Gardening is an integral component in the life of many people; and over the years it has become possible by means of adaptations, to be enjoyed by almost anyone. Senior citizens, because of decreasing mobility, would often lose that which not only provided them with fresh produce, but also fed their need to connect to the earth and to surround themselves with the natural beauty created by growing flowers and decorative plants. Seniors were not the only ones deprived of enjoying gardening, those who had lost their mobility through illness, could no longer garden in the traditional way. That has now been changed by adaptation and by people who had imagination and practical as well as creative ability.
Otto and Elli Kohnert of Barriere were faced with giving up their fairly large garden because age had limited their ability to carry on with the usual garden chores that involve much bending and kneeling. When Otto noticed his wife’s unhappiness about the situation, he put his carpenter and designer skill to work and build a ‘Box Garden’, as they called it. The flower bed in front of their house became a garden plot. He build 27 wooden boxes, 2 foot x 4 foot and 11/2 feet high, and placed them on the prepared garden spot, with 2 foot walkways between them.
Elli went a little wild; after all it was her first attempt to grow a mini-garden in boxes. She mixed vegetables with flowering plants in a free flowing arrangement, that made some traditional gardeners shake their heads; but as everything began to bloom and grow, it looked, well, somewhat like a surrealistic painting. Elli admits that there is a lot to be learned yet, but now she can enjoy planning for the next season, certain that by sitting on the edge of the containers, she will be able to continue gardening. Otto, a carpenter by trade, commented,” I am not sure how I would have been able to live with her if she could not get her hands dirty in a garden, so it was a bit of self preservation that I designed and build her a ‘Box Garden”.