Practical Matters for Physically Challenged Gardeners #9

(Debra) Garland, TX

We came from here:
http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/t/1135073/#new

seacanepain
Midland City, AL

October 13, 2010
02:36 PM

Post #8154196

Quote
Welcome to Practical Matters #8. Here, we discuss the day-to-day challenges of gardening and outdoor living when you are dealing with some sort of physical limitation. It is a place to share problems and seek out potential solutions. A place to vent frustrations and share the joys of the garden and our successes. We even manage to stay on topic sometimes. lol.

(Debra) Garland, TX

Nadine, I was thinking of you today. Planted a Cherry Brandy Gaura, two Scent First Passion Dianthus, and a Society Garlic. All are supposed to be good for bees. :-)

Midland City, AL

I'm going to try some Society Garlic. It is one of those flowers that bridge spring and summer. There is a period of a couple weeks during the transition when not a lot is blooming. Society Garlic should fill that nicely and it might keep deer out of the veggies nearby. PJ says he wants to plant some underneath his apple trees. lol. Last year the deer ate almost all the apples in one night. Leaving only one apple in the very top of the tree.
The flowers here were hit hard by little boys picking bouquets for their grandma. Mimi Kay just said thank you and told them how dandelions made the best bouquets. I guess that is one way to protect the landscaping and get rid of dandelions at the same time. It could backfire later though. I can just imagine one of these boys at 16 or so bringing his GF a bouquet of dandelions. MK assures me she will correct them before then. :-) ~Nadine~

(Debra) Garland, TX

It's also supposed to be drought tolerant and good for eating.

My grandmother did the same thing with my dad when he was a kid. He was picking all of her Irises. :-)

Thumbnail by lovemyhouse
Milton, MA(Zone 6a)

Folks, new article today (on home page) and what do you think of Raleigh-Durham NC? DH might get transferred!

(Debra) Garland, TX

Everyone I have ever talked with from Raleigh-Durham says it is great. Obviously would have a more moderate winter temperature than where you are currently located. It is one of the big national tech/research hubs. World renowned medical facilities. Lots of great schools. Good mix of sophistication and rusticity. Gorgeous scenery close by. AND only 10 hours by Interstate from Kay and Jim! You guys could meet in the middle. :-)

Midland City, AL

Don't you also have some family in Atlanta, Carrie? That new GS? Or, am I more confused than usual.

Milton, MA(Zone 6a)

Yes, we do, Jim, the new GS! The real question is, do they have something like MA's PCA program down there. Debra all of that is exciting, it's more like CAN I GET PCA'S DOWN THERE???? You who I need to talk to is Sheri!

(Debra) Garland, TX

Carrie, maybe NC has something similar? Hope so, anyway.

Kay, are you still recovering from GC visit? (hug)

Nadine, you is a good auntie. :-)

Jim, swear I am not INTENTIONALLY in the 'pink' conspiracy. :-D

It has been a good weekend. First time in forever that I had energy to work outside both days. Yesterday, planted a Banana Cream Daisy and a Wood's Pink Aster. Dug up a pruned-to-no-end Artemisia and replaced it with a dwarf white Buddleia. Made myself be absolutely ruthless and chuck the misshapen toady thing on the pile for the waste trucks instead of planting it somewhere else. Found that the Broom I got had separate "trunks" with separate root systems and, so, looks like I maaaaaybe ended up with four separate plants. Put them along the Rose fence. Fingers crossed. Today, planted three dwarf Yaupon Holly shrubs, two Mexican Feather grasses, dug orange Cannas to send to a member in SC, fed the two new Roses. Pulled nasty weedy grass both days. The Baptisia are coming up, even most of the ones that were left in containers. Fingers crossed on them, too. Most of the Coleus cuttings I babied over the winter and finally set outside died in the cold snap last night...sigh...ah well...So I have a reason to go buy more!!! Yea!! LOL Oh, and I put down a stepping stone in the side driveway strip for the letter carrier. He pretty much goes through the same area every time when he is headed next door, so, with luck, he's smart enough to realize what the stone is for and he shouldn't accidentally squish something I wanted. Like the Gomphreas he smushed down last year. [ha-RUMPH]

My neighbors are moving at the end of the month and have offered me all their Roses. They have eight. Oh BOY. Good thing one of my broke "kids" had to replace his car window, for which he now owes me 23 hours of labor. Along with my two regular kids, he's going to help pull up the yard grass to make a new bed, dig 'em up, and plant 'em over here next weekend. [moohahaha] We are going to get started leveling and covering the area for the tiered planters for the Green Amber Gardens project, too. My tech manager has a friend who can get me recycled concrete block and and has promised to deliver at least a pallet load to my driveway. How lucky is that? Better buy my helpers some sturdy gloves.

Midland City, AL

Carrie, my Dad had PCA services after he broke his leg. ( I was still in high school so I couldn't look after him during the day.) If a place like Midland City had such services, I'm sure a more developed place like the Raleigh area would. It seems logical that such services would be among the last to be hit by Medicaid or Medicare cuts.
I know Mama Kay once worked at a place called Independent Living Apartments in Houston. An apartment complex especially geared to para- and quadriplegics. She said it was just your average apartment complex, except that everything was accessible and there was a service staff on call 24-7. The Raleigh-Duram area might have an apartment complex like that also. That might be worth looking into. ~Nadine~

(Debra) Garland, TX

Carrie, I wrote to the MA PCA council. Reply from Jack Boesen. Maybe someone here can help find out what NC has.

"Thank you for writing to the Council. While I do not have a comprehensive list of similar agencies, below are some sites I have found. Washington State had a Council but closed it. Down below I have give you a link to PHI, an organization working to support direct care workers. Maybe someone there would have more information."

California http://www.capaihss.org/
Oregon http://www.oregon.gov/DHS/spd/adv/hcc/index.shtml
Michigan http://www.mqccc.org/portal/
Wisconsin http://www.wqhcc.org/index.php

http://phinational.org/

==========================
Here is the link to the NC Department of Health and Human Services, too.
http://www.ncdhhs.gov/

:-))

(Debra) Garland, TX

Bought the gloves AND...walked around long enough to put back every single sale plant with which I had completely filled a basket. Yea, me!

Midland City, AL

Debra, the concrete blocks were a great score!
Kay planted potatoes today. She is trying that old technique with the three stacked tires. The only complaints I've ever heard about that technique is the tires can be heavy and hard to lift. Kay had me remove one side wall off the bottom tire and both sidewalls from the top two. That dramatically reduces the weight. I think most folks should be able to do the little lifting required. We will find out come harvest time. .
Nadine painted while I paid bills and cleaned house, Yep, my life is just a thrill a minute. Well, at least, I got out of the painting. Have I mentioned this month how much I hate painting. :-) (Jim).

Milton, MA(Zone 6a)

Everyone sounds like they are up to no good - the good kind, of course! Good score Debra, and thanks for the links. Nadine, i agree, but I worry that we might not be poor enough any more to qualify. Anyway, he has decided he doesn't want to move. I think the idea that I would leave both my parents and my DD and my garden has convinced him that I am seriously worried about his health and would do almost anything to give us more time together. He has promised to apply for a manager's position in Boston that is open through attrition - it would be the same pay but one hopes, less pressure, only 30-50 hrs a week and not a killing 70-100.

Midland City, AL

Carrie, I hope he gets it. Working long hours in a high stress job broke me healthwise and I'm young.
PJ got an annual cut flower mix for Valentine's Day. I planted it for him today by the front walk where he can view it easily.
Also, cleaned and organized the "baby barn" I moved a comfortable couch, the sewing machine and all my art supplies out there. It will be great to be able to leave a project laying out until I'm finished with it. I was having to pick all my stuff up and put it away every evening.
MK worked on the new w/c ramp. We are replacing the wood one with, what we hope, will be a lower maintenance earthen ramp. It will be dirt cheap :-) but MAN there is a lot of earth to be move. (6' wide 4' high) I hope we haven't bitten off more than we can chew with this project. .
It seems like the trailing verbena 'Homestead Purple' started blooming early. We had temps in the upper 30's only a few nights ago. I can't remember stuff like that from year-to-year. I think I will keep a record this season of what bloomed when. Walking the property every morning with my Monster energy drink in hand to look for new stuff in bloom is a fun way to start the day. I'm not a morning person so any little trick helps. ~Nadine~

Thumbnail by Sansai87
Milton, MA(Zone 6a)

You're chewing your earthen W/C ramp? Errr....

Midland City, AL

ROFL!

(Debra) Garland, TX

I used to at least sample the mud pies I made as a four year old, so I don't see anything wrong with chewing the ramp..

Nadine, are you still of a mind to have mostly white 'decor' in there?

Midland City, AL

The couch I moved out there is slate blue velour, but, other than that, I think I will stay with white-on-white. It is a small space and there is only one window. White would give a more spacious feel. I considered classic bee colors, but that would be more of the same here. Amber, honey, caramel and browned-down yellows accented by black are everywhere you look around here. Could that explain why we naturally have so many bees? They like the decor?
It is one big mud pie outside today so Iíve been working on labeling the photos on the computer. (It turned out to be the perfect task because I made a positive ID of a euonymus whose name has been eluding me. There was a labeled photo of it in the files. duh.) Iím sorting through the unlabeled plant photos with MK alongside to tell me the plant's names. The Zoomtext program on this computer can magnify up to 30X. You can also change the color contrast to define edges. With my descriptions supplementing details she canít make out on the screen, identifying and labeling is going much faster.
PJ discovered today it will cost $500 to take one of the large pines down and that does not include grinding the stump. Ouch! There is still one arborist who hasnít given his estimate, but Iím afraid $500 is as low as it will get. MK says it is a lower price than normal for the job because the arborist can cut it into 15í sections and sell it to a lumber mill. The tree is over 70í tall. The workhouse is only 20íto the east of it. There is a power line at about the same distance to the south and there is an equally large pine on its north side. Iíve never seen such a large tree felled in such close quarters. I hope Iím at home to watch when they fell it. ~Nadine~

SE/Gulf Coast Plains, AL(Zone 8b)

The last arborist said the damage to the pine's trunk is such that it is very likely to fall to the unobstructed west if it fell naturally. That would still leave us with a massive clean-up job that is physically beyond any or all of us. I don't dare landscape on the west side of the tree yet because it would crush whatever was there when it inevitably did fall. It looks like we will need to tighten our belts just a little more and get it taken down professionally. "Ouch" is right!
I certainly hope your DH gets the new position, Carrie. Re-locating is a major hassle even without the complications of physical limitations.
Your self-discipline is admirable, Debra. lol. I once considered blindness an advantage to my wallet because I didn't have to deal so much with impulse buying. There is no, "I see it so I want it." Then. on-line catalogs and text-to-speech programs came along. Jim now hides the credit cards from me every time he sees me checking out on-line nursery catalogs. Impulse buying via "I hear about it so I want it. " can be just as damaging to the bank account.
I gotta go chew on the w/c ramp some more. I estimate 2-3 weeks before I can swallow the earth moving part of the project and there is the concrete surfacing after that. Hopefully, it will all be worth it not to have to worry about preserving the wood in our humidity and we avoid the rumble-strip effect of a boardwalk ramp. Kay*

Milton, MA(Zone 6a)

Now he has decided to stay exactly where he ois but take more time off (?). Like that's going to happen. Sigh.

I'm still laughing about Kay chewing on the earthen ramp project, and happy that if I ever get far enough south to visit, there will be a ramp for me! We'll be in Orlando in May -- how far is that?

Midland City, AL

Orlando is 320 miles from here. That route I know VERY well. I was stationed not far from here in Panama City. I would drive down to see Kay and her children. The kids would always want to take me to Disney World. lol. Are you going to do Disney World while you are there? I know it is accessible. Kay was having problems with her knee and went using a w/c. I thought the w/c was overkill. She was only limping a little. By the end of the day, Kay was limping along and the girls were pushing me in the w/c. lol. I was just beginning to have pain then, but that is a big place. By w/c may be the best way to see it. (Jim)

(Debra) Garland, TX

Kay, I didn't manage it too well today. Box store perennials on sale. Lavender, Daisy, two Japanese Boxwoods, and two Quinalt strawberry plants. Even broke down and bought the hanging bag I've wanted to try for forever. Have three kids coming tomorrow morning to move roses from the neighbor's and do some more cleanup on the Green Amber project. They can fill and hang for me. :-) Did manage to close out every online shopping cart I filled while at work today BEFORE I hit checkout, so I guess that counts...

Bet you'll love the concrete ramp.

Pittsford, NY(Zone 6a)

Hi everyone. I just started the spring clean up here in the Northeast.
What nuiscence it is to have to carry soooo much small stuff to the garden.
The old ways just arent working for me anymore.
I wanted a tool belt for shears,nippers,gloves,tags etc.
I found this online and thought I would pass it on. Maybe you already solved the problem but here it is.
http://www.duluthtrading.com/store/departments/-specialty-shops/gardening-essentials/womens_gardening_clothes/51009.aspx?feature=product_2#

(Debra) Garland, TX

a vest would be too much for me in texas heat, but the idea can be adapted to a fabric belt with loops and a couple of pockets. sort of like a fanny pack on steroids with all its cousins. LOL great idea, thank you for the link. :-)

Pittsford, NY(Zone 6a)

I was wishing for a linemans belt type thing.Up north its not so bad.

(Debra) Garland, TX

With help, transferred five of the neighbor's roses and have the upside down strawberry planter hanging and filled. Fingers crossed it works. Only had two helpers today, so shelved more work on the the planter project for now. After they left, planted a Lavender pinnata-relocated a Fescue to plant it in a sandy sloping area. Planted an "Angel" Shasta Daisy and five dark stem Dahlia bulbs. Pulled lots and lots and lots of grass plugs.
Ordered two Helleborus. First time ever even considering them. Thought they were nasty. Until saw them live at a nursery. Like the foliage and size. Flowers were pretty. Giving them a space in the same area that the Wedding Gown Hydrangea will go.

Pittsford, NY(Zone 6a)

Sounds like a good days work.

SE/Gulf Coast Plains, AL(Zone 8b)

I like that vest! It would work well for me. I'm V-shaped so it's either a vest or I make suspenders for my utility belt. lol. Either would work better than the small stuff in a 5-gal. plastic bucket method I've been using. It seems the bucket is always just out of reach and I end up laying tools down and forgetting them.
I'm taking the day off from the w/c ramp project to do some planting. I will get back on it tomorrow. I think I will be just as happy to have the wheelchair ramp back as w/c users. The ramp is much easier on arthritic knees.
Jim claims if it weren't for him, all our money would go for pretty plants. I foresee a problem as he gets more and more into gardening. Who is going to keep HIS nursery spending under control? He just came home with an Easter egg plant (Solanum melongena). So....instead of me spending all our money on pretty plants. It will be Jim spending all our money on unusual plants. lol. Kay*

Pittsford, NY(Zone 6a)

I used the 5 gal bucket method. Its just too much dragging it along with a bucket of compost. I use a hand truck with a large rectangle plastic storage tub. Still clumsy as most of the paths are too narrow for the tub.

Milton, MA(Zone 6a)

Hi Joanne! How are you?

Pittsford, NY(Zone 6a)

Hi Carrie

(Debra) Garland, TX

I was happy with what we got done. A new dig-'em-up plan came to me when we finished and the boys were agreeable to do the work, so we will be pulling out even more of the hated front yard grass in the next couple of months for mulched pathways, a paver walkway and more flowers. I want fine-bladed, GREEEEN grass that you can walk in barefoot. Grass you can lay in and watch the clouds go by without pokes from the pricklies and chomps from the fire ants. Know I'd have to move back up North or pay lots and lots and lots of landscaping money to get it, but I can at least pull up this awful stuff and put something else in its place. After I whine some more about it, of course. :-)

Midland City, AL

Debra, I have zoysia seeds, if that is a grass you are considering.
Welcome to the thread ge#. Thanks for the link. (Jim)

(Debra) Garland, TX

Jim, been thinking about Zoysia and Buffalo. What do you think?

Milton, MA(Zone 6a)

Debra, you should read what they have to say at High Country Gardens about different drought tolerant lawns!

Joann, I realize there are about a million ways of spelling Jo-Ann (same as Carie, Keri, Kerry, Karrie, etc) so you are most welcome to add your name to the real names / screen names thread which is stickied at the top of this forum.

I saw someone else's crocuses up today - bright yellow, a color I will soon get sick of, I know, but it is welcome.

(Debra) Garland, TX

thanks carrie, will do

SE/Gulf Coast Plains, AL(Zone 8b)

Whew, it has been a long day. We yanked out 3 allegedly dwarf red barberries and variegated privet that was too big for the space. Consigned the red barberries to the burn pile, but relocated the privet and will let it assume its natural tree form. We seeded 7 types of tomatoes, Hamburg parsley and carrots.
Jim went to the nursery for the 3 ĎPurple Diamondí loropetalum our plan called for, but changed his mind at the nursery. He came home with 3 blueberry bushes. I guess he was thinking about the semi-dwarf ĎNorthlandsí like his mother grew. The southern rabbiteye cultivars achieve a mature height of about 10í. While Iím all for edible landscaping and I agree blueberries are attractive shrubs, they were too large for the space we were working on. We did find space for two of them close to the house. The third went into the Standing Garden. Still donít have the 3 SMALL shrubs for the edge of the patio. I think I might just put in 4-o-clocks there for this season. Since blueberries appear to be Jimís current passion, I will look for some Florida evergreen blueberries (Vaccinium myrsinites). There are semi-dwarf versions of those, but they are not easy to find. Kay*

Milton, MA(Zone 6a)

Don't you hate it when you send your man to the nursery for 1 particular thing and he brings home seven other things that may have no relation to what you originally wanted?

Midland City, AL

That vest would be an EXCELLENT idea for MK. PJ was repairing the dryer this morning and giving MK a hard time about not pulling everything out of her pockets before she throws her work clothes into the laundry. He itemized what he removed from the bottom of the blower vent like small pebbles, a finishing nail, a few little screws, a hearing aid battery, some of the eye hooks she uses in the garden to put up wire supports, the remnants of a nursery tag, etc. Those arenít what caused the dryer to fail, but it does explain some of the weird noises it was making. lol. Eleven pockets MIGHT be enough. ~Nadine~

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