Gardening is more than a way to grow food for the table. For the ardent gardener, gardening is a passion. If I only grew plants to put food and flowers on my table, I may have stopped doing so when I was told I had osteoarthritis in both knees I would have stopped.
Gardening requires a great deal of kneeling and bending, both of which can make knee pain worse. Or I could invest in tools that would reduce the kneeling. But the extra funds needed to do so would impact on any savings growing my own food would bring, at least in year one.
So why do I continue to garden. I have three gardens, that I tend. One my community garden plot, the greenhouse garden and the History Garden at the Gallery Restigouche Gallery. I do not look after these gardens to save money or get a few extra vegetables. I do so because I love to garden.
Now, don’t get the idea I like pain, I don’t. What I do like is the act of gardening, growing plants, in cooperation with Nature means much more than saving money or having real fresh food. It brings pleasure, satisfaction and accomplishment. These three are well worth the time and energy invested on growing plants.
There are tools that enable gardeners to continue gardening while reducing any pain or discomfort.
Tools, whether it be a pair of well worn gardening gloves, a favourite pair of shoes that are worn only in the garden or a spade that you cannot live without, every gardener has them. It is the tools that make it possible for me to indulge my gardening passion.
Long handled tools allow the gardener to stand up and do the work, planting bulbs, and transplanting perennials, for example, rather than bending over or kneeling down. As baby boomers continue to rise in numbers, garden gadgets that make it easier for them to either, take up or continue to garden, will find a ready market.
Another handy garden gadget is the garden tool cart. The garden tool cart allows the gardener to transport tools around the garden and also acts as a storage unit when they are put them back into the garden shed or garage.
If getting your hands in the dirt is essential and you just have to get down and weed, then a kneeling stool will make it easier to do that. The kneeling stool provides a comfortable pad to kneel on; it is raised off the ground and has sturdy support which you can use to help yourself up and down.
Buy a garden tool pouch to put over one of the supports so that your favourite garden tools are handy and within easy reach.
There are also long-handled hoes; easy to use lawn mowers, and tools designed with special grips that are simpler to hold and use.
Raised beds are another option when it comes to reducing the need to kneel or bend when gardening. So, until next week, happy gardening.