About me

Welcome to Cardesque-garden: my blog where I share my gardening trials and triumphs from a paraplegic perspective.

I am Jackie Elwin, a  60+ married (to Harry) housewife, and when I am not crafting indoors I will be found pottering in the garden and taking photographs for my blog.   Back in 1986 I broke my back in an RTA resulting in paraplegia (complete T5/6).  This means I have no torso muscles to rely on but I do have the full use of my arms and hands and do all my gardening from a wheelchair.  In order to do the pruning I need to hold onto the wheelchair with one hand whilst pruning with the other.  If I try to put up both hands in front of me I would just fall over.  If I bend over to the front with my torso over my knees I can garden from that position.  Bending to the side is another option as long as I hold onto the wheelchair with one hand or arm whilst stretching to the opposite side with the other arm.  Getting older as a paraplegic is no joke, now 30 plus years post accident I now have arthritis in many joints, especially the fingers, neck and shoulders.  Having arthritis in the fingers affects the ability to grip onto the garden tools and it affects the ability to squeeze the grips of secateurs and other similar tools. I also have Sjogren’s syndrome which, for me so far, has resulted in sicca symptoms along with fatigue and joint pain.   Therefore, over the years the garden has had to evolve to adapt to my ever increasing  needs.  I have found ways and means to overcome some of the problems I face doing the garden, but although it is all accessible to get around, I can’t maintain it all by myself so Harry does do the weeding and planting in the areas that I can’t reach with my collection of tools.  Now and again I have a gardener to help for an hour or so per week.

You will find in my garden blog: lots of photos of the various plants, different areas, wildlife I have spotted, and I blether about what I have been doing in the garden, mistakes I have made, what I would like to do, and what has failed in the garden.  I have included some of my favourite tools and share tips of what I have found works to enable me to carry on gardening with my various physical disabilities for as long as I possibly can.

In the links section on the menu you will find some of my favourite nurseries, places of interest, and some useful links for wheelchair gardening tips.


To see my other hobbies, you can check out my crafty blog below.