A new Project …

In the Garden – A new project …

We needed a new project. Something that will engage our sons mind. Focus on the positive and inquisitive, rather than the usual terrors and pain. Something that will allow long term support, teaching, comforting, and exciting.

There is a saying, “Gardening, cheaper than therapy, and you get tomatoes …” Well, I am about to put that thought to the test, not because I simply want to test the theory, but because I need to try something new. Our son is in need of help. Medication is failing him. Mental health is failing him. His only hope for a fulfilling future lies in our love and our ability to consider support which is a little ‘out of the box’ . The Garden has been key to our support over many years and the nature of the impact from our sons epilepsy, autism and learning disabilities, means that any, and all lessons taught, are forgotten almost as quickly and we need to revisit those messages again and again.

Our son has developed an interest in taking photographs. Watching myself as I try to capture that illusive image and style that suggests I may know what I am doing. Still trying I would suggest too. But our son watches as I take up my camera and asks “can I have a go?” That he shows an interest is so rewarding in itself and to spend time with me as I share images and comments with a wonderful community on Flickr and Instagram, talking about other peoples pictures and reading out the comments to him, has, captured his interest even further.

In the Garden – The area to redevelop

Having a weakness down one side, our son uses his are and leg on his left side only. Managing a camera is not that easy with one hand, but setting it on a tri-pod, rotating the camera plate so that his left hand can easily get to the shutter button and viewing the image through live view, our son is able to see an image that he feels he would like to take.

Many are deleted as you may imagine, but I do look for those which he has taken and appear ok. I upload these, crop them to lose anything obviously unwanted in the image and frame it. Everything else is all his own work and which he takes great pride in achieving.

This project allows for our son to indulge in taking pictures along the way – and incidentally form an invaluable tool for recovering lost memories as we revisit each one and talk about what was happening at the time he too the picture – and also enabling me to encourage him to get his hands (or at least hand) dirty by helping with the development activity, the planting, the nurturing and if all goes to plan, the harvesting. At this stage, we enter another project which is culinary. Using the garden to grow food and taste it, allows me to broaden the variety of foods he will eat, overcoming resistance due to taste, textures and smell. I’ll cover more about that later, for now, we have much to do to sort out an area that we are going to redevelop.

In the Garden – Overseen by the Goddess, Flora

With temperatures of over 37C, it may not have been the best time to plan to start this project. Climate change has seen record breaking temperatures which are several degrees higher than previous records and we are forced to remain indoors, with the fans on, keeping hydrated. Epilepsy can be adversely impacted by temperature and when coupled with inability to sleep and gain essential rest, our sons seizures have been severe and frequent throughout each day.

Our plan is to create a sensory based garden growing many vegetables and fruit with some special treats in a new polytunnel. Peppers and chillies and a personal passion of cactus. I aim to prepare spring and summer annuals, hanging baskets, Christmas wreaths and many other things that working within a poly tunnel can allow.

The pictures our son had taken just prior to starting all the work, have been taken, but we wait now for a break in the weather and some cooler days before we move some raised beds and clear an area to erect the polytunnel.

2 thoughts on “A new Project …

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