The Teddington Gardener

Disruption in transmission …

A snowdrop. Something to look forward to. Hellebore Anna’s Red for the story picture.

A brief and personal note, to explain why I haven’t done very much online these past weeks and months. You haven’t come here to a horticulture focused blog for this – but here goes.

I have depression, have been ill for several months and I think it likely I won’t be back to my old self for a while yet. I’m trying not to set any time limits for my recovery.

This isn’t my first time on this particular merry-go-round though I have had ten good years free from these demons. I have many of the classic symptoms of depression, hostile and negative, but have found an anger in me that pushes against keeping quiet about my illness. When I have had the energy and courage and reached out, not enough, it has been positive and frankly, I need all the help I can get.

You may already be a convert, but challenge the stigma of mental health illness please, talk about it among your friends, family and co-workers. I won’t be reading any comments, for a while at least if indeed I should expect any. Please no negative stuff – I know I am putting my head above the parapet here. Be kind to yourself and to each other.

  • I’ve deleted my Instagram and Twitter accounts, Facebook to is on the way out – they all became distracting but possibly something I will regret. I nearly deleted the blog too but really, really hope that I can come back to it. Like so many things, it once gave me much satisfaction and enjoyment.

Martin

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16 comments

  1. Liz

    Oh please don’t stop the blog Martin…..in part because I’ve only just found it.
    It makes me smile and feel good!
    I too am a Teddington gardener and over the coming months shall be drinking in your past observations, words of garden wisdom and glorious photographs.
    I do hope you work your way back to the very best of wellbeing soon and that your own garden continues to give you joy in the months ahead.

  2. Melanie Bagust

    Dearest Martin

    Literally just a hello. I am no stranger to depression and have often has to hide behind a pretend physical illness with myself and more with my eldest son, Bertie. He is nearly 20 and has gone through so much with mental health in the last 9 years, he deserves a medal. And the fact he is still alive is something I am thankful for every day.

    Petersham Nurseries helped me in some ways when I started, I could just get on with the day and get the job done and think of nothing else for a few hours. That is not particularly so now but I will work that out. You are much missed at work and just in the everyday but the most important thing is you are supported and understood, to get better in the way you need to get better.

    You are unique, loved and an inspiration to many but you need to see this for yourself and not just be told. I know we all have different coping mechanisms and I hope yours will soon all be in full swing so that you are lifted out of this episode fully to enjoy your days again.

    Thinking of you. Melanie x

    M e l a n i e H o b b s

  3. Елена

    Dear Martin!
    Depression is the same part of life as joy, love, illness .. This is temporary.
    I wish you people close to you at this moment.
    Please do not delete the blog! He’s great! If there is no emotional power to write about flowers, write about your sadness. Or just do not write anything.

  4. Lisa-Ontario

    I find the more I talk to people about the difficult things in my life, the easier things are. My daughter very recently came out as transgender. I have been amazed at the support people have given us. None of us are alone. We all have our demons to fight, but when we ask others for help, usually they surprise us and come through. Good luck. Be kind to yourself.

  5. Debbie

    You are so brave for speaking out! I am sending you lots of warm thoughts, soft hugs and love. You WILL get through this. Thank you so much for posting this. I (before I retired) worked in mental health for over 40 years, and it is so important that you spoke out. Being in the garden is a big help. We are here for you.

  6. Sarah Dickinson

    Hello Martin, I’m so sorry to hear you’ve been feeling so low. I’m wondering if you’ve been at Petersham as I don’t think I’ve seen you the last couple of times I’ve been down and I’ve missed chatting with you. Thank you so much for letting us know how you are, I appreciate your frankness. Although I’ve had bouts of feeling miserable I don’t think I’ve ever been full on depressed. Nothing a good long dog walk can’t eleviate if only temporarily any way. So I’m thinking of you and sending you good positive thoughts. Come for a bracing walk in Richmond Park if you like. I hope you feel better soon. Much love Sarah and Pixie.x

  7. Cheryl Rosen

    Martin, dear gardening friend, you are an inspiration. Your wit, beautiful words & photos have touched so many… If not Flower Power… then what? The beauty and passion you share with your loving ragtag followers sustain us in this unruly world. Carry on, dear Friend… take care of yourself & never stop biking along the river… potting your bulbs… enjoying the sun or rain on your face. Look up. You are best loved. xoxoxo from Cheryl in Oregon… PS And I love Abraham Darby… a shrub that has never done well for me (being planted beneath a holly tree…. don’t ask…) but has soldiered on… and every summer exhibits a few of the most exquisite roses… But, then, of course, there’s Jude the Obscure… sigh… I believe roses are God’s gift to people like us… Ha!

  8. Hang in there, we do so enjoy your blog, photography and insights! Please continue to follow your passion. Gardening helps with my depression, but I am aware that my depression is mild compared with other, but it does help me. Best wishes to you!

  9. Whenever you do read comments, if ever — I wish you the very best. I hope you can rediscover your sense that the world can hold joy and the beauty I see in your photographs, as well as sadness. Be well, fellow plant lover. Spring always follows winter.

  10. Maxine Grice

    I feel really sad reading how bad you are feeling, and don’t know what to say to help you, but I hope you can look to nature to give you some strength at this time x Sending love and the very best to you.

  11. Avril

    Martin, you are loved and missed by myself and all the Green Team at Petersham…and all your colleagues. Your bravery will give courage to others to speak about the hidden sadness which can drown a spirit. We love you…never doubt that and we look forward to having you and your humour, wit, kindness, generosity and horticultural expertise back within our PNR spiritual home! Mum, Vino and Scooby miss you too…Scooby will be sooo glad to have you back so he can ‘escort you off the premises’ every evening. 😘🌺

  12. Andrea

    ‘Courage, Dear Heart’ , so glad your blog is still with us, so you can see how much you are missed and loved. I sent a long email to you last week. Spring is just around the corner, and like winter, you will see that this will also pass. Andrea

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