80-Year-Old Claremore Man Uses Scooter To Tend To Flourishing Backyard Garden

Thursday, August 4th 2022, 5:25 pm


A man in Claremore said his garden has always brought him joy and purpose. But when he fell a couple years ago, he had to get creative to figure out how to continue growing his favorite vegetables.

Larry now uses a scooter and has created a backyard oasis to wheel around and do all of his gardening.

“My best technique is to not push too much, give the water a chance to soak in," said Larry Erne.

80-year-old Larry Erne has quite the setup in his backyard.

You’ll find rows and rows with all kinds of vegetables, and Larry– carefully tending to each one.

Larry loves his garden. It’s his passion and greatest joy. “It’s therapeutic," he said.

But three years ago, Larry fell and crushed his shoulder.

Family members told him gardening would be too dangerous and he needed to stop. “I was needless to say, very upset," said Larry.

Larry said when his family told him to stop gardening, that simply wasn't happening. He took to YouTube to find ways he could garden directly from his scooter.

“I can take this thing and go anywhere," said Erne.

Each morning, Larry gets up at 5 a.m., drinks tomato juice, gets on the scooter and starts tending to his garden. “I start watering, dragging my water hose," said Larry.

Larry learned online how to lay down this ground cover and put up the fencing. His vegetables grow above ground, so he doesn't have to weed eat, which is hard on the scooter.

Larry’s wife Margo said he is an example to anyone regardless of their age or disability, that they can continue gardening.

“I knew he wanted to be out here, so I said do it, go for it, and he did," said Margo.

During this heat wave, Larry is dreaming of his fall crops. “I’m getting ready to plant fall-- okra, green beans, peas.”

He hopes for many more years with his scooter, his squash, and his sweetheart. “If you love to garden, there is no reason to stop," said Margo.