Homeβ€Ί Cancer Expert Q&A Hubβ€Ί Cancer Coffee Break

UPDATED: RENAMED: Gardening, 'all shapes and sizes, hints, tips and pics' thread!



  • Chilali1531Chilali1531 Posts: 102 ✭✭✭

    Hello everyone 🌡I'm just catching up on what's been going on these last few days. Wow- you have all been busy !! I've been a bit "low" on energy after last chemo ( I'm having approx 2-3 days of chemo in hospital every 2-3 weeks) & this week I had blood & platelets transfusions to restore me. So the batteries are hopefully recharged in time for next week's chemo !

    In any case the weather here has been cold, grey & wet all week so the plants & weeds are no doubt happy 🌱. The nasturtiums are doing well & im sure the cacti have grown this last week. Missed not being able to have my morning coffee outside in the 🌞, but the forecast is better for next week & we can get back in shorts & flipflops.It can be like that in Toulouse in spring, 30c one day then back to 15c the next so back into pullovers & scarves! Keeps you on your toes ...Have a good day everyone 🎍Ali xx

    Trying to get Chili to pose & look at me is not easy! She's not v obliging for photos ...

  • SunshinedaffSunshinedaff Posts: 1,302 ✭✭✭✭✭


    Hi Ali,

    Do I see red geraniums peeking behind the cactus plant?

    I love them, I always love to see them in pots in the summer, they always remind me of our holidays in France for some reason. I should be getting a delivery soon I hope.

    Funny Chili not playing the game for you lol!

    This is Charlie yesterday, near his favourite spot, he was grounded during the week for getting into a fight. We have to be careful of him as he has cancer and is immunosuppressed.

    Lou xx

  • AnnebAnneb Posts: 99 ✭✭✭

    @Sunshinedaff @RobertA

    All finished except for concreting last step on ground. Now we have access to back yard. Before we had to go out the front and come around side of house. πŸ’–πŸ’–πŸ’–πŸ’–

  • LouiseJLouiseJ Posts: 686 mod


    Good evening Margy,

    Well done boys!! πŸ˜€ The steps look fabulous, I am so impressed!

    Margy this will make it soooo much easier for you all to access the garden.

    You could put some fairy lights up the sides, that would look very pretty! 😁

    We have some lights wrapped around some of our shrubs, they were originally on the pine tree in the front yard, but we have moved them. At Christmas time we will get some more for the front and leave the others where they are!

    I hope your day has gone ok, and you are having a good evening,

    Chat soon,

    Lou xx


  • RobertARobertA Posts: 1,194 mod

    @Anneb @LouiseJ @Chilali1531

    Good evening Margy, Lou and Ali

    Hi Ali. Great pics as always. I hope the weather has improved for you, it is sunny and warm here.

    Hi Lou. Charlie looks good. Isn't he a bit old to be picking fights? How do you ground him?

    Wow Margy, the steps look amazing. Mary has given up on me and we are moving to a new build apartment with nothing to fix.πŸ˜‰

    Rob xx

  • SunshinedaffSunshinedaff Posts: 1,302 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @RobertA @Chilali1531 , @Jimjam @Anneb @NanaBubbles

    Good morning all! 🌞😊

    We have a scorcher ahead of us today, so lots of sun cream for me when I am in the garden, and some sitting in the shade at times.

    I jet washed the patio yesterday, still need to put everything back, it is all on the grass still. I had some plants arrive yesterday, millionbells, so that is a job to do.

    Oh, and the sweetcorn has made an appearance, two of them!! Flowers are coming on the tomato plants too, very exciting, and the strawberries are going crazy.. yum!

    Cleaned out the greenhouse at the weekend, now it is set up and organised for gardening and growing! Not a storage junk room! πŸ˜„

    It always feels good when you can see the difference. Haha.

    Rob, Charlie gets grounded when we keep him in. We don't have a cat flap, and they are only allowed out if we are at home, we never leave them outside if we are not at home. Grounding is easy! Haha!

    I hope you all have a good day,

    Chat later

    Lou 😊 xx

  • Chilali1531Chilali1531 Posts: 102 ✭✭✭

    Good morning all 🌡 I'm in the Pyrenees for 3 days between treatments & enjoying the lush green scenery. Our lovely neighbours spent a day weeding our garden for us so it's not the jungle we feared! We're making them a bbcue lunch today in return ( or should I say Peter is!). I'll make a rhubarb crumble, I think we have just enough in the garden. Difficult to grow veg up here as the garden doesn't get a huge amount of sun due to the narrow valley & we re not there to tend it much. We have rhubarb & raspberries which do well tho. Also a very old pear tree which gives woody pears but ok for cooking. I was thrilled to see our peony in full bloom. Usually it's in June & we often miss it.

    Sorry to hear about your poor cat Lou! We tried strawberries here one year but they either got eaten by snails or went soggy. Pity, I love them! Yes, amazing steps Margy - don't fall down them !! I'm so clumsy with my treatment, my legs don't seem to go where I want them to! Don't worry about your lack of DIY skills Rob ! But a new build is a good idea ... We didn't think about that when we bought this house 14 years ago tho it was in a good state. It's 200 years old & now needs some jobs doing which Peter doesn't seem to notice!! Right, time to get on & make that crumble ! A bientôt , Ali xx🍷

    Ps I had my first glass of wine in 10 weeks yesterday evening sitting on the terrace watching the mountain ... I could taste it a bit ... Bliss!

  • NanaBubblesNanaBubbles Posts: 116 ✭✭✭

    Good morning all!

    I have just been catching up on everything here and looking at your beautiful photos! I love the colourful peonies, nasturtiums and the cacti as well as your Pyrenees photo Ali, just stunning! Margy your stairs look so good and I am sure it will be so great to have that direct access to the garden - you have very clever men to do that for you. Lou, your Charlie is the image of our daughter-in-law’s cat and he is a fighter too!

    We have been doing more odd jobs in the garden but there is always more to do, particularly at this time of year. We had a new acer delivered yesterday called “Orange Dream” which we planted straight away as the poor thing had been very battered and bashed in transit. It is a pale green at the moment but turns orange later in the summer/autumn so is planted between a dark red acer and a lime green coloured one. Everything is growing like mad here but (dare I say it!) we could do with some rain. I have had to limit my time doing gardening bits as I tend to over do it and am then exhausted.

    Well said about putting on the sunscreen Lou! I would not recommend anybody following in my footsteps with melanomas - no fun!!

    Take care everybody.

    Michele x

  • SunshinedaffSunshinedaff Posts: 1,302 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Good morning all!

    Another lovely morning here. I know the water butts need filling, but I am hoping the rain stays away until night time! πŸ˜„

    Michele your new acer sounds lovely. We have three in the garden, a red one and two lime green ones. Years ago when the girls were small we visited an acer nursery. The owners were great and encouraging children to enjoy the garden. They gave both girls an acer each. They are still thriving now. One of the lime green ones has just bloomed. I look forward to seeing your orange one when it changes Michele.

    I am like you also, overdo it in the garden! I thought I had done well in bring careful with the jet washing, but last night my left arm which is where I have lymphodema flared up! So painful. Back to wearing the sleeve. Mind you after finishing the patio my whole arm and hand were vibrating for over an hour afterwards. That was a weird sensation.

    Charlie is awesome! It is almost two years since he became ill. He went through so much trauma and sickness. To see him now, even still with the cancer, living and enjoying his life is incredible. He is a purring miracle. 😊.

    Yes, sunscreen essential! Especially if on chemo or radiotherapy, in fact stay in the shade! Much better.

    Here are a few pics of last few days efforts! Good fun!

    Chat later I am sure! πŸŒžπŸ˜„

    Have a great day everyone

    Lou xx

  • JimjamJimjam Posts: 15 ✭

    Hi folks back at last from a dark place and again it's my garden that keeps me going. When the soil is bone dry and flowers are wilting you have to get your act together again and get going. Had my 6th chemo last week and didn't feel good at all. Yesterday felt fog lifting. Managed to sit on grass and weed round pond. Such a sense of achievement.

  • LouiseJLouiseJ Posts: 686 mod


    Hi, it is so good to hear from you πŸ˜€, I was wondering how you were.

    Despite feeling rubbish, you have made it to no 6, that is really good. I am sorry to hear you have had a rotten time last week, but glad you are beginning to pick up again.

    Just doing a little gentle pottering does really help the mind and spirit I find. Yes, it feels good to look back and see what you have accomplished. I love the flowers, what is it? It looks familiar to one we had in our last home.

    It is another scorcher here isn't it, I hope you are able to enjoy the garden again today.


    Chat soon,

    Lou xx

  • Chilali1531Chilali1531 Posts: 102 ✭✭✭

    Evening all 🌡 Some lovely photos put there, gorgeons colours! That's my favourite type of Rose Lou, I can almost smell it! Today we went to some friends for a long lazy bbcue who have converted an old barn. I think they have one of the most amazing views ever from their terrace - lots of wildlife ( including bears!). It's about 1km up the path from our house so we consider it to be our extended garden! The mountains you can see in photo are the border with Spain. I was very pleased that I managed a walk of about 1km v slowly but with some ups to a lovely waterfall nearby. As you say Jimjam, little achievements! Return to Toulouse tomorrow....but what a lovely refreshing soul-uplifting 3 days we've had !

    Take care everyone Ali xx

    btw I don't know what an acer is Michele, but sounds lovely !

  • JimjamJimjam Posts: 15 ✭

    Hi everyone have really enjoyed looking at all your lovely photos and beautiful gardens. I feel so much more positive now I'm getting over 6th chemo. Got myself in a bit of a dark place thinking about the operation I should have had on the 27th April. Had it all gone to plan I Would have been the other side of it all and hopefully on the way to recovery and some sort of remission.

    Now I don't know what I am with it all or whether the operation will happen. The plan was 4 chemo then the debunking operation to take away a lot of my insides for the ovarian cancer. I had a hysterectomy when I was 40 but they left the ovaries behind. Then two more chemo to mop up any cancer left behind. Now I've just had six chemo a CT scan on Tuesday next week then a face to face appointment on 8th July with the oncologist to see where we go from here or not go. She was a bit vague when I asked her last time over a telephone appointment. She just said it would go before a MDT board and out of her hands.

    Thank goodness for my garden as ever it restores my sanity. My picture is a Clematis " The President " Happy Gardening Everyone

  • JimjamJimjam Posts: 15 ✭

    This is from last year an "Angel Trumpet" Brugmansia I had 5 big plants that has to borough in for the winter then brought out in the summer they were a lot of hard work and high maintenance so I let them go to a lovely couple who run a local nursery with a big heated greenhouse for the winter. When I was diagnosed last year I just wanted them to go to a good home. I don't regret letting them go to someone who was so pleased to get them.

  • Chilali1531Chilali1531 Posts: 102 ✭✭✭

    Morning Jimjam I totally empathize with you about cancer treatment plans being postponed or affected by the Covid virus. My chemo hasn't been postponed much but I am/was due to have a bone marrow transplant & my brother is "stuck" in Australia. So we are waiting to see if they now deem it unnecessary, or postpone till he's able to fly out. It's stressful & I have days when I feel helpless & get depressed. The plants & nature are such a help ! The angel trumpets are wonderful. I also get pleasure from my indoor green plants. I have one that I love - see pic. It trails round & round & hides the plugs in the corner. Apart from water once a week it doesn't need much tending - that's my kind of plant !

    A friend sent me this little Wonderwoman toy which says " You are Wonderwoman, you are a warrior" when you press it. Always makes me smile especially when I'm feeling very unwarrior-like ! Take care Ali xx

  • JerseyBobJerseyBob Posts: 62 ✭✭✭

    Good afternoon @Jimjam

    I am sorry to hear that you have been in such a dark place, but it is not at all surprising with everything that you have had to contend with. It must have been incredibly disappointing to have your operation cancelled and to have to cope with all the uncertainty going on around your treatments.

    It is great to hear from you again and I love the photograph of your amazing Angel Trumpet Brugmansia. I am not an expert on plants but I am really enjoying reading about everyone's gardens and seeing their lovely photographs.

    Rob x

  • JerseyBobJerseyBob Posts: 62 ✭✭✭


    Hi Ali

    I was sorry to read about the postponement of your bone marrow transplant. It must be very difficult for you and for your brother. Let us hope it will not be long before the lockdown is lifted and you are able to meet up and get the transplant sorted.

    I love your mountain retreat and what a fabulous place to enjoy a barbecue at your neighbours just up the pathway from your own home. I trust that you had a lovely break and a safe trip home.

    Rob x

  • JerseyBobJerseyBob Posts: 62 ✭✭✭

    Good afternoon everyone

    Wow, this is an amazing thread and it is wonderful to see all your lovely photographs. I'm afraid I don't know much about plants and flowers but I am learning fast.

    It is wonderful to see how people's gardens help to get us through the lockdown and cancer treatments and give colour and joy to life.

    Rob x

  • AnnebAnneb Posts: 99 ✭✭✭

    Good morning everyone. Sorry i havent been on for a little bit. Work is keeping me flat out. I found this meme and wanted to share. It is a hard road we are all traveling πŸ’–πŸ’–πŸ’–πŸ’–πŸ’–

    Please everyone keep battling away, and it is a battle i know. Our bodies are never the same but we grow to love the new, more tired us πŸ’–πŸ’–πŸ’–πŸ’– i have learnt there is no real end after cancer , but it is still great to get up and fight another day. Have a coffee in the garden , learn to walk at a new pace of life, live for me, my husband and son and the rest is just a blur, and pack away my fear in a little box way back in the brain. Trying each day not to open it.

    Keep going, it is worth it each morning to see the sun and my husband and son's faces πŸ’–πŸ’–


    Margy 🌺🌻⚘🌷🌺🌻⚘🌷🌳

  • jacksprat_x1jacksprat_x1 Posts: 306 ✭✭✭✭

    Hi Margy,

    Thank you for sharing that. Very good advice for all of us on this journey.

    I am early months into recovery from surgery, chemo and two clear scans but with all that we are facing in our cancer journey and Covid 19 it is really good advice to pack away fear in a little box at the back of the brain.

    I took each day at a time and when things got a bit scary reminded myself that I was still able to enjoy Life’s little pleasures. The fresh air, the sun, a coffee with friends, the love of a good family and friends and support of a loving husband and our companionship and my beloved companion, my dog Jasper. I know Covid has put some of this on hold but when I get scared with all the thoughts that come into my head I say to myself yes but you are still here and at this moment in time you are safe and enjoy your life as it is. We have one of those canvas pictures with upbeat phrases in our kitchen and one keeps popping out at me and it makes me smile. It says “Choose Happiness”. Brilliant! So simple it is a good choice.

    Take care Everyone and I hope work is not too Overwhelming Margy. Take care.

    Love Jackie xx πŸ™‹‍♀️

  • jacksprat_x1jacksprat_x1 Posts: 306 ✭✭✭✭

    Hi JimJam,

    I am so sorry to hear that your planned operation could not go ahead. When we are facing this mountain any setback is devastating as it’s all about moving forward and certainty and you must be feeling anxious. I really hope that things improve and it won’t be too long before you hear news of an operation.

    Your pictures of the Angel Trumpet plant and bright Clematis are beautiful. I remember the feeling of sitting on the ground doing a little bit of planting up a couple of pots and the pleasure it gave me to be outside in the sunshine all be it extremely wiped out with the chemo side effects. I’m pleased to say I’m much improved now and surprise myself what I get up to now! I really hope that this will be the same for you too. Take care. Enjoy your garden. Picture of our boy Jasper on a walk today.

    Love Jackie xxx


  • Chilali1531Chilali1531 Posts: 102 ✭✭✭

    Hi everyone 🌡

    Lovely messages & photos, they do help keep the spirit up, it's true Margy. Today the weather was perfect, sunny but not too hot so we ate outside in the shade. Peter barbecued king prawns & made a Spanish rice dish. We planted some Californian poppies so I'm looking forward to those coming up. Gorgeous dog Jackie!

    Take care, Ali xx🌸

  • SunshinedaffSunshinedaff Posts: 1,302 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Good evening everyone,

    It is lovely to read all these lovely posts and see the great photos. It is wonderful to feel the support that comes across all the conversations. I love it. 😊

    I've not been on much last couple of days, felt very sick for a few days and spent most of them lying down. Pleased to say today was much better and we all spent the afternoon in the garden. I potted on a variety of plants. Can't wait to show you when they have grown on a bit.

    I am very excited about them all!! Haha. There is just something so good about seeing plants grow from seed.

    The trampoline went up today, the girls had fun on that. We take it down in winter as it takes up a large part of the lawn.

    Ali I planted the sunflowers in pots, I now have four pots going. The first two I did are coming on so well. Today I made another two pots. They are going to look fantastic! 🌞🌻🌻

    Your meal looks delicious btw! 😊

    Jackie it is lovely to see Jasper, I am glad you are able to get out and walk, enjoy the fresh air.

    Margy your message s spot on and very timely! Thank you so much for the reminder! 😊

    Jimjam I do hope you have been able to enjoy some more garden time this weekend. I keep forgetting it is a Bank Holiday here! It is a beautiful evening, I think there will be a glorious sunset tonight.

    Well I need to go serve dinner up, bit late as the oven kept going out!

    Have a peaceful evening friends,

    Chat soon,

    Lou xxπŸ€—πŸ€—πŸ˜„

  • AnnebAnneb Posts: 99 ✭✭✭

    Morning everyone,

    This is for a laugh. Gardening related as it is kermit. He lives in gardensπŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚


    Love Margy πŸ’›πŸ’›πŸ’›πŸ’›πŸ’›

  • SunshinedaffSunshinedaff Posts: 1,302 ✭✭✭✭✭


    Good afternoon Margy! πŸ˜„,

    Good morning everyone! πŸ˜„

    I love that πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚, I have known how that feels on many occasion hahaha πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚, oink,oink πŸ–πŸ˜„.

    I hope you have had a good day at work. It is a Bank Holiday in the UK, and officially school half term holidays for the week. For many of us, not much change from the last two months! But Mark is glad he gets another day off from working at home! πŸ˜„

    A beautiful morning, I have been up for ages, as soon as dawn approaches I am awake.

    I was up so early even the cats have gone back to bedπŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚.

    I forgot to mention, we had our first strawberry yesterday. It was a whopper and tasted yummy! There were 4 ready, Mr Magpie came and grabbed one, I saw him walking towards them, then he stopped and looked right at me, wandered away as if he wasn't going to, then did a turnaround and pinched one. The other two had been nibbled by something else. Cheeky whotsits, whoever they are πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚.

    The sun is just beginning to reach the patio, when it does I am taking coffee outside. 🌞.

    Chat to you later,

    Lou xx

  • jacksprat_x1jacksprat_x1 Posts: 306 ✭✭✭✭

    Hi Everyone!

    This is such an uplifting Group!

    I love to see your pets and gardens! What resonated with me is that is all that matters in life is good people around you, a comfortable place to be and love and companionship even if it is only through this wonderful club! Each and everyones contribution is so wonderful!

    Ali, I love your pictures of your beautiful abode and the scenery in the Pyrenees is gorgeous! your beautiful dog Chili, they are such a comfort our furry friends. Thanks for your comment about our Jasper.

    I am so sorry that your Brother is not able to come from Australia yet to help you and I hope this will happen for you as soon as it can. Your meal looked delicious!

    Margy, I love Kermit! Haha I bet we all feel like that sometimes, especially during lockdown and the well worn path to the treat cupboard, fridge and wine rack! Eek! I will deal with that when it’s over!!! Your stairway at your house looks swish! Very nice and good that you can access all areas now!

    For a laugh I attach a picture of my tortoise! I was shopping and saw him for £4 and was taken with him! I thought we can can some fun with our littlies (grandchildren) with this!

    i placed him coming out of shrubs in the garden. When I went to bed I said to Norman my husband, “hey guess what there was a tortoise resting in the garden today” He said “really was it ok? Wonder who it belongs to?”

    “Don’t know I said but it looked happy under the shade”

    The next morning we got up and my husband saw it from the breakfast table and said “ “O its back”. He went outside, looked for a minute, expleted and kicked it up the garden. We hadn’t laughed so much in ages! It was well worth £4! Fortunately he survived being treated like a rugby ball and we had some fun with the kiddies. Now little Ivy 2 carries it around under her arm!

    Hi Rob thinking of you and Mary as you pack to move to your new home. Hope you get to have a tea and cake break.

    Lou, I planted some sunflowers and tomatoes in pots yesterday. I love your story about the cheeky bird and your strawberry. Can’t beat home grown ones.


    hope everyone on here has a lovely Day.

    love Jackie πŸ˜˜πŸ™‹‍♀️Xx

  • Chilali1531Chilali1531 Posts: 102 ✭✭✭

    Good evening all🌡 Gosh isn't everyone chatty today !! That's a good sign, I know I go quiet when not feeling well ! Sorry to hear you weren't feeling well Lou - great that the sunflowers are coming up. Ours too, let's see whose grows tallest 🌻! We are having amazing weather in Toulouse, just hope it stays under 30c which is unlikely. Last year my parents spent 2 weeks with us & the last few days were 39/40c which they found pretty tough ( coming from N Yorkshire!). When it's like that we can't enjoy the garden at all, have to keep windows & shutters shut & sit with fans on & our feet in tubs of water! Quite a sight! Btw we don't have a/c... Today I put a parasol up for Chili so she had her own private shady terrace by the gate to observe the passers-by! Peter bought me a new sun hat but he must think my head is the size of a pumpkin- it's huge- fortunately it has a draw string inside to adjust it. But it's great for keeping off the sun. I love tortoises, have always wanted one. Hope it was a rubber one Jackie ! Wow, you have plenty of interesting things in your garden ! Concerning Kermit, he looks as tho he's lying on sand, which is now forbidden ( at least in France). Some beaches are open but they are "dynamic", so you have to keep moving ! I'm so looking forward to going to the sea again ... In the meantime I shall be happy with my lot & simple pleasures as you so rightly said Margy.

    Bonne soirée Everyone ! Ali X

  • SunshinedaffSunshinedaff Posts: 1,302 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Good afternoon lovely friends.

    What a scorcher! 🌞😎

    Jackie, I love your garden flowers and plants, you have several acers too! We have three. The peony looks beautiful, I love those.

    I loved your story of the tortoise!! Haha! Lol! πŸ˜„ He looks great in your garden though.

    Ahhh bless Chili Ali, our cats are the same in this weather. They have their favourite spots but even those can become too hot. We find them crashed out, as flat as possible to a cold surface.

    This is Charlie a few years ago, we had just got the sofa! It was another heatwave then.

    Lola was the other end...

    Like the hat, a good one for keeping you cool.

    We haven't got those restrictions here on our beaches unfortunately Ali! People are behaving as if lockdown is over, and if you have caught any of our news the last two days you will understand why it is getting worse! ☹️.

    These are my sunflowers so far (the first lot, I have just potted on another two pots).

    I hope everyone is having a good day. Chat later!


    Lou xx

  • RobertARobertA Posts: 1,194 mod

    Oh my goodness, you have all been so busy. Amazing plants and flowers and lovely pics of your animals. Chili enjoying a chill under her sunshade, Jasper looking very sleek and happy and Charlie just priceless stretching out on the new sofa.

    Best of all, I love your stories.

    What a lovely meme and thoughtful comments Margy. And a smile with Kermit too.

    Hi Jackie, lovely to see that you are having fun too. The tortoise trick must have really had you all laughing. And I agree, what a lovely uplifting group we have. Good people around you do mean everything.

    Oh Lou, that Magpie was smart. I would have been quite cross with him. I think you are very courageous taking Ali on with your sunflowers. You will have to talk to them a lot, but if this weather keeps going, you never know.

    Hi Ali. Your retreat in the Pyrenees looks fabulous and I hope you are feeling refreshed after your long awaited visit. 30%C! My goodness you need that sun hat.

    Well, nothing much going on here but we are pretty tied up with lawyers, conveyancers etc. etc. We did manage a stroll down to the park to see the wild flowers and catch some rays. The flowers are becoming a really popular feature. Amazing how they flourish without any attention and no rain for weeks.

    Rob xxx

  • SunshinedaffSunshinedaff Posts: 1,302 ✭✭✭✭✭


    Wow! Rob, those flowers become more stunning each time we see them.

    They are so beautiful.

    I would paint those on a painting by numbers! ( You can send photos in and have one custom made)πŸ˜„

    Lou xx

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