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Circular garden is wheelchair-friendly
Layout’s raised design and encircling walkway make it easy to harvest the herbs.
By Kathy Van Mullekom
Daily Press (Newport News, Va
NEWPORT NEWS, Va. — Doris Dodd maneuvers her wheelchair from the kitchen, through the garage and into the side yard of her home in Williamsburg, Va.
There, she tends to an herb garden created in a 9-foot circular pattern.
The garden’s raised design and encircling walkway make it easy for her to harvest the herbs that she cooks with and dries for later use. A 40-year-old yellow Peace rose from her father’s garden is planted in the center; rosemary, garlic chives, thyme and basil grow around it. Mint is planted in a pot and sunk in the ground to keep it from invading everything.
“I really enjoy being out there,” says Doris, 70, who was permanently injured in a 1970 auto accident in New Jersey, where they lived at the time.
“The herb garden has done very well in this spot. I have cut so much rosemary that I share it with our neighbors.”
Husband Jim, also 70, is the die-hard gardener in the household, growing vegetables for the dinner table, sowing wildflowers to attract beneficial wildlife, planting junipers to prevent erosion and always working to perfect his bonsai specimens. Doris does her part, watching and admiring his work from a perch built into the deck that overlooks the back yard.
“The herb garden is something mom can really invest herself in,” says their son Doug. “Mom is a two-time cancer survivor battling her third fight now. Maintaining a good quality of life through all of this requires having meaning for your days.”
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