Hartley Magazine

All the latest news, hints, tips and advice from our experts

Safely Does It

Lavender3Generally the garden is a place of healing, full of medicinal herbs, aromatic foliage and scented wonders to lift the spirit and relax the mind. But just sometimes it has a bit of a sting in its tail.

Take care in your garden and greenhouse this autumn; a chance mishap, a trip or slip can quickly result in serious injury. It’s a sore topic for me for more than one reason. Sore because I tripped in the garden last week and face butted the paving smashing my face on some concrete edging and sore because I really didn’t think I was particularly accident prone or that it would happen to me. Well it did and I now bear the scars and bruises of that fateful day. Fortunately it could have been much worse, but to be honest I wish it hadn’t happened at all.

No matter how careful you are accidents can happen and the older we get, well the less we bounce. Apparently if I’d been drunk or a little worse for wear I might not have hurt myself.
According to The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (ROSPA), 300 000 people are hurt in their gardens each year seriously enough to go to hospital and 115 000 of them have had a fall.

Perhaps I’m shutting the stable door after the horse has bolted but this weekend, if I’m well enough, I’m clearing the garden paths of any potential obstructions, cutting back the raspberry canes that currently block the route through the garden, clearing out the greenhouse benches so I can move inside the greenhouse and cleaning the paths with Armillatox Soap Based Cleaner (www.armillatox.com; 01773 590566), to make them all really safe to walk on. It’s in short supply at the moment, but well worth the effort to track it down, it’s so easy to use, just water it on and leave it to do it’s stuff.

It’s all sensible action in any garden, making it safer for you and for visitors too and with so many potential perils in the garden, perhaps it’s apt advice. Apparently Lawnmowers account for 6 500 accidents in the UK each year and the very scary flowerpot, another 5 300, the mind boggles, but it seems we fall over flowerpots or injure ourselves trying to move them. Timely warning as we move our containerised summer favourites into the greenhouse and indeed start emptying out the greenhouse planters and pots. Secateurs and pruners add another 4 400 accidents, but the greenhouse doesn’t actually seem to feature in the statistics.