Gardening With A Disability

Gardening brings me serenity within myself as my body enjoys the fresh air and sunshine, and my mind creates the beauty that will be my landscape.  I have always cherished my time in the garden.  I find my peace there.

Gardening is a very physical activity and I’ve always been a very naturally energetic person. In late winter a few years back I seriously injured my knee. It was devastating for me.  My physical movement was severely restricted for more than a year after. I’ve been a gardener and a runner since I was a child and due to this injury, I wasn’t able to do either activity. This situation tried both my patience and my determination because it served as a barrier between me and the activities I loved, or so I thought.

As spring rolled around, I was determined to get out and garden, but my body was failing me.  I couldn’t put much weight on my injured knee and I could only stand for a short period of time. I wasn’t able to carry garden supplies where I needed them and I couldn’t get down on the ground to work. At that point I was extremely frustrated.  Then one day an idea came to me as I was resting on my kitchen step.  Right outside my door was the naked stump of a large cottonwood tree that my dad had cut down several years before.  I went foraging around in my shed for supplies.  With a hammer and chicken wire in hand, I created a tree stump flower bed which served as a raised garden bed for me to play in that summer.

 

I admit my landscaping that summer as a whole was rather untidy because I wasn’t able to move around well. More importantly, however, I was once again able to find my serenity in gardening even if it was on a smaller scale. That was good enough for me.  It made me realize that all things are possible with faith and determination.  It also made me realize that having gratitude for what I have, instead of lamenting what I don’t have, serves me best. As they say, “Where there’s a will, there’s a way.”  While I’m still not able to run outdoors as I would love to do, I am able to “run” on an elliptical exercise machine. And, gardening on the ground is no longer off-limits although I’m not as mobile as I once was. Every day I thank the Universe for what I do have, which is the ability to move around freely once again.

 

If you enjoy gardening but you have physical limitations, there are ways to get around your disability.  Raised wooden flower beds can be built or purchased to allow even those in wheel chairs to enjoy gardening.  Tools can  be found that are adapted for those with physical limitations.  For example, my favorite garden tool is the CobraHead  which is a large hand tool that is used for weeding.  CobraHead also makes a smaller, lighter version of the same tool which my friend uses because she has naturally smaller hands and limited strength because of a stroke.  Remember, there’s always a way, you just have to keep looking to find it.

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Gardening not only creates beauty in the world but brings out the beauty inside of you.  Don’t let physical limitations stop you from doing what you love, no matter what it is.  Gardening is all about getting creative, so dig in and get creative.  You never know, you may be the next Martha Stewart!

Happy gardening.

Quote of the Day

“Obstacles don’t have to stop you.  If you run into a wall, don’t turn around and give up.  Figure out how to climb over it, go through it, or work around it.”

–  Michael Jordan, American athlete

 

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The CobraHead, An Amazing Garden Tool

As a gardener, I am always looking for new ways  to do things better, faster, and easier in the garden. And it’s just a lot of fun to experiment and try new ideas and tools. I  recently tried a new tool called the CobraHead.  It is a multi-use tool that is designed to dig, furrow, weed, and turn the earth.

 

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The tool has an unusual appearance with its tip in the shape of its name sake, a snake’s head. It has a solid comfortable handle made with durable materials, including recycled materials, according to the manufacturer.  The handle of the tool is large and easy to hold. The weight is balanced and the tool feels substantial in your hand.

The CobraHead is an amazingly simple yet effective tool. I used it to weed a small garden bed and it was very quick and efficient, without tiring my arm or hand. The shape of the tool makes it easy to get near the base of your plant to weed without injuring the plant.

I wanted to test the tool on a tougher job so I used it to actually dig up a new bed, tearing out weeds and grass to prepare the soil for petunias. Amazingly, it took me only about 20 minutes to dig up a new bed that is approximately six feet by three feet in size. I also used the tool to dig the holes to plant the petunias. The tool is extremely versatile which is what I really like about it.

I am very comfortable using the original CobraHead garden tool. For a woman, I have large hands with long strong fingers. In contrast, a gardening friend of mine has smaller hands and shorter fingers than I do. She also has several physical handicaps including the after effects of a recent stroke that affected her dominant hand.   She was very impressed with the mini CobraHead tool, a smaller version of the original tool,  which was easier for her to hold and lighter for her to use.  She was as impressed as I was with the tool’s versatility and ease of use.

The CobraHead tool is an easy to use, versatile gardening tool that can be used to dig, furrow, weed, and plant. It’s been a wonderful addition to my gardening tool kit.  It’s now my go-to tool. Check out the website for the CobraHead garden tool at https://www.cobrahead.com/

Happy Gardening!

Quote of the Day

“There can be no other occupation like gardening in which, if you were to creep up behind someone at their work, you would find them smiling.”

-Mirabel Osler