After Terry Garrett witnessed his ailing brother lose the ability to pursue his love of gardening, he took it upon himself to ensure that anybody—regardless of whether they are confined to a wheelchair—could keep their green thumbs in the dirt.
Garrett is the mastermind behind the Elevated Garden: a tabletop garden that has been designed specifically for people in wheelchairs. The idea for the elevated garden was born after his brother was diagnosed with Stage IV chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
“He loved gardening but could no longer handle the physical demands of traditional gardening,” says the veteran. “I designed and built my first elevated garden… and by the end of the year, my brother was taking care of 40 units and growing all his produce for the winter.”
“I saw how it benefited him with an improvement in his quality of life, and an increased sense of self worth and accomplishment,” he continued.
“This spurred me on to developing, patenting, and trade-marking what we are currently manufacturing and marketing.”
Standing at just 30 inches tall, the gardens have been used in nursing homes and assisted living facilities because they limit the amount of bending and physical activity that is typically required by traditional gardening.
The components are made and manufactured in Tennessee, by the veteran’s company, T&L Group. Additionally, the mobile gardens are built on wheels so they can be used indoors through all seasons.
Garrett, who was recently named a “Horticultural Hero” for his design, is now looking to develop handicap-accessible gardening tools so his company can continue to uplift disabled and geriatric patients who want to garden ‘outside the box’.