|Project by USMCRet93||posted 04-16-2016 03:32 PM||1011 views||1 time favorited||12 comments|
I recently had the idea of building a gardening bed for use by the residents of the nursing home where I work. Knowing that many of these people (in their 70’s and 80’s) would be unable to get down on the ground, I knew that this would have to be an elevated bed. I decided to build the gardening bed a height of 36 inches. I used 4×4 posts for legs, 2×12 for the sides and ends, 2×4 cross bracing, and 1/2 inch plywood for the bottom of the bed and for a bottom shelf. All wood used in this project was pressure treated wood, purchased from a local “big box” store. I attached the 2×12 sides and ends to the posts using 1/4×3 inch lag screws, countersunk into the wood (to avoid people getting scratched by the bolt heads). Once I had the basic frame constructed, I added 2×4 bracing across the bed to give additional support to the bottom where the soil would rest. I then added another level of frame and bracing near the bottom of the legs for a bottom shelf. After completing the bed, we flipped it upright and added a layer of plastic sheeting (with holes cut in it to match drain holes previously cut in the plywood for drainage), a layer of weed barrier cloth (to keep the dirt in, while allowing water to drain out), and the dirt (Miracle Gro gardening soil). After adding the soil, I remembered the wooden dowels I wanted to add to the ends of the bed for support of climbing plants….. oops!
Then came the FUN part….. watching the residents of the nursing home having the enjoyment of planting and watering the plants we provided. I am sorry there are no pictures of this process, but there are “privacy” issues involved that I have to respect. I will say that in the few days this project has been completed some of these folks have become very protective of “their” plants.
I know that my project is not a “thing of beauty”.... I am not a carpenter, I’m a Physical Therapist. But I did my best to build a gardening bed that would be safe and strong for the folks who will get to use it, and I hope it is something that will last for a number of years.
-- Live to dive.... dive to LIVE!