manages to weed her gravel using shock-absorber tools.
Joyce Partridge is 87 and has suffered from rheumatoid arthritis
for many years.
planting, suitable tools, and some help from a part-time gardener,
Joyce is able to continue her favourite hobby successfully.
The photo shows
Joyce getting weeds out of gravel with a small cultivator attached
to an elbow crutch.
I have previously shown shock-absorbed tools; devised using tool-heads
from a flexible tool system ‘tools with interchangeable heads and
handles’ from a well-known manufacturer.
The tool Joyce
is using comes from a flexible tool system, produced by another
The tool-head has a different fixing method to those shown previously,
but we found an appropriate method.
To achieve the tool fixing method I first placed the coupling insert
of the tool-head beside the elbow crutch end as though fully inserted.
I then marked the crutch through the centre of the manufacturers
fixing hole. The crutch end was clamped in a vice and a centred
gutter bolt size hole, drilled through both sides of the tube.
Having inserted the tool head tongue, I then pushed a gutter bolt
into one side of the tube, through the hole in the tongue, and out
through the opposite side. I used a wing nut to secure it in place.
(Before inserting the tongue into the elbow –crutch tube, foam rubber
was put in place ‘taking care not to cover the hole in the tongue’
to fill the space either side).
Dimensions Length. Overall tool 46" 117cm extending to 56" 142cm
Weight 16oz 448grms.
Drew - recovering from a car accident.
Caroline Drew, recovering from a serious car accident, finds many
kinds of movement excruciatingly painful.
Caroline has an allotment in addition to her small garden and is
terribly keen to get on with tending both of them.
The tool that
Caroline uses in her back yard uses another tool-head from the same
manufacturer as used for Joyce’s tool.
The fixing method is also the same. A short piece of tube, cut from
the inner shaft of an elbow crutch was used for the fixing; this
was then attached to a walking stick.
To distribute the load and make it easier to operate with both hands;
a piece of wire similar in length to the walking stick was secured
near the tool head, and a 3-inch piece of foam pipe insulation was
fixed to the opposite end for a handle.
It is difficult to see the wire in the photo of Caroline.
Dimensions. Length 43" 109cm Weight 16oz 448grms.
her steep embankment
light multipurpose tools
Ivy Paine is a great plant expert and a very active gardener. Ivy
is 84 and has rather more difficulties in gardening than her photo
She is seen
here using an unusual multipurpose tool on a steep embankment. I
devised it using a potato masher attached to an aluminium tube.
I also made a wooden dibber to fit in the tube.
The tools are interchangeable and both can attach simultaneously.
The masher is very useful for what Ivy is doing. It is a handy hoe,
and useful to tamp loose soil to stop it sliding down the steep
gradient. The masher is good for firming things in the ground and
is useful in small areas for preparing seedbeds with a fine tilth.
The masher, without extended handle is a very useful tool for working
in raised beds. The tube handle is handy for setting seeds without
bending. The wooden masher handle is oval and the connecting part
of the dibber (which was made from a recycled coffee table leg)
was given a similar shape to achieve secure connections.
Both ends of the tube were slightly flattened, allowing the tool-heads
to be fully inserted and then turned either clockwise or anti clock
Dimensions Length. Tube 40" 1m. Tube + either tool 45" 114cm
Masher only 9.1/2" 24cm Weight. Tube 8oz 224grms. Masher 4oz 112grms
Dibber 1.1/2oz 42grms Diameter. Tube internal 24mm.