Spring dreaming plants a handy idea in Susan's mind

Susan Manzke
While dreaming of summer blooms, Susan remembered her garden kneeler/chair and has put it to use in the house.

Mid-winter I can’t help but dream of what my flowers will look like in the summer. I plan for blooms, not for weeds. The trouble is that weeds grow better for me than anything else.

While thinking about future plants, I started wondering about gardening gadgets. Today I’m going to focus on a particular gadget that I’ve found very helpful, a garden seat/kneeler.

The idea to write about this garden seat/kneeler came to me while I was sitting on the kitchen floor. I had gotten down there to be close to my dog. The trouble was that after getting down, I had to struggle to get back up.

My old joints make moving from ground level to standing difficult. I can do it, but it’s not a pretty sight.

My late husband had similar problems. After working under one of his farm machines, Bob needed something to lean on so he could get up. He figured out a way to get up. Bob always carried a 5-gallon pail when he was walking around the farm outside, even when getting the mail. If he happened to slip out in the open he could still get up by bracing against the bucket. Besides aiding in getting up off the ground, the bucket was a good way to carry tools and mail.

When Bob was taking food and water out to feed the barn cats, he carried the food and water inside the bucket. It turned out to be one of his favorite tools.

Today, after struggling to get up from the floor I remembered the garden seat/kneeler I had stored in the basement before winter. It was in perfect shape, even after years of outside use.

I brought up the garden seat/kneeler to the kitchen where I began doing tests.

The garden gadget creaked a little when I unfolded the legs and stood it on the floor. I think it could use a little oil to get it to move a little easier, but even with the stiffness, I opened it to its seat position and sat on it. It was sturdy as the last time I had used it.

Susan's garden kneeler/chair does double duty inside the house in helping her get up and down in the kitchen.

After sitting comfortably, I got up and flipped it over to the kneeler position. I put the legs upright so I could use them for support. I could reach the floor and go easily into the back of my lower kitchen cabinets. This garden tool is also a household tool, especially for anyone with mobility problems, like me. It allows me to get down and then up again.

I always keep my cell phone in my pocket. If somehow, I got down on the floor or ground and couldn’t get up, I would be able to call someone for help—not that I ever want to have to do that. It would be too embarrassing.

I went into my files but couldn’t find out what brand of garden seat/kneeler I had so I searched online. The ones I saw for sale had a tool pocket included. Mine never had that but otherwise, most models looked pretty much like mine.  


I was writing this column when my daughters came to take me to lunch. Even though I wasn’t quite done writing, I took a break to go out to eat with them. What happened next was unexpected and extremely ironic. I fell and broke my hand.

I'm trying to dictate to my computer the final sentences of this column. Sometimes it hears odd words that I have to correct. Still, I manage. More doctor appointments are coming and I’ll tell you later how things progress. Till then, watch your step (and I’ll rest my hand).

Susan Manzke, Sunnybook Farm, N8646 Miller Rd, Seymour, WI 54165;;;