuss gardening problems!

    Have a great day and God Bless!

  • I am also a gardener. I like to grow many plants but especially ones that look strange like Dracunculus vulgaris (Dracula lily) and different kinds of sedums, sempervivums, cacti etc...I am in Syracuse NY so we have about 2 days of gardening here! :))(
  • I'm glad there were plenty of flowers and lilacs when we moved to this house two years ago. Hubby cut down the raspberry bush though because it blocked the gate. :( My back stops me from doing much gardening. I would love to see pictures of peoples gardens and learn the name of some flowers. That's great if you're doing a little bit of gardening if you can it's very relaxing. Charry
    DDD of lumbar spine with sciatica to left hip,leg and foot. L4-L5 posterior disc bulge with prominent facets, L5-S1 prominent facets with a posterior osteocartilaginous bar. Mild bilateral foraminal narrowing c-spine c4-c7 RN
  • Gardening really causes me a lot of pain but If I take some pain medicine before I do it it helps. I can't give up something like that. even if I was bed ridden I would crawl out the door and flop down the stairs and wallow in the garden. I don't know how i would get back inside but I hope that I never have to figure it out. :))(
  • I used to enjoy gardening, but I have cut back due to my back. My son likes it too and I get to enjoy the flowers he plants. But I like the idea of container gardening, I can get my son to fill the containers and I can plant that way. Thanks!! It is great to share ideas, sometimes we can do more than we think, we just need to use our minds instead of our backs.
    Take care,
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,878
    but for years that backyard , the garden, the shrubs, trees, plants, lawn and especially the herbs have been a great passion of mine.
    Because of my spinal problems I have slowed down and try to do things correctly (not always and then I have a flare up).

    One thing that really has excited me in the past 4 years has been herbal gardens. We started with a few and now we have over 30 different herbs growing each summer. What helped me so much was doing a lot of container planting. This reduced the amount of bending I had to do and sure helped with weeds.
    Plus we know have a whole lot of interesting containers, looking from Italian and Greek vases to contemporary pots.

    My biggest complaint is trying to save a Rosemary bush over the winter. I've brought it in, died during the summer. This winter, I mulched and mulched our 4 foot high/wide Rosemary bush, watered and wrapped it in burlap... Some of the burlap is loose and I already see a lot of dead leaves.

    Just have to start up again this year
    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • I used to have a few herbs: Sage, Chives, and a mint that eventually went wild. I tried to move the chives but ended up killing it. The sage was a beautiful plant, but a huge snowfall bent it over and broke it off and it died. I am hoping to start again this spring. There is nothing like cooking with fresh herbs!

    There is something so therapeutic about gardening, the sunshine and fresh air for one! I had almost loss use of my rt arm and hand due to nerve damage. I started weeding flower beds by sitting on the ground and removing tiny weeds to regain fine motor control. It worked and allowed me to be able to remain living by myself.

    I even had a wild turkey hen to come every day to investigate what was new in my garden. The oriental poppies got her attention, but she was disappointed they were not juicy tomatoes! After that I started leaving a tomato out for her and she rewarded me by bringing her newly hatched chicks for me to see!

    I sure pray the good Lord allows me to enjoy another summer like last year!

    God Bless all!


  • I too love to garden but you have to cut back post lumbar surgery....just do a little at a time and it will get done....gets you outside more often, get some sun when it warms up (at least here in NYC area).....also container gardening is also great..I have my windowns lined with pots and can't wait to put them back outside......the thing is every time I go to the hospital one of my plants die and I keep telling my family, they need water !!!!! I guess the drooping doesn't give them a hint.
    I did see some snow drops a week or two ago so spring is around the corner for us in NYC area.
  • Hi I am new here. I love to garden.I am just not very good with it anymore. I crab walk on the lawn. I will lay down and pick weeds I just dont care... lol. Any ole way to get the job done.... I love growing clematis and any of the wild flowers. OH and strawberries. My hubby has made me some Raised flower beds in our last hosue So I didnt have to bend anymore. he is wonderful.
    Think Spring!!!!!!
  • sunny1966ssunny1966 VIRGINIAPosts: 1,385
    I also love working in the garden. Digging, pulling weeds, I just hope I can do it this year. I've always thought of gardening as my 'therapy'. It makes me feel so much better to be outside working in my flowers. Do any of you enjoy roses? I love all of them...hybrid teas especially.
  • I'm glad to find others who are interested in gardening. It's my therapy for my mind and soul. I have a little raised square foot garden that my son and neighbor helped me to put in last year. It's entirely organic, and we had a reasonable yield for our first year. We're counting the days until we can start at it again. Of course, I used to be able to till, chop weeds, pull out roots, etc., without thinking about it, but now I just have to cut back the scale and pace myself. I'd really feel defeated if I gave this up entirely. I'm hoping to do more with herbs this year. Any suggestions or strategies that have worked for other spineys?
  • My hands have been itching to dig up weeds and plant new flowers. Here in Texas, the temperature has already risen up to mid 70s and plenty of sunshine. My beds look awful since I have been dealing with back issue. I don't even know when I will get to plant.

    While there is a lot of sun, my house sits mostly in the shade;therefore, I plant impatiens, fern, and alzelea bushes in the front yard and hostas and other annuals in the backyard. On the side of my house which gets more sun, I have a rose bush, lantanas, Hawthorne bushes, and shasta daisies.

  • I love to work outside,gardening,yardwork,picking rocks(for my garden)but I do have a tough time,I get spasms so bad...so between spasms I do ok!I have a 6 year old and she loves to plant stuff and watch it grow.I think that's important for her too, she needs to know how all that stuff gets to the grocery store.And getting dirty is fun and good for you!Just found a 55 gallon oak barrel to do my strawberries in this year.Can't wait to get started.Ordering trees from the 4Hers and doing lots of flowers too. We just started a sweet potatoe indoors,they are pretty plants. Good for the soul...sun,dirt and fresh air! Enjoy everyone Sagehen
  • This is a great discussion. Before surgery the one thing I stressed to my doctor was that I would still need to be able to garden after surgery. I don't think he got it. He said things like well you can snip a few things. HA! I am a gardener! We have an acre of property and I have a huge vegetable garden in Spring/Summer/Fall, a huge herb garden and lots and lots and lots of flower gardens. Trees and shrubs also of course. My husband, sons and friends (and me) put up a personal greenhouse for me a lot of years ago and I start all of my vegetables and most of my flowers each year. Last year was awful, I could hardly garden at all as I waited for surgery. This will be my first season after surgery. I decided to cut back (actually I think my neck decided for me) but I still plan to garden. I work full time and am used to spending most of my free time in the garden or greenhouse once the season starts. I already have several flats of vegetables and flowers started. Its going to be tough. I lost a lot of range of motion in my neck (up and down). Looking down hurts, and gardening requires a lot of looking down. I have no raised beds (would be nice). My older son has offered to do whatever I want and as nice as that is, its not just about the results, I love to garden myself. I used to say that I would garden no matter what. I don't know what will happen or how I will manage but for now I just hope to find a way to garden without doing additional damage or ending up in pain all the time.
  • sunny1966ssunny1966 VIRGINIAPosts: 1,385
    but everytime I try I end up in so much pain. We planted potatoes Monday. I always drop the potatoes-that's my job. Well, I thought I'd die...really. My husband kept telling me to quit and let him do it but I told him they won't grow if I don't do it! And I told him that he doesn't know how! (Only kidding) I also have lots of flower beds, rose gardens and a huge yard to take care of and I've always loved it. It's been my therapy too. Something about getting out digging in the soil, pulling weeds, fighting insects and diseases (my least fun part) and planting stuff always made me feel better. Now I look at my beds that need cleaned up after winter and it makes me feel so bad to think I can't do it like before. I know, that's life. I know that all of you here are in the same boat or much worse. This is a first for me so I guess I'm lucky in that. It's just hard. My son and I do landscaping for people, or we did. I could work from daylight till dark just last year. Now I get mad at myself but there's nothing I can do except to try to do all I can. Sorry for the whine....
  • Talking about herb gardens. Great idea Ron. My neighbour gave us some parsley before mr.bunny comes along. Where we live is 25 minutes to the city. But really it feels like the country crickets and all.Maybe I'll start a herb garden maybe I'll start small. Good luck with your garden Kathy
    DDD of lumbar spine with sciatica to left hip,leg and foot. L4-L5 posterior disc bulge with prominent facets, L5-S1 prominent facets with a posterior osteocartilaginous bar. Mild bilateral foraminal narrowing c-spine c4-c7 RN
  • I too, love to garden but alas...this year it just isn't to be. I was so sure i would be able to put out a vegetable garden this year that I ordered $70.00 of vegetable seeds!!
    I will be getting an SCS implant in a couple of weeks so all my gardening plans went out the window!! But I am so happy to be getting help with my pain and the seeds will save until next year won't they?
    I am also into flowers expecially Day Lillies. They are lovely, spread and require very little upkeep. I added a few Day Lillies to my flower beds this year. One is a Stargazer and it is just lovely!!
    I have a long bed of native day lillies along one side of my house and they really impress when in bloom.
    This year my garden will be a few tomato plants hung in buckets on my front porch. Sigh....but it's better than nothing.
    I have a very large yard with fruit trees,grapes and a black walnut tree. I also have Rhubarb plants and a bed of Asparagus. The Asparagus I cream and eat on toast! Yummy
    I would love to hear how you enjoy cooking some of your favorite vegetables that you grow.
    Happy gardening to all of you that are able to garden now. And for those of you, like me, who have to put off your gardening until next yesr, keep the chin up. Next year will be here before we know it.

    Hugsssssssss to all.... >:D<
    Patsy W

  • i saw an idea on planetgreen.com about using a section of guttering attached to the fence or wall about a waist or chest height to fill with soil and plant the herbs and very small veggies in. no bending.
  • We moved to a property that has well over an acre because all the potential for gardening. That was over two years ago and a few months after the move my back took a turn for the worse. Last year my parents came up in the spring to visit and helped plant a small veggie garden, but I was in so much pain last year I didnt even water it like I should, let alone even start to weed it.

    This year we found a family that we are close friends with that are going into the endevor with. With their help we put in weedguard and a dripline systen. The dripline has a battery powered timer (off a hose bib) and it all takes care of itself. This has been so great for me, I can plan and layout the garden and it has been so easy to keep up. This year I have been doing better with reguards to my back due to identifying pain triggers and figuring out meds (and a bit due to stretching and minor pt).

    I feel alive again with the ability to get out into the yard and watch the garden grow and do small work here and there to maintain it. If this is something a friend would help you set up it would be worth buying them a few pints of beer every week to get you started. We went over the top a bit this year and we planted well over 100 plants. A mix of tomatoes, peppers, squash, etc...........................Love it.
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