Sunday, April 14, 2013

Stroke recovery: Gardening is therapeutic

Mexico Midget
Gardening is therapeutic, whether I am thinking about it, reading about it, planning for it, shopping for it, or visiting the gardens of others, especially through the miracle of posts by blogging friends.

But best of all is getting outside and grubbing in a garden. It is great mental and physical exercise for this stroke survivor.

This year Husband Walter and I are experimenting with new-to-us varieties of tomatoes, thanks to recommendations and on-line ordering available through the Mobile Botanical Gardens.

And thanks to Hubby’s taking measures to protect our tomatoes from occasional low temperatures in March, we already have about six little tomatoes on the “Mexico Midget” plant.

The tomato above is about the diameter of a dime and probably won’t get much bigger. The on-line catalog description said when ripe the Mexico Midget tomatoes will be about half the size of a regular cherry tomato.

We should be picking ripe tomatoes from all four varieties around May 4. Three of the four varieties we planted are cherry-tomato sized or smaller. One is medium sized. 

I chose varieties that were touted as flavorful, indeterminate, highly productive and requiring  fewer than 70 days from transplanting to harvest.

Today we are having thunderstorms and high winds. Although rain usually drains from our driveway rapidly, the deluges dumped so much water so fast that the accompanying wind gusts made white caps. That is only a little exaggerated, and I am wondering how our tomato plants are faring in the turbulence.
Tomato blooms promise tasty delights

Yesterday was a sunny, mild day perfect for weeding and snapping a few photos. Maneuvering my body and camera into position to snap these pictures of baby tomatoes and blooms was a challenge, although admittedly a welcomed challenge.

I am not quite sure why on the macro setting my point and shoot camera focused on the plant’s hairy branches instead of the little tomato and the blossoms I was aiming for. Focusing is definitely another challenge of my stroke recovery, both photographically and mentally. That reality contributes to the fact that life is often a hoot around our household.


  1. I find my camera focus has a mind of its own and my shaky hands add to it.. the yellow flowers are beautiful and so is that little tiny tomato. i did not know they came smaller than the cherry tomatoes. let us know how they taste.

  2. Oh you are off to an early and brilliant start with your tomatoes. As of today I have planted one, called Early Girl.

  3. I have for sure never heard of or seen these! When they are ready, I would love to see them in some kind of perspective to see the size. But will you use them?? I can only think of salads.

  4. Yes, Let us know how they taste, too!!!

  5. Love the photos, love your enthusiasm, Linda! Great therapy!

  6. You are so right, gardening is therapeutic and I love it!
    It's impressive that you will be eating home-grown tomatoes soon, especially considering this crazy weather :)
    We have blossoms, but no tomatoes yet. I'm eagerly awaiting. If all plants survive, I'll be up to my eyeballs in tomatoes this summer--and Ed will be helping me pressure can again. Can't wait!!!

  7. Well, I haven't had a stroke and focusing can be a challenge for me too.
    I can get side-tracked so easily.
    Love your little tomatoes. Hope they stay put so you can have a feast.
    Sometimes my auto focus setting on my camera makes a choice for me , like the background and not the plant I want. So frustrating. I deleted about 6 of m latest backyard shots because everything but the almonds was in focus.
    Have a great day and hope the weather cooperates so you can putter in the garden some more.

  8. You do a much better job focusing your camera than I do and I haven't had a stroke. I think I need to devote more time to practicing with my digital device.

    Mexico Midgets are a new tomato variety to me. Sounds interesting, so maybe I'll enjoy planting some seeds, too.