Tuesday, July 16, 2013


BUT YOUR BODY IS NOT WHAT IT USED TO BE… well, then you have a few choices – give up the idea of gardening (NO!) or find ways to still get out there and do what you can. Since I can’t raise every part of my garden up to where I can more comfortably work in it, i had to figure out a way to let me work down lower (with minimal pain) and to be able to get back up with out having to call 911 (that is SOOOOO embarrassing! but beat waiting 5 hoursDSC_0127 for someone to come home.) Years ago I bought an Ames Planter’s Wagon. It was one of the best investments I  ever made… it was big enough to haul almost anything I needed in the yard, had compartments for seeds, a bottle of water, garden tools, gloves, phone – you name it. And it was the perfect height to sit on for working in the yard and garden. The back has a little door to allow the wagon to be dumped or drained. The front wheels turned and were hard plastic so no flat tires ever! I HATE pneumatic tires. They are so much trouble to keep from going flat. IF you can ever find one – BUY IT! I think they don’t make them anymore, but they might be available in a yard sale, estate auction, flea market…….

Unfortunately, a young man working in my yard used it to haul 6 concrete blocks at one time, caught the wheel in a small rut, jerked it free, and the front wheel snapped off. I did mention it is plastic. There is no way to repair it. Trust me, I have tried and tried. The newer versions of the Ames garden wagons are half the size, the wheels don’t swivel, and each new version has fewer helpful features. This version has handles on the side for carrying tools or a cane. I use it sometimes to tote water bottles to places where I have planted new camellias but don’t want to run a 300 foot hose. I hate it when hoses get in the way of the mower and I have to walk around moving them so I don’t run over them – more about that later. The newest version is good for sitting on to pull weeds. When my Lyme's is acting up I often use a kneeling pad to sit on to keep the muscles from going rigid as fast. This one does not have any “tool hooks” on the side or small tool tray inside. Bare bones, but it still cost more than my big wagon did when I got it years ago. Go figure. As I frequently say, “Progress often ain’t.” Prices range from $35-over $50.

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DSC_0120I also have an old garden kneeler. Most of them come with a padded seat or kneeDSC_0123 side, some fold, and they are great for pulling yourself back up if you are able to actually get down to weed. I have seen them range in price from $25 to over $50 for the same thing.  

If this is all more than you want to pay, a cheaper solution, and a very versatile one is the bucket seat. These round seats just fit on top of a 5 gallon bucket, some fit 3 gallons also, and are light weight and reasonably comfortable. There are “tool belts” that fit the bucket, and padded seats also. The advantage (besides low cost) is that with a tool belt, all your small garden tools have pockets and are readily available, vs having to get up to get a tool out of the little garden buddy wagon… AND a friend of mine carries a small soft side cooler in his bucket seat to keep cold water available while working in hot weather. The disadvantage is you cannot roll a few feet to get to the next spot, you must get up to move.

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In the past I have used my walker out in the garden. It has a seat and I have a carrying pouch on the back of it, but I really don’t feel as secure using the walker on uneven ground, and I hate getting it dirty or getting the wheels muddy. It is hard for me to clean cut grass bits, weeds and mud from the wheels. I hope some of these suggestions help you if you love working outdoors as much as I do.


Ginnie said...

Great ideas Jan ...but I would expect nothing less from one who meets every challenge head on !!
And I do remember that you said I could pass on your ideas. Thanks.

Tossing Pebbles in the Stream said...

I would have quit gardening. In fact, for many reasons I already have.

Beatrice P. Boyd said...

My favorite garden tool is a green plastic wheelbarrow bought at Rose's years ago. I would despair too if it were to lose a wheel like you favorite wagon. Mine is not nearly as useful for other things as the one you described.