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A few weeks ago, I suffered what swiftly became my most painful gardening injury to date: I stubbed my toe on a tasteless garden ornament. (It wasn’t mine, I was helping out at a friend’s garden.) Within seconds I knew this was no ordinary toe stubbing – I couldn’t move my foot. Comforting myself with the knowledge that most people who think they’ve broken a toe actually haven’t, I cycled the 15 miles home and had a bath.
The next morning my foot was so swollen I couldn’t walk. I managed to drag myself to A&E for an X-ray (it wasn’t broken, but I had torn some ligaments, apparently). I’m not the only one who’s ended up in A&E after a garden injury: the Telegraph reports that in spring visits to injury clinics with gardening-related injuries are often higher than those for sports like football and rugby.
Gardening injuries are horribly common. They normally happen in spring, when the first sunny day of the year inspires hours of weeding, pruning and digging after a winter of sitting on the sofa eating pies. But your garden can harm you at any time of year – just the other day my friend came round to dinner sporting a black eye, which she’d received from a thorny bramble while picking blackberries. Another friend once caused herself so much damage she had to see a physiotherapist for weeks afterwards. She’d never gardened before, or even excercised, it seems. That didn’t stop her excitedly tackling her brand new garden all in one day.
My mum is a seasoned gardener, but she puts her back out weeding every year (I’m sure she does it deliberately so she can take time off work to watch Wimbledon). Last week she sliced her thumb open deadheading lavender.
It’s any wonder we go out into our gardens at all, with the dangers of lawn mowing, pruning, even using compost. Then there’s plant sap – euphorbia is particularly dangerous, as it can cause temporary blindness.
I’m lucky I only stubbed my toe, even if it did look a lot worse. But what about you? Have you ever come a cropper in the garden?
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