Fumiphobia and gardening | new rainy day magic

Have you ever tried to dig up a creeping buttercup? Its roots can run surprisingly deep, sprawling out in clumps, thick and white. The more you dig, the more you find, and a fork perhaps won’t do; you’ll likely need a spade to get to the bottom, but you’ll get there in the end.

That was last week’s challenge for us here in the garden, but another obstacle I face is less simply overcome. It is fumiphobia – a phobia involving a strong fear of, or aversion to, inhaling smoke and other fumes. This is something that has become especially prevalent since Covid-19 involved worrying about breathing in the virus, or indeed giving it to a loved one inadvertently. Yet, looking back, I think this phobia has been creeping up on me since I was quite young and my siblings would smoke indoors: I felt like there was no escape from it, and would get frustrated, upset, exhausted with the situation.

If you, too, have experienced fumiphobia, I wonder how much it impacts your time spent in the garden or in outdoor spaces. Personally, it can put me off being in the garden if our neighbours are smoking or barbecuing…which actually is quite a bit of the time, in the summer months at least.

It does make me appreciate the periods in which this isn’t the case very much though 💚

Having googled this phobia and found very little, I thought I’d mention it here, as it may chime with someone now or in future. (If so, you’re not alone).

I’ve put some photos below that were taken this morning here in the garden, after a little rainfall. I love this kind of quiet, raindrop-filled time.

☔ K

Tulips and rainy spiderwebs
A silvery-dropped Euphorbia epithymoides, ‘cushion spurge’ 
This lily is beginning to rise up
An unfurling hosta ‘Guacamole’
Over a month earlier to bloom this year – Papaver ‘Princess Victoria Louise 
Beautifully-patterned aquilegia leaves
A deep purple tulip

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