Websites such as Thrive have a section with tools that can make gardening easier and the telegraph has a slideshow of interesting tools. I like the look of these tools and think that whether or not someone has a disability, they can be very useful.
Prior to ME I would always use full length tools, such as spades and forks, but quickly realised that with ME they take too much energy and move too much soil. Therefore, these days I tend to focus on smaller areas, where possible, and use hand tools with a small trugg, so I don't overload myself.
I also found that energy could quickly be sapped away by touching metal surfaces of tools, so I either wear gloves or use tools with plastic or wooden handles. I also have different seating options depending on the length of tool I'm using for a task - I know that some people buy full length tools and cut them down to 3/4 length, which I might think about in the future. Using small tools has helped me think about how I move when using tools in an attempt to reduce pain during and after activities. This is something the RHS is currently researching.
My favourite gardening tool is one that I've used most of my life and I find it to be a versatile and basically awesome tool! It is the bog standard patio weeder and if I'm gardening I probably have it with me. But why you ask!!? Here are a few things I use this tool for:
- Weeding the patio.
- Weeding pretty much anywhere!
- Getting out tap roots without disturbing too much soil.
- Cleaning the underside of the Flymo (one of the original uses I found as a child).
- Making holes for seeds.
- Making holes for planting small plants.
- Making rows to sow seeds into.
- Getting through though plants by slicing the sharp edge against it.
- Refreshing border lines when the grass gets too adventurous.
- Removing moss and the top layer of soil when maintaining pot plants.
- And probably many more!
What's your favourite tool? Has your favourite tool changed due to illness?