Gardening with Arthritis

Gardening with Arthritis
  • Difficulty Rating: Beginner

Marki has always been one of the hardest working DIYers I’ve ever known. When she caught Lyme disease a couple of years ago, crippling rheumatoid arthritis followed.

Marki has always been one of the hardest working DIYers I’ve ever known. She’s a professional artist, a hobbiest crafter, and she’s a passionate gardener. Although arthritis doesn’t run in her family, when she caught Lyme disease a couple of years ago, crippling rheumatoid arthritis followed, nearly ending her ability to do any the things she loves – let alone the simple things like opening a packet of seeds or even driving herself to a nursery to shop for plants. Fortunately, her Lyme is in remission, and she’s finding ways to live with the arthritis that has permanently damaged some of her joints and pains her all the time. When she began to find her energy again, she was compelled by her inner nature to get out into her garden again. As she told me on the phone during our interview, “Gardening makes the arthritis better. The more active you are; the better you are.”

In the interest of full disclosure, I’ll tell you, Marki is my mom. She’s one of the first people who taught me how to garden. My childhood was filled with summer days weeding rows of snap beans, autumn afternoons raking leaves, and chilly winter nights birthing lambs – all alongside my multi-talented, mentoring mother. She taught me creativity, enthusiasm and how to stay strong and limber while working hard outdoors.Arthritis1 heartbroken to see her lose her capacity and drive to garden. When she began recuperating from the Lyme and relearning how to garden with an arthritic body, I knew she’d appreciate trying out some of the Arthritis Foundation award-winning Fiskars tools designed to alleviate the stresses arthritis sufferers endure everyday.

Now that Mom’s out there gardening again, there’s very little she doesn’t do. She hauls rocks, transplants, clips, saws, rakes and weeds. Her grandkids help her with some of the work like pulling out tenacious oak saplings, but for the most part, she spends anywhere from 3-10 hours a day during the peak season caring on her own for her deciduous forest garden on a clayey slope in suburban Virginia. When I asked her if her claw-like hands hurt after such long days gardening, ever the optimist, she quipped, “Nope. The other day, I cut out dead growth on a bunch of old azaleas going up my driveway hill using my new Power Tooth Softgrip Folding Pruning Saw, and my hands didn’t get tired at all. I still can’t make a fist, but my hands have gotten a lot stronger lately.”

Mom’s favorite among all the tools we asked her to try are the Easy Action Scissors, which I had added onto her package on a whim. And, turns out, she can’t stop raving about them. They may not be sold as gardening tools, but that doesn’t mean Marki can’t find a gardening use for them. An avid birder, Marki feeds the songbirds on her front porch year-round. “These scissors are great on the plastic seed bags and on fertilizer bags. When I try to use regular scissors, it’s like trying to write with the wrong hand. “


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Back in the day

When those ladies were, as you put it, very active gardeners, they probably learned a great deal about their favorite plants and they haven't forgotten it. Their frustration isn't "I can't garden any more" but "I can't grow my favorites any more".
Expecting someone who used to grow, say, rare Chilean blue crocuses to get excited over radishes or lettuce seedlings is...well, it's unrealistic. If your ladies are still compos mentis, then why don't you ask each of them what she would like to grow again? You know, some might be perfectly happy with nothing more than a chance to read nursery and seed catalogs and reminisce about days gone by, without actually growing anything

Attractions: Dec. 26-Jan. 1  — Bradenton Herald
No tours Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Call for admission prices. The park grounds are open 8 a.m.-sundown daily. Information: 941-723-4536. Manatee Village Historical Park: 1404 Manatee Ave. E., Bradenton.

On Display  — Albany Democrat Herald
Brownsville Art Center, city hall, 255 N. Main St.

Versatile Housewares Extend a Hand Ergonomic Gardening Tool Set
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  • The Extend-a-Hand can be especially helpful for folks with arthritis, carpal tunnel syndrome and other wrist/forearm problems
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  • Avatar pinkdogg04 How would a room look if it had black carpet, hot red walls, and beige couches. with glass side and coffeeTlbs
    May 11, 2007 by pinkdogg04 | Posted in Decorating & Remodeling

    Umm i need some help i am trying to design a room with black carpet and i am using the color red. but im am not sure what to do.

    • Black carpets with hot red walls? sounds like you are decorating a plush bar or club. Hot red tend to add more intensity to the room and mixing it with black will intensify the intensity. have to agree with the last will be very difficult to relax.