advice question

leah_zone5(z5 Missouri)July 20, 2002

This is such a great forum. And I need your help. I am recently handicapped from a car accident. It is only a broken hip, but it has been debilitating during peak gardening time. It has also given me alot of time and alot to think about. I've always been very healthy and it can be taken away so quickly. Anyway, I'm secretary of our garden club and I'm going do a little impromptu talk on planning an accessible garden at our next meeting. So many of our members are older and I worry about them. The ideas on this forum are great. My question is, if you were to plan ahead what would you do to your garden to make it more accessable? I really liked the virtual tour of "Gene's miniature apple tree garden" (those are some amazing plants), Lasagna gardening, and the leaky stock tank as raised bed idea (I love recycling) to name a few.

I also work in the severely handicapped room of the high school and I may be able to use some of these ideas with our students.

Any advice will be valuble to me. Thanks Leah Odzinski

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leah_zone5(z5 Missouri)

Well, I chickened out and didn't say anything about accessable gardening. However, I'm going to see if I can't give a program on it at one of our meetings. Once a month we have a meeting and a program, either a member gives it or we have an expert give it (like a conservation officer or whatever). I gave one on doing cuttings a few months ago. Anyway, some of my ideas are,
1. My main regular vegetable garden, I would plant fewer of alot of stuff, especially tomatoes. My tomatoes are so close that my walker can't get in. Actually this is the story of this whole particular garden. I can't reach my beans either. I have no idea what my squash is doing. Those blasted cabbage worms, I can see them off in the middle of my garden eating my kale... What do you do for your walkways? Do you have tarps, or mulch(I can't do mulch, my chickens totally scratch it up, but most people can) or grass and mow it, or just dirt?
2. I mostly am in my backyard by the hose and water garden so I'd like to set up a large 3 foot high container like a leaky stock tank. Plus plant 3 mini apple trees in a semi raised bed, nearby.
Anyway these are a few ideas I have. Hopefully I will get a good settlement from the guy who hit me's insurance because I live in a 1973 trailer home and I'd like to either get a double wide or a modular home this spring, so I can replan and replant more accessably.
So I'd love to know what you all have done. Thanks, Leah

    Bookmark   July 25, 2002 at 11:14AM
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I have learnt, quite a bit by accident (sorry, didn't mean to insert that pun intentionally), that flowering plants at waist height, if in a wheelchair, or at chest height are excellent for admiring and cuttings. Tulips and daffodils are lousy examples of accessible admiration.

Container gardening on shelves is probably a good way to start; it keeps plants small and maintained to a certain size. If kept to a one or two gallon size, they can still be picked up or moved about to check for bugs and stuff. Alot of vegetables come in dwarf varieties now.

Alot has to do with planning before the growing season, but of course no one can plan for an accident. It may need the help of able bodied persons to do this, so it is good to know a lot of accomodating friends and family, (not just hired hands!)

PS. don't worry about chickening out. I was to do a talk in my garden club, but I too kept silent when the president was seeking new members to make a presentation.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2002 at 6:39PM
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leah_zone5(z5 Missouri)

Thank you so much, Tony. You have definitely helped me out alot. I'm kind of glad I didn't say anything, because I think I might have started crying and I think I can prepare a better speech for a program next year. Also, I talk at the meetings too much anyway. Then, as Secretary, I get to write up a little thing on the meeting for the paper. I mean you can only say your own name in an article so many times before people notice.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2002 at 3:20PM
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