The patch I was working on today had 3 young oak trees - about a foot high. Probably planted by a squirrel, but now we have discovered them we want them to grow up healthy.
Only problem is...nettles. Millions of the things. A whole jungle of them hogging the light and stealing the nutrients, choking our little 'mighty-oak-to-be's.
My job was to clear an area around each sapling. To let the light in and take away their competition for a while.
Here's my 'Kit list':
Off Road Power Chair (if you are a regular reader you'll know how much I love my X8) - to get me to right next to the mini-oaks
Strapping, taping, or lycra orthotics from neck to hands and toes (to give me a chance of keeping my joints in roughly the right places)
Supportive boots that are good with mud (OK, more like 'already covered with mud, and won't be ruined by my bendy-legged habit of sitting on my feet')
Dancers knee pads (so I can slide out of my chair and crawl without hurting my knees)
Dungarees ("Overalls" if you speak US English) (Covering the knee pads, and also stopping me from bum-shuffling further than my trousers...)
Long sleeved rugby shirt with elasticated cuffs. (Essential nettle protection - their stings get through lycra compression top plus tubigrip!)
Wrist braces with metal inserts (so I can apply pressure through my hands without as much injury)
Bramble proof gloves (they tend to be nettle proof too)
A big bag for uprooted weeds.
A hat. (A new addition to my gardening kit, because I always get mud in my hair.)
And my little garden fork with it's adaptive grip and cuff attachment.
Like this, only a fork....and with the cuff bit added from the image below.
And after a couple of hours of mud crawling and fork-lever-ing (interspersed with resting and chatting) the three lovely little spaces were cleared. The young oaks can breathe again.
An exhausting but lovely morning.
And I STILL got mud in my hair!
[Note: You can get the handle adaptor and cuff from quite a few places, including the HMSA's shop - Hypermobilityshop.org - and no, this isn't a sponsored post in any way, I just love my gadget and thought you might like to know where you can get them from.]