I was never huge into gardening, even before I became paralyzed. It was fun, but not something I would choose to do on my own. As a kid, one of my chores was to prune the rose bushes. That was fun because I got to make a bouquet and brightly colored, pretty smelling flowers. It was positive reinforcement for my duties. That lasted until I was about 13 and we moved. Then I took a gardening hiatus until the hubs and I started dating. He lived in a condo which had a patio with a few potted plants and a couple of trees. About once a month we would tend to the plants. The potted plants were my designated duty and he pruned the trees. We would pick oranges off the tree and make fresh squeezed orange juice. (Side story: we once had so many oranges that we thought we could juice them and freeze them for later use. Good idea, right? We juiced them and poured them into bags and placed them in the slots on the door. Oh. Wait. Frozen liquid freezes in the shape it’s in. So if you put it in a door that has a little space on the bottom and the bag with liquid squeezes into crevices, it will freeze that way. We found that out when we went to thaw the juice. It was rock hard stuck in the freezer door. We had to pour hot water and use blow dryers to get the juice out. By that point we were so pissed that we threw it away.)
When we moved into our new house, it had the perfect area for a garden. There is a slight slope on one side of the house where we built a small decorative wall to reinforce the hill. Then we filled it in with more dirt to level out the remaining space. Our gardener put in sprinklers. And, voila! A garden. This past weekend we picked up a few plants: strawberry, tomato, parsley, cilantro and a couple variations of jalapeno. (Yes, I have visions of salsa in 50-70 days running through my head!)
Where we planted those plants is next to dirt. No path. That part of the backyard has been off limits to my wheelchair since we moved here 2.5 years ago. We thought about having our concrete guy come back to pour a path. But, at the Abilities Expo 2 weeks ago, I picked up a FreeWheel. This turns my wheelchair into a tripod by lifting the 2 small caster wheels. Those 2 small wheels are the ones that get stuck on the dirt and other small things in the way. The FreeWheel is amazing! It opened up my backyard to me! I was able to go over to the garden area and actually plant the strawberries and cilantro at the sprinklers which were closest to the wall. Those are my plants! The hubs still had to plant the rest of the plants, but he loves any kind of outdoor activity like that. While I didn’t really love gardening before, the ability to do it now when I didn’t think I would be able to, makes me so happy. And very protective of my little baby plants.