About Me

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I'm Carole, living in London, happily married and mum to two amazing boys.I was diagnosed with Stage 3 Rectal Cancer in April 2010. Surgery took place in November 2010 and I now have a permanent colostomy...Spinal mets were then diagnosed in October 2011...In January 2012 I was told of further spread to the hip area (multiple lesions)..My life expectancy is now 6-9 months. Walk alongside me on the last part of my experience with this..

Thursday, 7 July 2011

Rain, rain and more rain........

That's what we've had today, tons and tons of rain...but I'm not actually complaining because it saved me from continually going up and down stairs filling my watering can to stop my plants all drying out.

Where we live there is a communal garden at the back which no-one uses - this is because over the years it's been left to grow into a complete overgrown mess. Once it started getting out of control no-one then wanted the responsibility of sorting it out...so this year I decided it would become 'my' garden and I would tidy it and grow stuff out there.

When I started a few months ago, this was just a small part of what initially faced me.....

Completely overgrown, full of weeds and tons of work.
It took me ages but bit by bit I cleared each of the raised flower beds out - pulling and cutting out the weeds one by one, chopping back the blackberry bushes that had completely overtaken the whole area.
Rab then helped me by digging over the earth before we started to put out herbs etc in pots..it has been a long job, it's not over yet and I can only do work out there when I feel up to it - which isn't always - but now this is what the raised beds are looking like - I have coriander, mint, beetroot, rosemary, thyme, sage and some flowers growing in here now....slightly tidier compared to the first photograph :)

My tomato plants, (in grow bags) that are doing so well on the frame that Rab built for them ....

Every one of my five tomato plants has suddenly developed tiny tomatoes or has the flowers coming out daily in new spots, which will then become tomatoes...

I'm well pleased so far (and you're probably thinking 'So what, it's just tomatoes...lol') but I'm happy because what was wasted space is now being used and best of all, other people have noticed, commented and are starting to show an interest.
My aim is to get more people involved for next year.

This is my courgette plant which Jacqui got for me a few weeks ago. It seems to really love the spot I placed it in and has really taken off over these last few weeks...

I've also got spuds growing in a bag, radish, lavender in pots and a couple of sunflowers...It's not yet perfect - and probably never will be perfect - but I'm happy that it's making progress.

Dizzie's a lot happier out there too now - he rarely comes inside during the day now, unless he's hungry :)

So, that's why I don't mind a day of rain, rain and more rain


  1. Hi Carole,
    Ooooooo, you have gone all lilac!
    You have worked really hard in the garden, looks great!
    My tomato plants are in flower, but no fruit yet....could be that I am further North, with less sunshine, could be that I am a rubbish gardener! Lol!
    Good luck tomorrow, thinking of you!

  2. I LOVE this post Carole - well done you for rolling your sleeves up and getting the garden so beautiful.
    There is nothing quite like a little veggie plot to warm the soul, and you'll get an abundance of delicious 'stuff' from all your efforts.
    My veggie plot has been a little neglected this year thanks to all the walking I had to do, but I've still got a load of soft fruit, peas and shallots to enjoy. Nothing quite like it.
    You should get loads of courgettes, so better look up some recipes. I like mine fried in garlic and butter, bit of salt, all hoyed on a slice of toast with a sprinkling of cheese. Delish!
    Well done!

  3. Ooh and by the way - love the new look to your blog page too x

  4. Carole, you have worked wonders with the garden. Gardening is great therapy and with the limited use of my right arm, it is one of the things I miss. Hoping you can gather a band of willing workers to, once again, make it into a community garden. Good luck xo

  5. WOW!! You've done an amazing job clearing the back and making something out of it. Just be warned with tomatoes - you'll very likely end up knee deep in the things. Still, tomato chutney is very nice. Courgettes look impressive, and as for all the herbs, they look pretty damn good too. Well done you. I'm sure Diz appreciates his home improvements! xx

    PS love what you've done in here too. Greys and lavenders: very 'now'!

    Lou x

  6. Carole,
    The transformation here is really amazing. You have done wonderful things with your gardening venture! Love the pictures and the kitty looks just like my daughter's cat, Scout! I do hope your scans and appts are going alright for you. Thanks for the updates. I had a scan last week myself and a couple of more tests to come. Ugh. Good luck with everything, Carole.

  7. Thank you everyone - I'll just take a little bow right now :-))

    Seriously though, I am very pleased with how it's all coming on. Nice to see an area that was wasted now being used, and even appreciated by others. Quite often now when I'm out there, someone else will pop out for a chat - maybe we can get a proper community going again here. London's pretty lacking community spirit at times.

    Thanks also for the comments regarding the new colours - quite relaxing I thought :-)

  8. wow! I'm jealous. If only you bought me some seeds too, oh yeah! you did, but lazy me still has the seeds in the packets! Next year? LOL! tomorrow tomorrow!
    Good luck with the MRI tomorrow xxxxx

  9. Life and Living... Beautiful...T xx

  10. Fantastic - well done, I know what hard work it is! We've (well, not me, T) has switched our flower beds over to the things you're growing: courgettes, beans, salad crops etc. We've had bowls and bowls of raspberries and strawberries this year. Absolutely delish with crushed meringue and creme fraiche... wish I could post you some.
    Where I live the majority of houses are mill-workers terrace cottages with back yards, no garden. There are a few allotments. Someone in the town has started a move to suggesting we get the Council to allow us to take out the geraniums etc from the council flower beds and plant fruit bushes and herbs etc. Guerilla gardening with permission. The idea is they become help yourself. I'll be interested to see if it takes off.
    All the best tomorrow with the scan.

  11. You're bringing order to what was chaos and great healthy food where weeds once flourished. I think that's what we do with our own lives after we've been diagnosed with cancer. I'm thinking your neighbors will benefit from more than just the harvest.

  12. Great garden with a very appropriate little bow. Well done. And like a true man, it took another's comment for me to notice your cool new blog colors. Kind of like not noticing a new hair cut. :-)

    So what news from the recent tests? How are you doing, my friend?

    Thinking of you... xx