Your Year Around Flower and Garden Guide

Special needs tips – Getting around in your garden!

by Linda Jenkinson

When I was young, it seemed I could spend hours at a time in the garden planting and tending beds and borders. Getting up to catch a wandering child, to unwind a tangled dog's leash, or just to take a break was easy. As the years go by, the concrete beneath my foam-rubber kneepads irritates my aging bones and my old joints sometimes creak in complaint as I try to straighten them into a standing position. Luckily, though, many gardening alternatives are available to help both seniors and other physically challenged individuals stay in the garden!

Don't try to adjust to the tool. – Adjust the tool to you!

  1. Paint your gardening tool handles a bright color so you can easily spot them when you've set them down.
  2. Improve your grip. Use colorful electrician's or bicycle tape to add foam padding to hard-to-hold gardening tool handles.
  3. Go for the lightweight. Tools don't have to be heavy to be sturdy. Aluminum handled and fiberglass reinforced nylon tools are both strong and lightweight.
  4. Consider handle extenders for short tools.
  5. Replace old and broken garden tools and tool handles with ergonomically correct models.

Tips for Alternative Gardening Spaces