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Accessible Gardening: Why do you garden, despite physical challenges?

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LysmachiaMoon
Waynesboro, PA
(Zone 6a)

March 4, 2012
10:23 AM

Post #9029557

Hello to All! I would love your input to this important question:

Why do you garden, despite physical challenges?

Why is it that, despite the aching knees or back, the fatigue, or whatever, you continue to garden, to love your garden, and stay involved with gardening?

I have to confess to an ulterior motive: I am the author of a book "Accessible Gardening," first published in 1997 by Stackpole Books. I'm in the process of updating it to a second edition, and I'm looking for thoughtful words and quotes by gardeners, for gardeners.

I would so greatly appreciate hearing your thoughts about gardening...why you garden, how it has helped you, what your greatest challenges are and how you've overcome them. Feel free to either reply to this post, or contact me personally using D-mail. You can choose to remain anonymous, but I'd really like to get to know you all better too!

Thank you all SO VERY MUCH! Annie (LysmachiaMoon)

carrielamont

carrielamont
Milton, MA
(Zone 6a)

March 4, 2012
1:56 PM

Post #9029741

Oh my goodness, Annie, that's SUCH a big question. I refer you to the other threads on this forum.
LysmachiaMoon
Waynesboro, PA
(Zone 6a)

March 5, 2012
5:18 AM

Post #9030379

Hi Carrielamont, It is indeed a big question, but I think that it's so important that we share our feelings about gardening, so that we can encourage each other. I"'m really looking forward to hearing from you all. This is your chance to express yourself.

And yes, I will indeed be "crusing" around other threads in this forum...so don't be surprised to hear from me if I find something really great! Thanks again!

Annie

carrielamont

carrielamont
Milton, MA
(Zone 6a)

March 5, 2012
3:55 PM

Post #9031309

I'm pondering a move...I'm looking forward to gardening in pots on a patio. (Memo to self--don't forget the Earth Box!)
ButterflyChaser
Northeast, AR
(Zone 7a)

March 13, 2012
12:17 PM

Post #9041259

I garden because it soothes my soul and keeps me sane. I love flowers and I love eating produce from my own gardens. I enjoy having friends over to gather around my gardens and feel peace.

When I garden, I can forget the pain, the stress, the worries, fears, etc. When I garden, I'm just at peace.

And isn't it wonderful to rip weeds out of the ground when you're mad, pretending you're ripping that "evil" person's head off? My weeds have kept me from several homicides! LOL

Communing with nature is my chosen form of meditation. Seeing seedlings sprout, feeling the wispy fingers of maiden grass as I walk by, watching hummingbirds sword-fight over a feeder or watching a newly metamorphed black swallowtail dry her wings is something I crave. Experiencing these miracles of nature helps me feel connected to the universe and to the "Greater Spirit".

A day without some form of gardening is a wasted day.

This message was edited Mar 27, 2012 7:17 PM

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koshki
Grosse Pointe Shores, MI
(Zone 6a)

March 17, 2012
4:06 PM

Post #9046415

I was active before I landed in a wheelchair. We were summer live-aboards on our boat, and I was outdoors all day, every day. The first summer after I became wheelchair-bound, I didn't know what to do with myself. From one lonely tomato plant I now grow tomatoes, peppers, blueberries, roses, peonies, clematis, trillium, lilacs, all sorts of bird- and butterfly attractors, and my favorite, hundreds of orchids (which I move indoors during the winter...except the ones that grow in the garden!). Gardening not only gives me something to DO, it is also something I can LEARN ABOUT for a lifetime. Without something to grow, I'd be one very cranky, depressed person.

carrielamont

carrielamont
Milton, MA
(Zone 6a)

March 18, 2012
8:11 AM

Post #9047200

Hi, koshki! I'm so happy that Annie started this thread -- you've enticed more people to our (in my opinion) wonderful, friendly forum.

I, too, rely on container gardener to keep me sane. I'm looking forward to a longer growing season (once we move south). But with containers, you can totally control the growing environment. You can make one container be like a desert and another be like a forest woodland. (If there's enough #%@! sun, that is.) Some have perennials and some have different annuals, each year. But I still count on others to bring my pots in and out.
Amargia
SE/Gulf Coast Plains, AL
(Zone 8b)

March 18, 2012
9:29 PM

Post #9048134

I'm with Butterflychaser and Koski, stress and anger management. I was a very difficult person before I began seriously gardening. I took on a few acres of badly mishandled land. The land and I have healed together. Re-claiming this little piece of earth is the most challenging and the most satisfying thing I have ever done.
Being functionally blind and hard-of-hearing, I go mostly for fragrant and edible plants. But,I love the substance and texture of trees also, from the silky smoothness of a timber bamboo truck to gnarled old cedar trees. Naturalized landscaping with a lot of structural elements is the way I handle the majority of the property, but I also use containers of all sizes and sorts. k*

carrielamont

carrielamont
Milton, MA
(Zone 6a)

March 25, 2012
1:17 PM

Post #9056527

Kay, the way you described
Quoting:the silky smoothness of a timber bamboo truck to gnarled old cedar trees
makes me able to see it. Do you believe the old story about blind people becoming more keen in their other senses? Your sense of touch--or maybe it's your sense of description--is amazing.
Amargia
SE/Gulf Coast Plains, AL
(Zone 8b)

March 26, 2012
10:23 PM

Post #9058584

I believe vision grows to become our dominate sense over time. If you watch small children closely, you will notice they use all their senses when exploring their environment. I think depending so much on our vision, to the point our other senses become a little dull occurs as we age. A lot of adapting to vision loss is unlearning what has been drilled into us from infancy in the name of safety. “Don’t touch that.” is one of the first parental commands we learn to obey. I don’t think it is so much honing other senses to an unnatural degree as recapturing the way we used all our senses when we were very young and allowing them to develop naturally. Sighted people seem to get as much out of form and texture in the garden as blind people once they get passed the “Look, but don’t touch” barrier in their heads. Losing vision just forces people to go passed that barrier.
As I’ve lost the ability to perceive color in the garden, texture has taken its place. In fact, I associate certain textures with certain colors. Neuroscientist have a word for that cross wiring of the different senses, but the part of my brain that remembers big words has already gone to sleep. :-)
There is a funny story about the meeting between Helen Keller and her predecessor, Laura Bridgman. When Laura was asked what she thought of Helen she replied that Helen was nice, but her hands were rough and felt a little dirty. Most people know who Helen Keller was, but few know who Laura Bridgman was. Bridgman broke ground for the deaf/blind in this country, but never reached the level of accomplishment Keller did. Maybe, to be a truly accomplished deaf/blind person; you have to get your hands dirty? ;-) k*
ButterflyChaser
Northeast, AR
(Zone 7a)

March 27, 2012
5:03 AM

Post #9058770

Amargia, that's some great insight! I never really thought about that, but I think it's all true--we focus so much on sight that our other senses get cheated.

Two of my aunts have gone blind from diabetes. I have diabetes so it's a real fear for me as well. In recent years, I've begun adding plants I can enjoy even if I do go blind. I have added velvety lamb's ears, wispy ornamental grasses and other textures to my gardens. And I've included lots of fragrant herbs and mints to tickle my sense of smell; ginger mint and lavender mint are awesome! Of course the various basils are a delight too. And for sound, I have fountains, ponds and tinkling windchimes and rainchimes. I've also hung birdhouses throughout the gardens to hear the new baby birds calling for mama. I've tried to make my gardens something anyone can enjoy, especially me if the time should come when I can't see all the beautiful colors of the garden.

carrielamont

carrielamont
Milton, MA
(Zone 6a)

March 27, 2012
7:22 AM

Post #9058923

That's smart, BC! A scary prospect, but a great way to approach it.

BirdieBlue

BirdieBlue
Winston Salem, NC
(Zone 7a)

March 27, 2012
12:25 PM

Post #9059307

I love seeing 'old friends' pop their heads up out of the soil each new spring.
LysmachiaMoon
Waynesboro, PA
(Zone 6a)

March 27, 2012
4:00 PM

Post #9059590

An elderly friend of mine says that gardening helps her keep perspective...keeps her in touch with the cycle of life and seasons, death and rebirth. She finds that very comforting, and so do I.

Thanks to everybody for contributing your insights! Keep 'em coming!

Why do we garden? It would be so much easier to just lay on the couch and watch tv!!
seacanepain
Midland City, AL

March 27, 2012
7:43 PM

Post #9059832

Gardening makes me feel more productive. Also,I can become absorbed enough in the work it can be a little vacation from the chronic back pain. The work is absorbing, yet simple enough I can do it despite pain killers that dumb me down.
I grow mostly vegetables in raised containers and hanging baskets. I’ve also added many fruit trees to the property, but need a little help tending those. At least, the high maintenance trees like peaches. Shrub fruit like rabbiteye blueberries I can handle by myself. I have what the others laughingly call my “deck farm” (I built planters for atop the deck rails and planted them with edibles. The idea didn’t go over well at first, but being able to step out on the deck and grab a handful of chives, or parsley or green onions when cooking quickly sold the others on the idea of growing edibles, instead of ornamental. Seeking out vegetables that are good looking and throwing in edible flowers like calendula and violets has helped too. :-) This year I’m growing tomatoes and peppers in strawbales and e-buckets only a short distance from the bottom of the wheel chair ramp. We have a w/c garden with planters we have created from junk. It is very easy to work in, but made to be convenient for those who had gardens here and not for any w/c users who actually lived here. It is too far from the house for me to use easily. Hence, my deck farm, strawbales and e-buckets I can keep close. I like being able to see what is going on in the gardens from windows or when on the front deck.
I get a kick watching the birds in and around the garden, especially the hummers. (Jim)

carrielamont

carrielamont
Milton, MA
(Zone 6a)

March 29, 2012
12:16 PM

Post #9062077

Jim, have you read Jan Recchio's DG article about "farming" in containers? I thought I linked it to for you once...cannot do that today.
LysmachiaMoon
Waynesboro, PA
(Zone 6a)

March 31, 2012
6:07 AM

Post #9064079

Jim, container gardening seems to be the biggest single "tip" I've come across. Thanks for replying!

Has anyone had much use for, success with "ergonomic tools?" I found that a lot of tools that are supposed to be "ergonomic" are harder to use than the regular ones.

carrielamont

carrielamont
Milton, MA
(Zone 6a)

April 1, 2012
6:49 AM

Post #9065255

NO! I totally agree with you. "Ergonomic" tools have never been helpful to me, just expensive. I always buy my husband, who has bad arthritis in his hands, ergonomic gloves and so forth, and he always loses them instead of using them because they're not useful.

BirdieBlue

BirdieBlue
Winston Salem, NC
(Zone 7a)

April 1, 2012
1:42 PM

Post #9065713

I have had some that were great and others that were very akward. they can alwaays be returned if they don't work well for you.
Sansai87
Midland City, AL

April 1, 2012
8:07 PM

Post #9066149

My challenges are mild compared to the others who frequently post on this forum. I’m learning to cope with chronic fatigue and a generalized weakness. I’m always looking for less strenuous ways to garden. Beyond my profession, I was not a very ambitious or driven person even before chronic fatigue struck. I like gardens and the company of gardeners. The work part is something I have to endure for the privilege of a garden. If I were going to write a book about gardening, it would have to be titled, “Confessions of a Lazy Gardener.” :-) Luckily for me, Kay (Amargia) has a theory that basically lazy people who still possess the desire to be productive citizens are naturally the best efficiency experts. She is a workaholic with an over abundance of energy who is beginning to feel her age so she wants to learn the skills of the conscientiously lazy. lol.
I do like tools with larger diameter handles. They seem to put less stress on my weak hands and wrist. But you can make a tool that way yourself without much trouble. The tools that are designed and manufactured to be especially easy on the body look good and save you the hassle of adapting your own tools while the tools you adapt yourself may look a little funky, but they can be personalized to meet your exact needs and preferences.
I’ve learned not all the clever ideas seen in tool catalogs prove viable in the garden. Gel grip handles were an eye-opener for me. It sounded like an excellent idea, but the reality of the garden was that my hands sweat and the smooth handles became slick and harder to hold. (I do think the newer gel grip tools are textured to prevent exactly that problem.)
Good quality garden tools are pricy and such lessons can get expensive fast. These days I adapt a tool myself. Then, because adapting a tool is time consuming, I start looking for a manufactured tool with similar dimensions and other qualities like the “perfect tool” I have created.
The “perfect tool” is, of course, very relative. Jim (Seacanepain) likes to wear special gloves that are surfaced with Neoprene that gives a firmer grip. ) He can use even the older gel grip tools without a problem. (I strongly dislike wearing gloves in the garden unless a task is really dirty or thorny.
There are all sorts of materials that can be used to adapt tools at sporting goods, hardware and big box stores. Some examples that come to mind are the grip tape tennis players use on their rackets and golfers use on their clubs. At the hardware/ if box stores there is PVC pipe, the lengths of pipe shaped insulation used to protect outdoor pipes in winter, expandable foam in the cans such as the brand Great Stuff and all sorts of glues and the 8th wonder of the world, duct tape. lol.
There aren’t any rules on what should be used to adapt a tool. I’ve seen the diameter and strength of shovel and rake handles increased by sliding a PVC pipe over the handle and filling the empty space between the handle and PVC pipe with expandable foam. I personally don’t like working with expandable foam because it will adhere to your skin for a long time if you goof up. (Yep, there’s an embarrassing story behind that statement.) I used the simpler method of putting water-proof glue on a rake handle, covering it with outdoor pipe insulation cut to length, and securing it with duct tape. Not a pretty solution, but it softened the handle, made it easier to grip for long periods and eliminated getting splinters or blisters.
Papa Jim (a.k.a. Seacanepain) who also claims a place among the consciencously lazy, always suggests I K.I.S.S. which he assures me stands for Keep It Simple SWEETIE. Lol It is like when we were discussing the best ways to trellis tomatoes so they are accessible and Cathy4 informed us that tomatoes can be pruned so they don’t become rampant in the first place. I recently read a university study that claims if you run your hand lightly over the top of a tomato plant and you do it every day, it will make it grow bushier. So, evidently, it is possible to shape a tomato plant without even making a cut. (The dog does get a little jealous when I pet the tomato plant though. ~Nadine~

carrielamont

carrielamont
Milton, MA
(Zone 6a)

April 3, 2012
3:01 PM

Post #9068483

Nadine, what an extremely helpful post! Now I'm ready to ready to write my article about gardening with a disability!
nancynursez637
Madras, OR

November 30, 2012
7:51 PM

Post #9346600

You are probably all done with your updated book. I have several spinal stenosis due to tumors and other issues in the midback. I have adapted the garden, my tools and equipment, the rows between the beds to accomodate a power scooter. All raised beds and I actually garden about one half acre of organic vegetables and fruits

carrielamont

carrielamont
Milton, MA
(Zone 6a)

December 1, 2012
7:56 AM

Post #9346836

You know, I think as my functionality has decreased, my total plan shifts. What worked last year doesn't work any more.
Amargia
SE/Gulf Coast Plains, AL
(Zone 8b)

December 2, 2012
12:11 PM

Post #9347794

Way to go, Nancynursez637! I suspect the larger the scale on which a person gardens the more important adaptive tools would be.
I know what you mean, Carrie. We are always having to adapt to new circumstances. Kay recently bought a 1 pound skein of yarn to use for guidelines because a drug she was put on interferes with her spacial sense. (Using guidelines was an idea she borrowed from Helen Keller.)
Probably the most important information a book about gardening with physical challenges can provide is that gardening is being done by lots of different people in lots of different ways. Aside from the physical challenges, the land you are stewarding itself adds to the mix because you have to adapt to its particular characteristics and the climate. Land on a slope adds to a mobility challenge, for example.
Good luck, Moon. I think writing a book about gardening with physical challenges is probably harder than doing it. lol (Jim)


This message was edited Dec 29, 2012 3:19 PM

carrielamont

carrielamont
Milton, MA
(Zone 6a)

December 5, 2012
12:56 PM

Post #9350615

Oh, that's true for sure! I was supposed to write a 500 word article about gardening from a wheelchair 5 yrs ago. Haven't gotten started even!
lonejack
Longview, WA
(Zone 8b)

December 26, 2012
2:23 AM

Post #9367231

Hi all,
Merry Christmas, actually early on the 26th, but Merry anyway!!
I was a part-time or short-term missionary to Haiti for nearly 18 years, traveling there about 20 times.
I used what I learned on the farm as a kid, gardening to provide the winters provisions. We had about
3 acres of garden. I am also a designer, always looking outside the box for solutions.
I became passionate about small plot gardening because there is very little good farmable land and
way too many people to feed in Haiti. Food security is a huge problem when there are so many people living
so close to starvation. Some refer to Haiti as a fifth world country.
Now I have been retired by a disease that has left me with little feeling in my hands and feet. I see gardening
as a way to reach others around me that haven't thought about growing things or think they don't have the skills.
I have developed a snacking garden that can be placed anywhere there is enough sun. On decks, pavement or
in the yard.
I get so excited when I hear friends tell me about the joy of snacking on their garden. From here it is only a
matter of time to get another passionate gardener off and running.
Gardening gets all of us close and intimate with God's creations.as we plant seeds and watch them sprout and
grow into fruitful plants. Gardening allows us to use all of our senses as we nurture and message our plants.
Our plants are there, uttering no sound, but talking to us through our other senses, constantly telling us of
God's love and beauty. Not to mention, the great satisfaction we get when we pick and eat or smell or see the fruits
of our labors.
Well I will have to run, the New Burpee catalog for 1013 has just arrived. Time to dream.
nancynursez637
Madras, OR

December 28, 2012
10:49 PM

Post #9369573

I have a rather severe spinal deformity that ended my career about 15 years ago. For the first 5 years, I was very confined with an unstable inoperable spine, and did little more gardening than potting up a few things just outside the kitchen door.

As time went on, I found myself thinking of things that I could do to be able to do just a little more gardening. I now use 3 different lengths of tools, depending on pain and stiffness, I determine which one to use today. I have all raised beds, got some help building them, then found an old tractor with a front end loader that I used to fill the beds once built. I grow lots of things that are perennial, so they come back each year. (rhubarb, asparagus, blackberries, strawberries, raspberries,

I can sit on the edge of the bed to weed if necessary but for the most part use Ruth Stout's No Work Gardening ideas to control weeds, (mulch) and some of my own. I plant in beds that are broadcast seeded instead of rows. This way things like green bush beans come up and shade the soil so weeds do not get started. Likewise I grow bush peas which will grow up and lean on each other so no staking. Again no weeds. When it comes to vines, I grow sugar snaps along the critter fence and they require no staking at all, they just attach themselves to the fence.

Because I cannot run a tiller, or turn all of the beds, I add lots of organic material to the beds in the fall and add worms. In the spring I use a broadfork I made my self from off the shelf materials and loosen the soil but do not turn it. I use a battery operated scooter or a spare old lawn mower with a cart to move things back and forth from the garden and to harvest for the Saturday Markets.

Thumbnail by nancynursez637   Thumbnail by nancynursez637   Thumbnail by nancynursez637   Thumbnail by nancynursez637   
Click an image for an enlarged view.

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

December 29, 2012
1:20 PM

Post #9370011

Amargia inherited several books by Ruth Stout from Miss Helen, who gardened until the end of her life. I love Ruth Stout’s no-nonsense pragmatism and humor. Luckily, we are far enough off the beaten path that we can use Stout’s methods to reclaim the land. Neighbors are just happy not to have an eroding wasteland next door.
LoneJack, I don’t know much about the history of the island, but my wife tells me what became Haiti was the more mountainous part that was least fit for agriculture. The Dominican Republic got the prime real estate
On Christmas, I read a book about how Amer-Indians managed land before Europeans showed up. Like most Americans of primarily European descent, I thought fertile, easily farmed land was a per-requisite for a strong, stable culture to rise up. It came as a surprise to me that several of the largest pre-Columbian civilizations rose up in very unlikely places that weren’t the least suited to growing food. The people got creative about the way they used the land and what they grew. The book gives me hope that Haiti will one day be able to feed itself…if the political/social situation would remain stable long enough to give the people a chance! (Jim)


This message was edited Dec 29, 2012 3:21 PM

carrielamont

carrielamont
Milton, MA
(Zone 6a)

December 29, 2012
6:19 PM

Post #9370184

Jim, what book? I tried to include that pre-Columbian info in my article about Columbus Day
http://davesgarden.com/guides/articles/view/3910/
lonejack
Longview, WA
(Zone 8b)

December 29, 2012
9:49 PM

Post #9370259

Jim,
Actually, the Dom. Rep. is just as mountainous as Haiti. The Spanish were more conscientious about caring for the land.
Haiti was a French colony. The French were notorious for laying rape to the land and people in it's colonies. (Sorry to any
of our French friends, but history is history.)
Haiti was called the, "Garden of the Antilles," when controlled by France. The problem, the French were also a little lazy
so they imported too many slaves, who rose up and kicked their masters out. France was involved in it's own civil war at the
time and couldn't be bothered with a small colony. Haiti became an independent country in 1805. The problem is; most of the
countries of the world would not have anything to do with Haiti for about a hundred years. They had colonies who owned slaves
so they didn't want any ideas spreading.
The newly freed Haitians then systematically killed anyone who had any contact with the French. Hence, they killed all of the
people who knew how to run the country. Since then despot after despot has run the country until recently.
Haiti has just suffered another hit from nature. Hurricane Sandy dumped 27 inches of rain in 3 days. Needless to say, hundreds
of acres of good farm soil was washed out to sea. Many people lost EVERYTHING. Our friend, the mayor of Les Anglais, Haiti,
had his whole farm and house wash out to sea. He is living under a tree with his bride with the clothes on their back.
If you want to read a great history of Haiti, read, "Carribean," by James Michener. I used to have the book on tape.
We do have a wonderful success story from Les Anglais, Haiti, with a Non-governmental Organization, "Passion for Haiti."
This NGO was developed by Haitians and is serving Haitians. It is a Great model for working with any people who want
to learn to build a future.
Small plot farming and gardening is an important part of the success.
This is enough for now, More on Haiti later. You can see I am passionate about the country.
Paul.

This message was edited Dec 29, 2012 9:59 PM

This message was edited Dec 29, 2012 10:01 PM

carrielamont

carrielamont
Milton, MA
(Zone 6a)

December 30, 2012
10:24 AM

Post #9370557

Jack,
I have Caribbean around here somewhere, although I have trouble getting my brain to slow down to Michener speed. But you would consider that accurate as far as Haiti goes? Maybe I'll pick it up again.

Nancy,
How great that you're inventive with gardening tools! I may pick your brain by Dmail someday.

Armagians, do y'all eat black-eyed peas on Jan 1 down there? NB: I just said y'all because it seemed more convenient/polite than youse or you guys or you folks or you people, NOT because I'm getting an accent!
lonejack
Longview, WA
(Zone 8b)

December 30, 2012
9:36 PM

Post #9371023

Nancy,
Thank you for sharing your planting success with green beans. What other veggies do you plant this way?
My sister and I are planning raised beds for this next spring. I am going to cast seed and plant more tight groups.
I know carrots grow great close, as long as you give them enough room to grow.
Paul.
Jim,
Michener does go down rabbit trails and one tends to forget the main subject. I listened to Caribbean on books-on tape while
working in the yard so I was able to survive the many twists. I think some of the trails were abridged on tape.
Amargia
SE/Gulf Coast Plains, AL
(Zone 8b)

December 31, 2012
10:24 AM

Post #9371362

Yeah, Right. Sure. I believe you, Carrie. lol. In my experience, no one gets out of the south speech unscaved. The others here, all native southerners, say I sound more southern than all of them put together after I’ve spent time with someone who does have a heavy accent. We eat Hoppin John for the New Year I want good luck this year as much as I can get.
The book was 1491 by Charles C. Mann.
It's a very readable book about recent research finds. It shoots down what we learned in school about the Americas as a pristine wilderness and the first peoples here living very lightly on the land. It validates Miss Helen’s practice of controlled burns. Although, she only did it every 7 years or so, not as often as the book claimed Amer-Indians did controlled burns. (Miss Helen always said if it wasn’t done aggressive species of plants would over run and push out the more delicate ones causing the loss of plant diversity. That always made sense to me.
The book points out that the first Americans did not just let nature take its course. The methods were very different from what was practiced in Europe though so we didn’t recognize it as stewardship. It is like using the Ruth Stout method of gardening. The uninformed don’t always recognize it for the method of land management it is.
The sheer size of Michener books kept me at arm’s length before commercial audio books and readers like Nook and Kindle. I’m very thankful for the ability to “read” while doing other routine things. I’ll do a search for “Caribbean.” DW is in to the artsy metal work coming out of Haiti that uses recycled metals. I would like to have some of the more elaborate oil drum pieces as garden art. http://www.haitimetalart.com/Haitian_Metal_Art.html
(Jim)
nancynursez637
Madras, OR

December 31, 2012
11:30 PM

Post #9371983

[quote="lonejack"]Nancy,
Thank you for sharing your planting success with green beans. What other veggies do you plant this way?
My sister and I are planning raised beds for this next spring. I am going to cast seed and plant more tight groups.
I know carrots grow great close, as long as you give them enough room to grow.

Lone Jack, I pretty much grow everything that way, peas, carrots, potatoes (stagger the hills to leave dirt for hilling), celery, summer squash, chinese vegetables, I don't row plant much. Cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, are row planted but in the bed, staggered as close as I can, because again, they shade teh soil and eliminate weed sprouting.
nancynursez637
Madras, OR

December 31, 2012
11:36 PM

Post #9371984

Lonejack some pics that help I hope, the first one is a 4 x 12 squash bed with staggered plants, the second is a new planting with staggered plants, and waiting to have some mulch added, the third is a tightly planted corn bed,

Thumbnail by nancynursez637   Thumbnail by nancynursez637   Thumbnail by nancynursez637      
Click an image for an enlarged view.

nancynursez637
Madras, OR

December 31, 2012
11:55 PM

Post #9371987

I failed to answer the question, I garden with disabilities, because if I didn't, I would be in a recliner all the time. I cannot walk on hard surfaces, and or stand in one place at all. So gardening is a hobby where I can wander around on soft dirt, or mulched aisles between beds without much pain. It keeps me limber, and provides some exercise. Without it, I would go to pot.
Amargia
SE/Gulf Coast Plains, AL
(Zone 8b)

January 1, 2013
7:35 AM

Post #9372172

Way cool. Is the net on the ground to keep critters from digging things up? (Jim)

carrielamont

carrielamont
Milton, MA
(Zone 6a)

January 1, 2013
11:48 AM

Post #9372440

Hahaha, Nancy, "I would go to pot," hahahaha. I don't know if you meant to make a joke or if you're one of those people who are innocently funny all by yourself, but that was funny.
nancynursez637
Madras, OR

January 2, 2013
8:56 PM

Post #9373752

Amargia- Jim Here the birds, quail, and finches eat the lettuce. They mow it off right to the ground. I use the netting to keep the birds from getting access, drape it over things to allow the lettuce room to grow. They also mow my new pea seeds off at the ground just as they sprout. I never had that problem before, but in this new area, it is a constant problem until the plants get big enough. They leave the peas alone when they get the second set of leaves.

I have checked with other gardeners in the area and they are having similar problems. But I had not encountered it elsewhere.

thanks
nancynursez637
Madras, OR

January 2, 2013
8:58 PM

Post #9373754

carrielamont...i am a little of both intentionally joking and sometimes fall into it completely unaware!!

carrielamont

carrielamont
Milton, MA
(Zone 6a)

January 5, 2013
10:26 AM

Post #9376177

Nancy,

Being naturally a funny person is surely a good thing! I'm with the birds on this one--we eat bean sprouts but not vines, right?

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

January 6, 2013
1:46 PM

Post #9377394

Deer are our biggest nemesis. People say they won’t eat tomatoes or come too close to the house, but you couldn’t prove it by me. Tomatoes growing on a trellis against the house had bites taken out of them last year. It wouldn’t bother me so much if they took one or two and left, but they took a sample bite out of almost every fruit. lol. We talk about giving up our dogs because they can be such a garden nuisance, but I don’t think we could have a garden at all without them. (Jim)
LysmachiaMoon
Waynesboro, PA
(Zone 6a)

February 19, 2013
11:11 AM

Post #9424436

Once again, everybody, thank you so much! I am starting up again on updating my book so I'll be in touch with everyone who was so kind to give me their input. My husband had aortic/valve replacement surgery in late 2010 and everything got put on hold for that and it's only recently I've been able to turn back to writing. Thank you all again! Annie

carrielamont

carrielamont
Milton, MA
(Zone 6a)

February 19, 2013
12:37 PM

Post #9424526

Oh, Annie, winter sowing is also a great way to "garden" from indoors in the winter! Have you visited the Winter Sowing Forum? Laziest, most efficient bunch of gardeners I ever met.
nancynursez637
Madras, OR

February 19, 2013
6:57 PM

Post #9424870

Deer are a problem here, I live in the migration routes summer to mountain grazing and winter to high desert so we have large numbers coming through in addition to a resident herd of about 10 or 12. I put up a 6' critter fence around the whole half acre garden, plus a two foot hotwire above that. But in one small area adjacent to a loafing shed between the garden area and the back yard, I had a 5' pet fence so added a 4' hot wire above that. But the deer from the resident herd were jumping thru the hot wire in that one small area. (10 feet long area). So I covered the first strand of hotwire at 5.5 foot high, with aluminum foil. Then I slathered that with peanut butter. according to the tracks in the snow only one deer got into it, but we have never had another breach. Maybe they talk about it but they sure quite coming. It was just standard electric fencing, so it hurt but did not harm.

carrielamont

carrielamont
Milton, MA
(Zone 6a)

February 20, 2013
1:14 PM

Post #9425694

Hahaha "maybe they talk about it!!" Did it again, got me chuckling.
Amargia
SE/Gulf Coast Plains, AL
(Zone 8b)

February 23, 2013
11:08 AM

Post #9428967

It must be a very tasty garden, if the deer want in that bad. lol. (Jim)
VanGarden
Thibodaux, LA
(Zone 9a)

April 30, 2013
3:08 PM

Post #9503111

I like Van's Gogh quote "If you truly love nature, you would find beauty everywhere". That's why I chose my screen name as VanGarden. I love making an unused land beautiful with flowers and paths. My disability is deafness. I feel like the toys on misfit island in the Rudolph story. I don't seem to fit in the hearing world.
I can sense people's frustration trying to communicate orally with me. This causes me to become timid and depress. Gardening keeps me company and fit. I love making things beautiful. I love the peace surrounding a beautiful garden. It brings me Joy. A garden is a classroom. There is a spiritual connection in a garden. Healing & Wisdom reigns in a garden. That's why I garden despite the toils it takes to create a garden.



This message was edited Apr 30, 2013 4:13 PM

This message was edited Apr 30, 2013 4:15 PM

carrielamont

carrielamont
Milton, MA
(Zone 6a)

April 30, 2013
6:30 PM

Post #9503359

I love that movie!!!! When I watched it as an older kid (temporarily able bodied) I thought it was weird. (The dentist, the Rudolph Family etc) Watching it as a mom in a wheelchair, I totally loved it. OK it's a little round-about and rambling, but we all are misfit toys, aren't we?
VanGarden
Thibodaux, LA
(Zone 9a)

April 30, 2013
9:21 PM

Post #9503612

Yes we are. What's so great about misfits is that they have great compassion; a gift needed in today's world.
They are underdogs with bright ideas and creativity... LOL

carrielamont

carrielamont
Milton, MA
(Zone 6a)

May 1, 2013
1:39 PM

Post #9504386

I like it!

Domehomedee

Domehomedee
Arroyo Grande, CA
(Zone 9a)

July 4, 2013
6:15 PM

Post #9587008

I can't afford therapy.

BirdieBlue

BirdieBlue
Winston Salem, NC
(Zone 7a)

July 4, 2013
6:28 PM

Post #9587020

If you are 50+ years old you can jpin AARP. one of their greatest benefits is a Silver Sneakers FREE membership at all YWCAs. you could do mild pool walking and build up your strength and stamina slowly. Please check it out

carrielamont

carrielamont
Milton, MA
(Zone 6a)

July 5, 2013
3:45 PM

Post #9588159

I've never heard of that--would be great. I'm going to look into it. Thanks, BB!

BirdieBlue

BirdieBlue
Winston Salem, NC
(Zone 7a)

July 5, 2013
5:43 PM

Post #9588266

Yes, AARP picks up as a secondary after Medicare (for MONTHLYfee). Joining only costs $50 (1 time), so if you don't need the insurance benefits there are plenty of other great benefits.

You cannot post until you register and login.


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