Monthly Archives: May 2022

World bee day

 As it’s world bee day today I thought I would show a few photos of bees in the garden.  These were not all taken today as I didn’t have time.  As far as I can tell in these photos we have the common carder bumble bee (Bombus pascourum), the red tailded bee (Bombus lapidarius), white tailed garden bee (Bombus lucorum) and a small tree bee (Bombus hypnorum).  We do get a few other species but I haven’t yet taken any decent photos of them yet.

small tree bee on a Deutzia
Tree bee (Bombus hypnorum) a deutzia

2 bees on  cirsium plant
Bees on cirsium

2 bees on a centaura plant
Bees (Bombus lucorum?) on centaura plant

common carder bee on centaura plnt
Carder bumble bee (Bombuspascuorum)? on centaura

red tailed bee on a veronicus plant
Red tailed bee (Bombus lapidarius) on veronica

bee in a cherry blossum
Bee in a cherry blossum

Wheelchair gardening tools – gloves

 I have added gloves to the tools section as they are so important for comfort, protection, and grip gardening.  Yes you can do gardening without gloves, but I have found that using a wheelchair, gloves that have a bit of ‘grip’ to them not only helps with pushing the manual wheelchair around in the garden but also helps me hold onto the tools easier.  Having arthritic fingers means that I can’t grip as well as I used to and I kept dropping my tools, especially the unmodified ones. In both my front and back gardens I have some prickly shrubs so gloves can offer a bit of protection from these when weeding around them, and clearing their fallen leaves.  


gloves that I wear when wheelchair gardening
Gloves that I wear when gardening from my wheelchair


As you see from the gloves pictured, I don’t have any heavy duty gloves which would offer good protection.  I just can’t be getting on with them.  I can’t feel what I am doing, and pushing the chair is more difficult with them, so instead I would just use my pruners and secateurs that’ cut and hold‘ to tackle any prickly shrubs so that I don’t have to touch them at all.  If I am just going to do some sweeping up or scraping in between slabs in the garden, then I will use either my lambskin gloves or my Global leather wheelchair gloves (if they are drying off then I will use any old leather gloves or my old biker gloves).   They not only keep my hands warm and clean,  but also help my grip and prevent blisters.  I won’t even pick up a cane without gloves on now after I had a very nasty infection in a finger from a skelf (splinter).  It was extremely painful, required antibiotics (which mucked up my warfarin INR), and made it painful to do any wheelchair transfers. 

Over all my favourite gardening gloves are the pink Show-341 gloves. They are flexible, light, breathable, have a textured waterproof latex covering on the palm, and are machine washable. They offer some protection from small prickles such as nettles, and have a good grip.  However, they are not totally waterproof and don’t have any padding on the palm, and can still be a bit slippery once they are wet but they do still offer some grip when wet. The rubber does wear off especially when pushing a wheelchair but then I can use them in the house when it is freezing or when I am playing with the dog throwing his ball around the house.

The Global leather wheelchair gloves have padded palms which not only help with grip but protect your palms getting sore when manipulating objects.  


bruised and broken blod vessels fingers from gardening
Broken blood vessels on fingers

This picture shows my painful burst blood vessel and some other blood vessels near the surface which often burst when pushing the chair. This one burst when  I was pushing a metal plant support into the earth. If I had been using my lambskin or Global leather gloves then maybe that wouldn’t have happened but I was just using my showa-341 gloves.

The main trouble I find when using gloves with a wheelchair is that the grip goes as soon as they get wet.  I have found online some gloves from macwet that claim to keep their grip when wet but I haven’t tried them out.  Once my hands get wet they get very cold and I have not yet found any  gloves that are waterproof and that have grip when wet.  

Therefore I would suggest you always have a good selection of gloves so that you always have some dry ones available.  You need some that offer padding and more protection for certain jobs in the garden, but some lightweight gloves with grip for most of the light everyday gardening jobs.

Wheelchair gardening tips – cleaning your dirty tyres

Even with all the new paving slabs in the back garden I still manage to come in with manky tyres. We get an lot of wildlife in the garden and therefore a lot of poo. The crows, magpies and jackdaws all sit on the various surrounding trees dropping the inevitable all in the same space, whereas the wood pigeons and pheasants wander all around dropping as they go. I can’t go around the entire garden hosing it all off every day, and I can’t always dodge in between the poops, so I will end up running through it now and again.  Wheelchair tyres pick up all manor of garden debris and you don’t want to be wheeling it through the house.   Even when I am in the garage potting up seedlings etc I end up with compost in various nooks and crannies of the wheelchair.  

 At the top of the ramp to the conservatory I keep a small wooden plant-pot stand with a collection of old, folded up towels ready to wipe down my tyres.  I also keep two brushes to remove ‘stuff’ from the tyre treads and from the brakes (wheel-locks).  The tough, green floor scrubbing brush gets into the treads and the narrow grouting brush can be used for the brakes and other harder to access areas of the wheelchair.

dirty wheelchair tyre with bird poo in the treads and dirty brakes
Manky wheelchair tyre and brakes (wheel-locks)

scrubbing brushes for cleaning wheelchair tyres
Scrubbing brushes

In the past people have suggested to me that coir mats (coconut mats) would help but I actually find them very difficult to push the chair over as they have a deep pile and you cannot drive in a straight line over them.  These mats would need to be cleaned quite often too.  We have carpets throughout our house which are either multi patterned or brown and these don’t show the dirt as much as other plain colours would.  

If you have a small area at your entrance that can get wet then you could try using a Muddaddy.  This is a tool that is used to wash down dirty dogs before they get in the car but can be used on your wheelchair and tyres.  However you may have a job getting your wheelchair tyres dry enough to enter your home without dripping on your flooring.  As I am often in a hurry to answer a call of nature or the door bell, then a quick scrub with the brush, or rub with an old towel is usually all that is required.

Wheelchair gardening tip – cleaning your dirty tyres:

  • keep old, small towels at the door
  • use a tough scrubbing brush for getting debris out of the tyre treads
  • use a grouting brush for reaching harder to access areas like brakes, crossbars, foot-plates etc