“My mother liked to raise a garden and I always helped her,” said the retired Henderson businessman, who turned 92 on July 24. “I’ve been gardening all my life.”
For that very reason, Alles’ friends and employees at Alles Brothers Furniture weren’t going to let mobility issues get in the way of him being able to enjoying doing something he’s been active at for decades.
They’ve made the garden of the Judson Place home he shares with his older sister Mary Frances Alles so he can wheel his motorized chair around the yard and tend to the gardening chores he wants to get done.
“We have all worked to make it chair friendly,” said John Sides, Alles’ friend and colleague. “It’s pretty much accessible. We have walked this whole yard looking for obstacles.”
As potholes and ruts — potential sticking points for wheelchair wheels — have been identified they’ve been filled in and sodded over to smooth the way.
“Island” beds have been raised slightly and are chock full of vegetables and flowers.
Mobility-limiting vegetation has been removed, and new border beds that Alles can easily reach from his chair have been added, providing many new places for plants that are being systemically relocated from the house next door where he devoted many years of his gardening life.
“He wants to plant everywhere,” said his gardening friend and helper, Marietta Peckenpaugh, who often discovers plants she’s trimmed or discarded that have been “rescued” and replanted by Alles.
Alles’ gardening interests know no limits, but he claims not to have a green thumb.