September 2013 (Accessible Gardens)
The Dodge County Master Gardner Association meeting was held on September 26, 2013 at the Dodge County Administration Building and featured Barb Larson of the Kenosha County UW Extension. Her topic was “Accessible Gardens: Adapting Gardens and Gardeners for Lifelong Activity”.
The attendees were divided into groups of four, with two given a task of planting seeds in a pot with a physical limitation. One group had a lack of eyesight with a helper to guide them and the other had only the use of their non-dominant arm. We discussed how we felt in these positions and made aware of the needs of others around us.
Why garden? Physically it builds strengthen and endurance; flexibility and balance; fine and gross motor skills; hand-eye co-ordination. Psychologically it connects to nature and gives sanctuary for stress reduction.
How? Adapt a garden through raised beds, containers, vertical or wall gardens. As a gardener use the right tools and techniques. Before starting check with your doctor, stretch, take frequent breaks and do no more than 30 minutes of activity at a time, use good posture, use ease grip gloves, stash tools in a carpenter apron or box, use sharp tools along with a wheel barrow or cart. Plant low maintenance plants, slow growing perennials, bulbs, herbs, all to attract birds and butterflies. And, last but not least, plant sensory plants for all senses.
No meeting for November or December.
Next meeting will be January 23, 2014