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American HorticulturalistI don't know what standards others use for judging how-to books, but I want simple, reasonably priced practicality, laced with sufficient cheerleading to convince me that the project is do-able. Adil has managed to provide this and more in her commonsense publication, Accessible Gardening for People with Physical Disabilities: A Guide to Methods, Tools, and Plants.
The book starts with a dose of inspiration, using stories of other handicapped gardeners as well as quotes from various experts, but then moves quickly into discussing the specifics of how to adapt your techniques, plot, and plants to compensate for a body grown immobile or unreliable due to age, injury, or disease. The methods and tools discussed span a number of continuums: from cheap to expensive; from relatively easy to install to ' you had better hire a contractor'; and from 'just let me grow something' to 'make it look like a showcase garden.' Regardless of your physical or economic status, there are adaptations here that will fit your tastes, needs, and price range.
As you would expect, a comprehensive appendix lists sources for plants, for gardening tools and supplies, and for further references and resources for disabled gardeners of varying abilities. When you might not expect is a chapter focusing on gardening for children, both with and without physical disabilities. Adil has a personal interest in this subject; her daughter was born with spina bifida, a congenital disorder that involves incomplete development of the spine.
I have been a handicapped gardener for nearly a decade, and assumed that I knew about every catalog and approach devised for adapting a garden. I was wrong. I never considered taping a funnel to the top of a hollowed-our bamboo pole and using it as a seeder. Nor had it ever occurred to me that I could set in transplants at ground level by placing a shaft of PVC tubing over the planting hole, sliding a plant down the tube, and then using my feet or a long-handled tool to settle it into the earth. And I never would have thought to warn disabled friends to remember that certain medications make you more sensitive to the sun, or that wire cylinders are safer than stakes for propping up tall plants if your condition makes you prone to blackouts or if you have difficulty maintaining your balance.
In short, whether you are a novice or experienced, either in gardening or in living with a disability, you'll find this a useful, uplifting book. As my grandmother used to say, "it gives good value for the money."