Disabled gardening (was separating rec.gardens)

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Disabled gardening (was separating rec.gardens)

Post by kl.. » Sat, 01 Apr 1995 04:00:00



//snip//

Quote:
>  In fact, I have to almost
> "vicariously garden" because I have lots of back pain. (hands & knees
> gardener).

AHA!  Another one of the bad knees/bad back/bad___ crowd!  You may
be interested in looking at a couple of books on "gardening
for the disabled".  I have Kathleen Yeoman's 1992 _Able Gardener_,
and I've paged through Rothert's 1994 _Enabling garden_.

Lots of ways to adapt tools and techniques to those of us with the
creaky-groanies, or worse.

One thing I know, the next Garden I design will have lots of raised
beds, since both my SO and I had polio, and neither one of us bends
really well anymore.  And I use lots of mulch to cut down on weeding,
rarely dig with anything bigger than a teaspoon if I can help it, and
hire some of the worst of the physical labor done.  But I doubt
I'll ever quit gardening.  Even if it's just a pothos on the windowsill...

So, those of us who are no longer TABs (the Temporarily Able Bodied):
What modifications do you make to make life in the garden easier for
yourself?  Let's start a list, to go along with the kneeling
benches and kneepads of an earlier thread!

The strangest looking thing I probably ever did was to put a webbing
belt around an extension ladder that I leaned against the house.  Then
I stood between ladder and house, with the belt around me, and leaned
forward.  That way, I could lean over without bending my back and
knees.  Got about 120 feet of perennial border planted that way!
I'm *SURE* the neighbors thought I was nuts!


 
 
 

Disabled gardening (was separating rec.gardens)

Post by C » Wed, 05 Apr 1995 04:00:00



Quote:

>AHA!  Another one of the bad knees/bad back/bad___ crowd!  You may
>be interested in looking at a couple of books on "gardening
>for the disabled".  I have Kathleen Yeoman's 1992 _Able Gardener_,
>and I've paged through Rothert's 1994 _Enabling garden_.
> And I use lots of mulch to cut down on weeding

Right.  This year I am really going all out on the mulch. By the way, hope
that $$$ bark mulch (cheaper than hospital) is okay for me to use. My
garden (I guess) must be pretty acid already.  I'd test it, but no two spots
are the same. I just add lime. Before back pain, it was always really
lovely. The weeding is what gets me.

Quote:
>rarely dig with anything bigger than a teaspoon if I can help it

My favorite gardening gismo is that pick/hoe ("baby mattock") thing. Next
best is an Ames "skinny shovel" -- long and skinny blade.  I loosen the plant w/
this when I'm able (obviously not large daylily clumps), then _drag_ the
thing out of it hole.  [Then I tie the clump to the dog and let him pull
it to the new site; but don't tell the ASPCA. <grin>]

Quote:
> But I doubt I'll ever quit gardening.  

Right. If the only thing I can manage is one delphinium.

Quote:
>So, those of us who are no longer TABs (the Temporarily Able Bodied):

Did you read A Whole New Life by Reynolds Price? He/friends use(s) that
term.

Quote:
>What modifications do you make to make life in the garden easier for
>yourself?  Let's start a list, to go along with the kneeling
>benches and kneepads of an earlier thread!

I stretch. Think about nice things. Then kneel/stretch garden. Cannot do
too much 'cause something about knee cartilage/joint doesn't like to have
the human body weighing on it for several hours in bent position. I'm
working on an "air raft". This will be a perpetual flume of air that will
hold an ailing gardner aloft at various heights.  Somewhat like "Astral
projection" or levitation -- we're all familiar with that right?  As long
as the electric power stays on, I'm all set.

Quote:
>The strangest looking thing I probably ever did was to put a webbing
>belt around an extension ladder that I leaned against the house.  Then
>I stood between ladder and house, with the belt around me, and leaned
>forward.  That way, I could lean over without bending my back and
>knees.  Got about 120 feet of perennial border planted that way!
>I'm *SURE* the neighbors thought I was nuts!

Kay, I love this idea!  I can't quite visualize it, though. Where I live it

 
 
 

Disabled gardening (was separating rec.gardens)

Post by Jeff Co » Wed, 05 Apr 1995 04:00:00


Quote:

>So, those of us who are no longer TABs (the Temporarily Able Bodied):
>What modifications do you make to make life in the garden easier for
>yourself?  Let's start a list, to go along with the kneeling
>benches and kneepads of an earlier thread!

I don't have any personal experience with this idea, but Mel Bartholomew
shows a design for a wheelchair-accessible garden in his _Square Foot
Gardening_ book.  Basically, he shows a 4'x4'x1' container placed on
sawhorses (I think, I don't have the book handy) roughly at table-level,
and someone in a wheelchair working on it.  The wheelchair fits underneath
the "garden", putting everything within easy reach of the gardener.

I wouldn't mind doing this with my garden, even though I'm able-bodied.
It would be nice to work with a garden while standing upright, rather than
crawling around on hands and knees.  Only problem is, I don't know if it
would look very nice.  It could be designed to look good (with nice legs
and attractive wood finish), but then it would get a little too expensive
for my taste (I'm a real tightwad when it comes to gardening).  Maybe when
I get a little older, I'll think about doing something like this.
--


 
 
 

Disabled gardening (was separating rec.gardens)

Post by teresa m. es » Thu, 06 Apr 1995 04:00:00


Another plug for Square Foot Gardening:  There is one chapter
on special gardens and there was a description of a literally
raised garden: raised on legs so that someone in a wheelchair
could roll up along side it!  I thought that was a great idea.

teresa
--

 
 
 

Disabled gardening (was separating rec.gardens)

Post by Allyn Wea » Thu, 06 Apr 1995 04:00:00


Quote:

> So, those of us who are no longer TABs (the Temporarily Able Bodied):
> What modifications do you make to make life in the garden easier for
> yourself?  Let's start a list, to go along with the kneeling
> benches and kneepads of an earlier thread!

For those of us with various RSI problems:

 1) a really good pair of padded bicycle gloves (sorbothane padding)
 2) padding on the tools - foam pipe insulation or padded handlebar tape
 3) an obnoxious and persistant countdown timer to enforce breaks
 4) 2 or 4 wheeled balanced cart instead of a wheelbarrow
 5) narrow beds to minimize stretching
 6) more flowering shrubs, fewer high maintenance beds
 7) foot operated weed popper for dandelions & relatives
 8) *use* those proper lifting techniques the PT people made you learn
 9) a good barbeque grill, to pay off friends for heavy labor
10) some friends young enough to be able to do heavy labor, and
     dumb enough to be willing to do it for barbeque :-)
--
Allyn Weaks

 
 
 

Disabled gardening (was separating rec.gardens)

Post by peac.. » Fri, 07 Apr 1995 04:00:00


|>Right.  This year I am really going all out on the mulch. By the way, hope
|>that $$$ bark mulch (cheaper than hospital) is okay for me to use. My  ...

Last year I used salt marsh hay which worked out very well.  You might want
to check the prices on that too.  I was able to pretty much keep the garden
under control (about 600 square feet) with 2 bales.  I started late, so maybe
a 3rd would have been needed if I mulched right at the start, but still, that
isn't too bad.

|>   ... . I'm
|>working on an "air raft". This will be a perpetual flume of air that will
|>hold an ailing gardner aloft at various heights.  

Neat - very "Jetson's"-like... Has great possibilities for home painting and
other work areas too....

|>>The strangest looking thing I probably ever did was to put a webbing
|>>belt around an extension ladder that I leaned against the house.  Then
|>>I stood between ladder and house, with the belt around me, and leaned
|>>forward.  That way, I could lean over without bending my back and
|>>knees.  Got about 120 feet of perennial border planted that way!
|>>I'm *SURE* the neighbors thought I was nuts!

I am immediately struck with that scene from "Honey I Shrunk The Kids" where
Rick Moranis (sp?) is looking for his kids in the back yard -- he is suspended
from his clothes line by some sort of harness that holds him horizontally about
1-2 feet above the ground... :-)  :-)  

But I digress...  :-)  :-)  :-)

- Tom

 
 
 

Disabled gardening (was separating rec.gardens)

Post by Sherry Bail » Fri, 07 Apr 1995 04:00:00


Kay, I envision you as a low-level aerialist!

With those lists of concepts for improved gardening for the creakie-groanies,
maybe a list of shallow-rooted plants for containers would be useful, too.
I mean, if you make a raised bed on the ground, you can fill it and the roots
can also penetrate the ground as well, so your growing depth is essentially
increased by the container, not limited.  But if you build an elevated raised
bed, especially a wheelchair accessible one with knee space, you are
restricting the available soil to that in the container ONLY.  I'm sure some
things do well this way, and others might not.

As for making an attractive wheelchair accessible garden (for example) I saw a
photo somewhere of a gorgeous one -- red brick walkways (or wheelways if you
prefer!) with wooden raised beds probably 12-18 inches deep raised on cement
block stands at the corners, and lots of regular containers (terra cotta and
whatnot) about with flowers, trellises, etc.  No more expensive than a similar
styled urban garden, and a place it seemed delightful to be in let alone work
in! You have to look at this kind of thing as a landscaping project, with all
the hardscaping and so forth that usually includes.

Sherry

 
 
 

Disabled gardening (was separating rec.gardens)

Post by LEAPD.. » Fri, 07 Apr 1995 04:00:00


Quote:

>So, those of us who are no longer TABs (the Temporarily Able Bodied):
>What modifications do you make to make life in the garden easier for
>yourself?  Let's start a list, to go along with the kneeling
>benches and kneepads of an earlier thread!

Each year we find a few exhibits at the Philadelphia Flower Show
with a theme and designed to respond to your query.  Friends Hospital
incorporates the idea in their exhibit where they explain their
program of horticulture therapy, which has a history of many, many
decadesof experience and success.  Give them or the Pennsylvania
Horticulture Society a call - both are listed and in Philadelphia.
They may have some suggestions.

Dave Vanderhoof