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Gardening gift for someone with knee replacement


My mum is an excellent gardener and loves her garden. She’s passed a lot onto me. A couple of years ago she had a knee replacement, and last month she had surgery on her other knee. She told me recently that she thinks she might not be able to carry on with the garden as she can’t kneel/bend down/stand up easily anymore. This makes me really sad.

So I was thinking I’d try and get her some gardening gadgets for Christmas that might be able to take a lot of the strain off - but I have no idea where to start. I’d wondered about a little tool seat for her, but those I’ve seen still look quite high. A raised bed would be out of my budget, and I’d love to help her manage the garden she’s already spent so many years on.

Does anyone have any suggestions? 

Or if you have experience of gardening with bad knees has anything been useful in the garden?

thank you!


  • AnniDAnniD Posts: 12,480
    edited December 2022
    I don't have personal experience of those garden kneelers/seats Gill, (even though l do have one, l haven't used it yet).
    However my nextdoor neighbour has just started using one as he was starting to struggle, and finds it a real help.
    I would advise checking them out in a GC if you can, rather than online as the quality certainly varies. I'm not sure where his came from as it was a birthday present from his daughter, but you may find this article of some help.

    If you're a member of Which ? they have reviewed various kneelers. If not perhaps a forum member who is, can advise what the results were.
  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 54,889
    Hi @gill_mac. My sister had one knee done a few years ago, and she just gradually accustomed herself to doing jobs in the garden. She did use one of those kneeling pads, but it took her a while to be able to do that, and just did five or ten minutes at a time until her knee was good enough to allow her to do more.
    I know that isn't much help, but perhaps it's a starting point?

    One of the forum members is dealing with her knees just now - @Obelixx, so she might be able to offer some advice if she sees her name tagged   :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • ObelixxObelixx Posts: 30,021
    Sorry, not much help here.   I had my new knee in July and am still having physio to retrain and strengthen all the muscles.   Add to that the ground being like concrete after droughts and heatwaves allsummer so Ididn't really try any gardening till rains came in late October.   

    OH was then able to weed and hoe veggie beds for me to plant onion sets as I'm OK bending from the hips.   I can kneel for brief spells on a good cushion and expect that to improve.   I'm having the other knee done next July so plan to spend the intervening months weeding and planting and mulching.

    I'd suggest a good kneeler with side supports that help your mum get up again using her arms to help.  Maybe an extra cushion pad too and make sure the kneeler is widenought to allow for arm and body movements.  Some I've seen are far too narrow and restrictive.

    The tools I like are the Wolf system with various handle lengths and assorted, changeable heads so I can hoe standing up without stress on knees or back when using the longesthandle or potter about in pots or on a bench with the shortest handle.   This head is particularly good as it has a double edged blade - There's also a 10cm wide version for closer plantings.

    Vendée - 20kms from Atlantic coast.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • Lizzie27Lizzie27 Posts: 12,425
    I've got one of the kneelers with side handles, bought as a present for me when I did my back in and couldn't bend from the waist very well. I have to say I didn't get on very well with it, as Obelixx says, I found it too narrow widthways and unless you have firm level ground, which we haven't in many areas, found myself toppling forward into the flowerbed!

    I do have a longhandled very narrow (6") rake however which is invaluable for raking leaves from borders and raking soil between plants. I also swear by the Kneelo memory foam kneelers which are beautifully soft but a tad expensive although mine has lasted over four years. Make  a lovely Xmas present.
    North East Somerset - Clay soil over limestone
  • RedwingRedwing Posts: 1,502
    I have two replacement knees, one is 13 years old, the other 5.  I still do not kneel except inside on a cushion.  I still garden quite a lot but not as much as before the knee replacements.  I do as much weeding as I can in dry weather standing up with a Dutch hoe but of course there are times when I need to get down on the ground for those pesky weeds.  Stooping and bending works but is tiring so if there is a lot of weeding to do I generally sit on an upturned bucket.....not quite the present you had in mind @gill_mac! But it works.  I've not tried a kneeler; I don't think it would work for me. Any type of low stool would work but like most gardening things, it would need to be pretty robust and strong. One difficulty (and there are many) when you have recently had  a knee replacement is sitting on low chairs/stools is that the lower it is the more acute the angle of the knee bend is, which hurts but it improves with time. Maybe an adjustable stool would suit, which could initially be quite high and later lowered as the knee strengthens and the bend improves.  
    Based in Sussex, I garden to encourage as many birds to my garden as possible.
  • nick615nick615 Posts: 1,481
    Hi, gill_mac!  If you know, or can find, someone who'd make the two simple dibber options for you - won't cost a lot - they'll both save a lot of bending.  I don't actually NEED them but just object to unnecessary bending so made them for myself.The 'walking stick' will make holes for either plants OR watering.  The square one is for garden centre tray plants to save squeezing the root stocks.  Tape is at 80cm. 
  • Lizzie27Lizzie27 Posts: 12,425
    Some good ideas there @nick615.
    North East Somerset - Clay soil over limestone
  • fidgetbonesfidgetbones Posts: 17,590
    If she is not getting physiotherapy to strengthen the muscles around the  knee joints, pressurise the GP to get her  some, or go private.    A good physio is worth their weight in gold.  It can mean the difference between being able to get on with life and being permanently disabled.    Google "exercises after knee replacement."

     I have a kneeling stool with handles on the side.

     My mother is 90 soon and she gets me to put her runner beans in now.  She sticks to things she doesn't have to bend down for, such as potting on in the greenhouse.

  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 54,889
    I have to admit that I assumed @gill_mac's mum would be getting physio. 
    That's vital.  :)
    If I hadn't done the exercises I was given, after ripping my rotator cuff several years ago, I know a lot of basic things I normally do would be very difficult. 
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • InBloomInBloom Posts: 68
    edited December 2022
    I bought a folding metal kneeler you can flip it the other way up and it's a stool so the legs become side supports as a kneeler. Mum seems to like it, helps with getting back up - and I seem to remember you could buy fabric pocket things to fasten to the sides to hold tools etc.  There was another, a garden stool saw on wheels - but depends how even the surface is. Another thing I find helpful to potter and pick things up from the back of beds without leaning in is an ordinary litter picker 
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