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May 7, 2018 7:46 PM CST
Name: James
Tucson, Arizona (Zone 9b)
Good evening everyone. I haven't posted here for quite some time - I hope this post is acceptable.

I have installed a new version of my main Cultivation Notes web page at .....

http://jp29.org/cultwp.htm

..... that is devoted to my experiences growing cacti in the last year during which time I have been inflicted with multiple physical disabilities.

From the web page introduction:

Advancing years are beginning to catch up with me (I am now in my late eighties) and I have great difficulty walking unaided - in fact I have to use a walker all of the time. I also have much diminished upper body strength due to rotator cuff damage in both shoulders (because of falls) plus severe edema and neuropathy in my feet. Thus it is hard for me to carry potted cacti and keep my balance and I am constantly investigating various methods and techniques for easily maintaining and transporting my plants. I also cannot stand for any length of time and therefor have to perform soil mixing, potting and watering while seated.

I hope this page will be of some help to other enthusiasts who have similar afflictions. I intend to continuously update it in order to provide more comprehensive information.

James
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May 8, 2018 11:29 AM CST
Name: Deborah
midstate South Carolina (Zone 8a)
Don't Sweat the Small Stuff!
Charter ATP Member Amaryllis Tropicals Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Plumerias
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Welcome! back, James. You have been missed. I'm glad to hear that you're coping and adjusting accordingly. I'm sure your info will be of great benefit to others in similar situations.
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May 8, 2018 2:40 PM CST
Name: James
Tucson, Arizona (Zone 9b)
Deebie said: Welcome! back, James. You have been missed. I'm glad to hear that you're coping and adjusting accordingly. I'm sure your info will be of great benefit to others in similar situations.

Thank you @Deebie - it is good to be back.

James
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May 9, 2018 11:58 AM CST
Name: Philip Becker
Fresno California (Zone 8a)
Kudos πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ˜€ To you James !
Keep in there, Buddy.
My I tip my hat to you. off, to you.
Lovey dubby and Angel you !

Have you considered writing a book ?
I sure will read your story.πŸ‘πŸ‘
Without even reading it yet, I bet you have better advice than any doctor, nurse, or physical therapist, can give.
Thank You !
Philip 😎😎😎
Anything i say, could be misrepresented, or wrong.
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May 9, 2018 2:09 PM CST
Name: James
Tucson, Arizona (Zone 9b)
Philipwonel said:Kudos πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ˜€ To you James !
Keep in there, Buddy.
My I tip my hat to you. off, to you.
Lovey dubby and Angel you !

Have you considered writing a book ?
I sure will read your story.πŸ‘πŸ‘
Without even reading it yet, I bet you have better advice than any doctor, nurse, or physical therapist, can give.
Thank You !
Philip 😎😎😎


Thank you Philip. No time for book writing - too time consuming and stressful. Not too much advice right now - just a couple of old bromides:

"The trouble with youth is that it is wasted on the young" ..... George Bernard Shaw

"Growing old is not for sissies" ..... anon

James

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May 10, 2018 12:22 AM CST
Name: Bea
Zone 8b Oregon (Zone 8b)
Amaryllis Heucheras Keeps Horses Hostas Houseplants Hummingbirder
Hydrangeas Keeper of Koi Lilies Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Region: Pacific Northwest Ponds
Hi James I have similar problems. Both hips replaced and recient revision on left hip, and well all my joints are a mess. Arthritis in hands so cannot do a lot of things. I had to give up all my pot collections. Gave them to a horticulture class at a near by community college over 55 large pots.
They continue to care for them propagate them and sell small pots grown from cuttings. These were my plant collections I kept in greenhouse during winters.

Small pots even in the house I have downsized.
It's tough to garden as we age. I miss working in the greenhouse.
I kept a photo diary of all the plants I grew over the years so nice to look thru all my old friends.

Please use your walker no more falls. Take care of yourself and if possible ask someone for help . I had horticulture students from nearby high school come to help me out and it was a learning experience for them and they got extra credit for occasional summer work.

Best wishes and happy 😊 blooming .
I’m so busy... β€œI don’t know if I found a rope or lost a horse.”
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May 10, 2018 1:45 AM CST
Name: James
Tucson, Arizona (Zone 9b)
Thank you for that great post bumplbea! Some excellent information and suggestions there indeed.
I will incorporate their essence on my web page with your permission. And, I do use my walker at all times now - even around the house. I have fallen twelve times during the last ten years and my Doctor says I musn't fall again because that might be the end of me - and I am not ready to go just yet. Falling is the number one cause of death among octagenarians. I have to be extra careful when carrying plants around these days - I urge all enthusiasts of advanced years to do likewise.

James
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May 10, 2018 9:17 PM CST
Name: Bea
Zone 8b Oregon (Zone 8b)
Amaryllis Heucheras Keeps Horses Hostas Houseplants Hummingbirder
Hydrangeas Keeper of Koi Lilies Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Region: Pacific Northwest Ponds
Of course sharing garden ideas is the wealth of all knowledge for gardeners.

See pic of my fav potted plants to show off.
Succulent Sedeveria Blue Giant on the left. A waterfall of blue succulent leaves cascading over the sides . Pot on right: spider plant and pups, mosquito geranium and vase flower. All home grown from cuttings, leaf or pup.

Thumb of 2018-05-11/bumplbea/d3a127

Raised bed built by high school horticulture students. 6"x12' treated landscaping timbers. Landscaping fabric lined the total inside of raised bed 4.5' x48' to keep moles and gophers out. All filled with pre made compost and soil collected and made by students. Soakers included. No bending and easy reach. At one end I can sit down and garden the other end not shown can stand and lean on top to garden.

Thumb of 2018-05-11/bumplbea/db99f7
I’m so busy... β€œI don’t know if I found a rope or lost a horse.”
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May 10, 2018 10:40 PM CST
Name: James
Tucson, Arizona (Zone 9b)
Per request, I have installed numerous new plant photos on my cultivation page at:

http://jp29.org/cultwp.htm
Avatar for Deebie
May 11, 2018 6:11 PM CST
Name: Deborah
midstate South Carolina (Zone 8a)
Don't Sweat the Small Stuff!
Charter ATP Member Amaryllis Tropicals Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Plumerias
Plant Identifier Peonies Lilies Irises Hummingbirder Echinacea
Welcome! and Thank You! @Bumplbea for sharing your gardening experience and excouragement with us here at NGA. Your 1st photo is beautiful and looks like a painting. And what a wonderful job the horticulture class has done to make gardening easier for you. May you, James and all others with disabilities/limitations, have many more enjoyable gardening years. Thumbs up
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May 11, 2018 11:58 PM CST
Name: Bea
Zone 8b Oregon (Zone 8b)
Amaryllis Heucheras Keeps Horses Hostas Houseplants Hummingbirder
Hydrangeas Keeper of Koi Lilies Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Region: Pacific Northwest Ponds
Hi Deebie

Thank you for your warm welcome. Thank You! And Yes the hort class has helped made gardening easier as they learn new garden projects that I dream up over winter they get extra credit working and learning .

Thank you for your kind wishes. I'm one of those hort heads that salavates all winter over garden catalogues and dreams of spring projects and planting's. Hilarious!

You have lots of badges love them all ...especially like your saying... Don't sweat the small stuff... so true! Your my kind of gardener. :

Hope to see more of you around. Smiling
I’m so busy... β€œI don’t know if I found a rope or lost a horse.”
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May 13, 2018 9:48 PM CST
Name: Paula Benyei
NYC suburbs (Zone 6b)
Thank you James-
THIS IS REALLY VALUABLE INFORMATION- thank you for sharing and please keep doing so

I am an OT grad student and I work with many people with disabilities, especially the elderly who have been forced to make the tough decision between the safety that comes with assisted living and the independence that comes at home-

unfortunately a lot of rec therapists and OTs incorporate gardening, but in the most juvenile artsy craftsy paper cup BS- and it bothers me! You're not a 5 year old and growing bean sprouts or keeping a piece of bamboo alive- that is NOT gardening. ITS PATRONIZING and it drives me crazy!! It's not their fault- I don't think a lot of people who suppose using "planting" as a therapeutic activity know F#$ all about plants or gardening and they simplify it to a point that its no longer rewarding-

I would love to hear what everyone has to say on this topic- what do you do? what methods have you found to compensate for your physical disabilities? Did you change the type of plants based on care needs? their locations (higher tables, lower placement, closer to the sink? containers? ) where do you stuggle either physically or cognitively and in what ways have you found work arounds? All of the best strategies come from people who love the hobby and MUST find work-arounds- you guys should be teaching us
The plural of anecdote is not data.
The plural of bozos is Dasilyl - so please don't engage with my website troll who typically caches my first post and responds ugly just to be nasty. If it gets upity, please ignore it.
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May 13, 2018 10:03 PM CST
Name: Paula Benyei
NYC suburbs (Zone 6b)
bumplbea, do you have a mobility option that will get you to the school so you can guest lecture?

Can you have that school cultivate your plants to the point where their social work, Ocuupational therapy, rec therapy or or student teachers can bring them, and have you guest lecture at assisted living facilities, at day programs for people with severe disabilities? - have you thought about soliciting donations of plants from local nurseries as a marketing and tax deduction plan- how cool would that be- Work as a consult with boy scouts doing neighborhood beautification projects to get their eagle scout badge- you could take that donation and turn it into an ongoing community project in so many ways- the horticulture students get points for rooting new plants- the mental health and theraputic students get credit for doing the planting and education program, the social work students get credit for arranging it- there could be an entire multidisciplinary curriculum and all of your knowledge is the keystone
The plural of anecdote is not data.
The plural of bozos is Dasilyl - so please don't engage with my website troll who typically caches my first post and responds ugly just to be nasty. If it gets upity, please ignore it.
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May 13, 2018 10:28 PM CST
Name: James
Tucson, Arizona (Zone 9b)
Turbosaurus said:Thank you James-
THIS IS REALLY VALUABLE INFORMATION- thank you for sharing and please keep doing so

I am an OT grad student and I work with many people with disabilities, especially the elderly who have been forced to make the tough decision between the safety that comes with assisted living and the independence that comes at home-

unfortunately a lot of rec therapists and OTs incorporate gardening, but in the most juvenile artsy craftsy paper cup BS- and it bothers me! You're not a 5 year old and growing bean sprouts or keeping a piece of bamboo alive- that is NOT gardening. ITS PATRONIZING and it drives me crazy!! It's not their fault- I don't think a lot of people who suppose using "planting" as a therapeutic activity know F#$ all about plants or gardening and they simplify it to a point that its no longer rewarding-

I would love to hear what everyone has to say .......

Thank You! for that great post Paula ...... your passion comes shining through. I have maintained a commitment to accessibility for people with disabilities in many ways - long before I became afflicted with the numerous physical handicaps that I now must overcome in order to pursue and enjoy my lifelong hobby of cultivating cacti.

At one time I was a Technical Advisor (volunteer) for Access World Design and Development, Inc., a non-profit organization dedicated to training the disabled in accessible web design. We had members who were severely disabled (including Deafblind or with respirator dependent Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy) who we trained to become independently proficient Web authors using the W3C Web Content Accessibility Guidelines. It was a most rewarding experience and I remain committed to Web Content Accessibility to this day.

Please visit my web page at http://jp29.org/wpowca.htm
..... to get a sense of that activity. I intend to use some of the skills and instructional methodology I developed there to provide similar information and suggestions for people with severe disabilities in cultivating cacti and succulents.

I hope I can help some people with disabilities to use computers as aids in cultivating their plants.

http://jp29.org/index.php
Last edited by jamesicus May 13, 2018 10:31 PM Icon for preview
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May 14, 2018 12:06 AM CST
Name: James
Tucson, Arizona (Zone 9b)
One thing I have personally found to be very important when I am "gardening" is to ALWAYS have my iPhone in one of my pockets. I have fallen twelve times in the past two years (twice in the last month) and, despite using my walker practically all the time now, I am constantly wary of stumbling, losing my balance, and falling. Most elderly people who fall cannot stand up without assistance - that is my situation, I simply do not have sufficient upper body strength to pull myself up and my darling wife Beverly is frail having endured two heart bypass operations and cannot help me. So, I have to call 911 (unless a young and strong neighbor happens to be available) - the strong and skillful paramedics get the job done in short order. The thought of lying on the ground unaided for any length of time among my plants is terrifying. It could be the end of me. And, so, I always carry my iPhone in one of my pockets - it is as much an essential aid to me as my walker. I am most unsteady and susceptible to losing my balance and falling when I am watering my plants - that is when I must exert the maximum caution.

I am going to shortly incorporate the above information on my web page at http://jp29.org/cultwp.htm
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May 14, 2018 2:51 PM CST
Name: Frenchy
Falls Church, VA (Zone 7b)
Region: Ukraine Tender Perennials Container Gardener Dog Lover Houseplants Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
Tomato Heads Hostas Tropicals Annuals Foliage Fan Aroids
Well said James! Thumbs up Having a cell phone or call button gizmo is essential for all us wobbly gardeners. nodding
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May 14, 2018 3:39 PM CST
Name: Karen
New Mexico (Zone 8a)
Region: New Mexico Region: Arizona Region: Ukraine Cactus and Succulents Plant Identifier Plays in the sandbox
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I agree having a phone or call button on you at all times is important. During my dad's last year of life he fell over and over even though he had a walker and a wheelchair. My mom was too frail to be able to help him up so they called the EMT's. They were fine with it twice, and then said they couldn't come out any more and that they had to get help to come in. Sighing! They didn't want that, of course!
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May 14, 2018 4:39 PM CST
Name: Frenchy
Falls Church, VA (Zone 7b)
Region: Ukraine Tender Perennials Container Gardener Dog Lover Houseplants Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
Tomato Heads Hostas Tropicals Annuals Foliage Fan Aroids
Wow that's too bad the EMT's stopped coming after two calls. The EMT's near my parents came every time - they were very kind to my parents, still are to my mom.
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May 14, 2018 6:05 PM CST
Name: Bea
Zone 8b Oregon (Zone 8b)
Amaryllis Heucheras Keeps Horses Hostas Houseplants Hummingbirder
Hydrangeas Keeper of Koi Lilies Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Region: Pacific Northwest Ponds
Hi James.

Really enjoyed your blog. I am amazed at all the beautiful pics of cacti and many flowering. They are all so neat and clean. Show worthy for sure.

Your soil mix for cacti is so easy and thoughtful. You are definitely a pro.
I am surprised at all the sharp needles on all of the cacti. Do you use tongs or paper holders. I can't tell you how many times I've been stabbed no matter how careful and some are really hard to find and remove from fingers.

All your pics and advice were so helpful especially since I was given 12 new cacti for mother's day to replant.

Thanks for your well informed blog. Hurray!
Wish me luck!
Take care. Thumbs up
I’m so busy... β€œI don’t know if I found a rope or lost a horse.”
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May 15, 2018 10:38 AM CST
Name: James
Tucson, Arizona (Zone 9b)
bumplbea said:Hi James.

Really enjoyed your blog. I am amazed at all the beautiful pics of cacti and many flowering. They are all so neat and clean. Show worthy for sure.

Your soil mix for cacti is so easy and thoughtful. You are definitely a pro.
I am surprised at all the sharp needles on all of the cacti. Do you use tongs or paper holders. I can't tell you how many times I've been stabbed no matter how careful and some are really hard to find and remove from fingers.

All your pics and advice were so helpful especially since I was given 12 new cacti for mother's day to replant.

Thanks for your well informed blog. Hurray!
Wish me luck!
Take care. Thumbs up

Thank you for all those kind words @bumplebea. With regard to the cacti "sharp needles":
I have been cultivating cacti so long that the skin on the pads of my fingers have become toughened to the point that I can handle most lightweight cereoid cactus stems and globular species with my bare hands with no discomfort or problems - and that is a good thing for me because I like to position such plants and cuttings in the pot with my left hand when potting up while I feed the potting soil mix, using a spoon, with my right hand. I have a much better feel for the process using this procedure. Here is a (posed) pic of me doing this with an Arrojadoa rhodantha cutting:

Thumb of 2018-05-15/jamesicus/5c044a

This only works with lightweight plants/cuttings that have "regular" spines - I use tongs or folded newspaper strips to support Opuntioid types that have glochids or heavy plants/cuttings - their weight causes the points of the spines to penetrate the skin.

James
http://jp29.org/cultwp.htm
Last edited by jamesicus May 15, 2018 11:09 AM Icon for preview

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