The joy of gardening indeed makes spring more meaningful. But people who use a mobility device might have some difficulties in doing gardening activities. But these difficulties are quickly becoming a thing of the past.
Tammy Glover expressed her delight every time she spends an hour or two in the garden. She loves to tend the plants, water them and look out for pests and other damaging insects that might be lurking in there. But after undergoing a surgical operation for two hip replacements, Tammy has not been able to see her garden for a while since she is advised to use a wheelchair.
That is why the Master Gardeners of Pennington County and the agricultural extension office of South Dakota State University in Rapid City committed their effort and time to create projects that will help and assist people who use wheelchairs to garden again. Since gardening involves kneeling for long periods of time, they looked for ways to make wheelchair gardening possible.
Tammy and her husband, both members of Master Gardeners, helped in the said projects. Tammy, who herself is using a wheelchair, searched for methods and tools that could help wheelchair users to tend their precious gardens.
And it was Tammy’s idea to redesign and rebuild the garden. Garden beds are now creatively raised so that tending the flowers, vegetables and other plants in a seated position is possible. With the bunkers leveled up, planting and gardening became easy since no extra physical exertion is needed. Along with the bunker concept are new gardening tools that assist people while gardening.
The effectiveness of the bunker concept gained popularity in other places. Wheelchair-accessible gardening has been making its way even in the medical field because of the positive emotional results observed in gardeners.
The Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation, a charitable organization committed to curing spinal cord injury and helping the people who have it, and the Paralysis Resource Center, whose primary aim is the promotion of the health and well-being of individuals with SCI, are looking into wheelchair-accessible gardening. Both organizations are encouraging and supporting disabled individuals to live healthy and active lifestyles.
With wheelchair gardening finally made possible, many people can now enjoy the wonders of gardening and its benefits. The new method will help these individuals live an active, independent and meaningful life.