Evidently, my garden was thriving while I was away. Neighbors helped out in preventing over-ripening — and got some nice veggies for their trouble. And before I left, we all enjoyed many salads, petit peas, string beans, fabulous kale, beets, cherry tomatoes and even carrots. I’d say my postage stamp garden is a resounding success. But the other day, I hit a pretty major stumbling block — an obstacle that sadly, could end my gardening days.
Last Wednesday, still jet lagged from my flight home, I was out in the garden nonchalantly pulling weeds. I began to get a few pesky mosquito bites, but since my garden was pretty overgrown, I plugged away. As I was tugging around the carrots, I was stung by something. I’m not sure what it was, but since there was no trace of a stinger, it was probably a wasp. Now, this small incident may not be a big deal to most people, but I am allergic to bee stings. So, instead of coming inside to treat the sting with ice, I watched my hand begin to swell and saw dozens of small red bumps forming. With two of my kids nervously watching, I called 911 to get some help. After two Benadryl’s, a trip by ambulance to the hospital and some steroids, I am completely fine but shaken up. I’m also afraid to go near my garden.
My friend Emile, an avid gardener, says that she’s never been stung before and that I shouldn’t be so discouraged. But I am. Having nearly died as a young child from a bee sting, I have lived every single day of my life in fear of getting stung again and going into anaphylactic shock.
What’s a person like me, someone who’s afraid she could die from a single sting, doing taking such a chance? It seems to be a risky summer pastime for a mother of three. I’m a hyper cautious person, one who would never drive after drinking or go into the ocean if there were riptides. So how can I garden in a world full of bees? I suppose I could wear clothing with long pants and sleeves. . .but couldn’t the bees manage to sting me anyway? Plus, with the recent 107 degree temperatures, this isn’t a likely solution.
I’m still trying to figure things out but I wanted to share the latest developments in my life as a Postage Stamp Gardener.