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Nando’s Wheels A Backyard Redux And A No Recipe Crumble

Pets on wheels from Red Flyer Facebook site

Pets on wheels from Red Flyer Facebook site

I follow a blog Lessons From A Paralyzed Dog, Sharon who authors the blog is one of the sweetest most caring individuals I know, she cared for her sweet Sophie for many years and she is an inspiration.

Nando as many of you know who follow this blog is very old and has many health issues. The most recent is a degenerative disc disorder that has left his hind legs almost paralyzed. He can barely stand at times and falls continuously when he is trying to do his favorite thing in the world, eat. Recently Sharon posted on her blog information about a program that loans wheelchairs to handicapped pets. How brilliant is this idea, wheelchairs are very very expensive and for many it’s something that is unattainable. Harlan from Red Flyer, The Handicapped Pets Community initiated this great program to help pet parents obtain one of these wheelchairs at no cost, you only must return it when done.

I sent the wonderful people at Red Flyer Nando’s dimensions now I just wait for Nando’s wheelchair. It will make such a difference for him when he eats. He can no longer stand for more than a few seconds at a time while eating and because of this he has become discouraged and doesn’t eat as much. He is losing weight which is not good. I will post some photo’s when Nando gets his wheels. If any of you know of someone not using their pet wheelchair ask if they will donate to pets in need,  contact Harlan on Facebook use the link I provided in the previous paragraph.

Before

Before- weeds, way too many shrubbery

My Garden

I think I have mentioned before that I am not a gardener, don’t have a green thumb and systematically destroy almost every plant that I put in the good earth with exception of my roses which for some reason have defied the odds and are gorgeous and healthy and of course the many varieties of weeds that I can’t kill no matter how hard I try. It was pretty early for my weeds to grow so huge but they did so I put a message out on a neighborhood message board Next Door Clinton Hill asking if anyone knew someone who would clean up my backyard.  The good people at Root and Stalk answered my request, Jessica is the plant whisperer and she and her team came over to assess my mess. She was very kind and didn’t say what she probably thought about my lack of gardening prowess but she gave me some solutions that I really liked. Several of the excess shrubs were re-homed, she and her team also repositioned much of what I had planted to better spots in the garden. It really does pay to have an expert (if you are not one) do it right. We still have some finishing touches, some additional annuals and perennials to plant but already it is a huge improvement and I love having a backyard I can use. Now I will get a new grill and some additional seating and I’m set.

Problem #1- Weeds out of control huge overgrown ugly weeds. Jessica has planted ground cover, thinned out some of my overgrown shrubbery, dug some up and is giving them a new home somewhere else, I seriously over did it with shrubs. She planted some gorgeous pots of flowers, made a raised bed with my herbs and climbing hydrangea, planted perennials and annuals and my garden looks just beautiful. I had a problem with weeds in between my blue stone patio so they planted creeping thyme.

Problem #2- mosquitoes Well  I have a major mosquito problem, hundreds and thousands maybe millions of them and I refuse to use mosquito spray it’s poisonous  so I just didn’t use my  backyard starting the end of June until around Thanksgiving. Thats not acceptable. Jessica said to put fans in the back yard which I will do but there is already a huge improvement after she got rid of my weeds and multitude of shrubs. Almost finished planting

Almost finished planting

Pretty pots with flowers

Pretty pots with flowers

More flowers in pots

More flowers in pots

raised bed

raised bed with herbs and climbing hydrangea

Mixed Fruit Crumble

Mixed Fruit Crumble

I had some nectarines that I got at Food52 from Frog Hollow Farms, they are a once a year indulgence for me and boy are they delicious (I get 3 lb nectarines and 3 lbs peaches, seriously they are amazing). I ate what I could and the rest were getting too soft so I decided to make a crumble. I also had some frozen raspberries and blackberries that I got from the green market so I put them all together in a buttered 8×8 square pan. The crumble is simple, oats, spelt flour, pastry flour (ratio’s are equal parts oat and spelt and a smaller amount of pastry flour) butter approximately 2 oz (4 tbs), pinch of salt and about 1/4 cup brown sugar to taste. Mix it all up it should be crumbly but not dry, it should clump together. Butter your baking dish add the fruit and sprinkle with some sugar.  Cover the fruit with the crumble mixture, drizzle with a little honey and bake at 375 until browned and bubbly. Serve with heavy cream or ice cream. Delicious. NOTE: You don’t have to use spelt flour you can use any combination you like, sometimes I use barley and oats sometimes regular AP flour and oats, You can customize to your taste.

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80 Comments Post a comment
  1. Great summer post, inspiring me to work on our yard once the house is painted outside – a mess now. Hooray for Nando!

    June 24, 2015
    • I am so please with my back yard it has inspired me to do more. Thanks Liz and hopefully very soon Nando will be mobile.

      June 24, 2015
  2. The garden looks great, Suzanne. I love pots!!! Go Nando!! xo

    June 24, 2015
    • It is an improvement thanks Em, it’s much easier to care for now. Nando is one amazing dog.

      June 24, 2015
  3. The garden looks wonderful Suzanne and I am so pleased that you’ll be able to go out back and enjoy it!!! As for Nando that sweetheart I am so excited to learn about this mobile device that will be coming to you for him!! He is one lucky boy to have you as his Mama! Your Florida Bud always, Cheryl Pssst. Oh I love fruit it sounds amazing!

    June 24, 2015
    • Thank you, I wish I were someone who enjoyed gardening but I don’t I love having the outdoor space and in NYC it’s huge, outdoor space is at a premium. Hoping this garden design will make it more enjoyable and easy to care for. Thanks so much can’t wait til Nando has his wheels!

      June 24, 2015
  4. beautiful post, beautiful pic

    June 24, 2015
  5. I am a sucker for crumbles so that looks absolutely delicious!

    Jessica and her team did a wonderful job with your yard! I love that raised bed!

    And yay – cannot wait for Nando’s wheels to come in! Suzanne you are such a wonderful mom to Nando! He is lucky to have you!

    June 24, 2015
    • Thanks Shashi, Jessica really did do a great job on the mangled mess that was my backyard. It’s much easier and prettier now. Thank you!

      June 24, 2015
  6. Suzanne, I’m so pleased that Nando will be getting a wheelchair from Red Flyer. I hope it gives him some relief. Please let me know when it arrives or if you have any questions. The carts can be a little tricky. Your new garden is so inviting. It seems like life is looking up.

    June 24, 2015
    • Yes, Harlan and I spoke, I gave him Nando’s dimensions and here’s hoping he has a chair soon, He has lost 5 lbs and I know part of it is muscle but that little boy can’t afford to lose anymore weight. I feed him on demand pretty much but he gets so discouraged because he can’t stand and eat and doesn’t really like for me to hold him up but tolerates it. Thank you Sharon for posting about the loaner program it will be a God send for Nando. Thank you.

      June 24, 2015
  7. Lots of luck with the wheelchair, I hope it arrives soon and that it gives Nando the assistance he needs 🙂
    Your back yard looks great and the dish looks lush! X

    June 24, 2015
  8. I hope Nando’s ride arrives soon.
    xxx Huge Hugs xxx

    June 24, 2015
  9. Maria DeBrango Stickel #

    Hoping the wheelchair for Nando arrives soon. Your yard looks beautiful. I put some blue mouthwash in a spray bottle with water and spritz our yard before we plan to sit out at night and it really helps to ward off mosquitos. I have another spray bottle with the natural mixture of lavender oil, vanilla, lemon juice and water to spray on us before we go out.
    Hope this helps.
    Love to all!
    Maria

    June 24, 2015
    • Oh thank you that sounds good. I will make those natural repellants and give a try. Thanks Maria.

      June 24, 2015
  10. talkavino #

    Suzanne, thank you very much for the link about the wheelchairs – we need one for our dog too… Hope wheelchair for Nando will arrive soon!

    June 24, 2015
    • Anatoli, leave a message for Harlan with background on the Facebook Page. Harlan will contact you, it may take a few days but he does get back to everyone. I will email you the chart showing how to measure your dog so you can have the measurements ready to put in your post. I hope your dog gets a wheelchair also. Look for an email from me.

      June 24, 2015
      • talkavino #

        Thank you Suzanne, really appreciate it!

        June 25, 2015
  11. What a heart warming post! I cannot wait to see Nando with his new wheels. Please share pictures. Great job on your backyard, beautiful flowers! And to finish off with a delicious fresh berry dessert! YUM!

    June 24, 2015
    • Thanks Michelle, I hope the wheelchair will help him to eat without falling, It’s so horrible seeing him fall, he tries so hard.

      June 24, 2015
  12. Wow! I’m so pleased you’ve managed to get your yard fixed up. It looks incredible. And so pleased they’ve used some of what you had to great effect. Will Nando be able to use it at all? Or maybe it’ll be too hot. Is your yard facing south / s east? I can’t figure the light and shade in the photos. Actually, that’s one of the first things you need to know for planting. Ah, I used to love gardening. And so wish I could’ve helped you out.
    Oh, and I love crumble! Hmm, thought you guys called it a crisp.

    June 24, 2015
    • You are good, my garden is facing East. I get incredible sun back there most of the day. I am not good at gardening, never have been never will be. My idea of gardening is sitting in a chaise with an umbrella and a cold drink while someone else does the work. I’m not one who enjoys digging in the dirt. LOL. Thanks Johnny, any suggestions you can give me if you can do that by simply looking at the photo will be much appreciated.

      June 24, 2015
  13. I am so happy to hear about Nando’s wheelchair. This was definitely help him get around much easier which is such a beautiful thing to hear on today. I was actually thinking of him the other day. This is such an inspiring post. And I definitely love that dessert.

    Kia / The House of KTS
    http://www.houseofkts.com

    June 24, 2015
    • Thanks Kia, yes I will post photo’s once Nando gets his chair, I hope he likes it and adapts. Thank you so much.

      June 24, 2015
  14. This post is such a treat, Suzanne. A lovely garden make over, wheels on the way for Nando, and something yummy to eat!
    (I’m the world’s worst gardener. I’ve even killed plastic plants…
    Mega hugs. 🙂

    June 24, 2015
    • LOL, I am right there with you, not even a plastic or silk plant is safe around me. Thanks Teagan. It was funny Jessica was walking me through the care instructions and asked if i am ok with watering, That is sometimes a challenge too, I tend to over or under water drying out or parching the poor plants,

      June 24, 2015
  15. Your garden is beautiful, Suzanne! I can imagine you enjoying your delicious fruit crumble while sitting in the shade, admiring the great job! You make me long for summer!!

    June 24, 2015
    • Thank you , it’s so nice having a garden that I feel good about, Now I need fans to keep those mosquitoes at bay.

      June 24, 2015
  16. Love this post Suzanne… it’s uplifting and summery and so very productive! I’ve been wondering how Nando is doing lately, so it’s great to hear that you have a wheelchair on the way for him, that will allow him to do some of the things that he loves – dear little fellow! Your garden looks absolutely stunning… amazing what a little weeding and moving things around can do! Just hope you manage to find a way of fending off those pesky mosquitos, so that you can use your back garden to the max, right through the summer time!

    June 24, 2015
    • It’s amazing but thinning out the excess shrubs and getting rid of the weeds has reduced the mosquito population considerably. I can actually stand out there and water without getting bit over and over, It’s so nice, Thank you so much, I can’t wait for Nando to het his wheels.

      June 24, 2015
  17. Great post Suzanne, a bit of everything in one. Poor Nando, I can see you’re both hurting, I hope you get some wheels soon, it will be great for both of you. Your garden really transformed into an amazing backyard, not that it was a lost cause :)……just great how they re-arranged everything, it looks wonderful, I like all the pots and the plants, and you’re right for being in NYC, that is quite a bit of land you have there. I always love to see urban gardens, I’m an avid gardener myself, and have a section on my blog just for gardening, I’m always up for learning. We downsized from an acre lot in the suburbs to a city town home now and I still am not completely satisfied with it, but I keep on moving things around too. It’s amazing what annuals can do to perk it up a bit and add some color.

    June 24, 2015
    • Thank you Loretta, I wish I were a good gardener. Having outdoor space is so nice but it is a lot more work than I thought it would be. I have rearranged many times and I like it now. I over planted before. It’s all a learning process. Thank you so much and good luck with your garden.

      June 24, 2015
  18. This is a beautiful piece of writing! Wishing the best for Nando and you enjoy summer in your colourful backyard!

    June 25, 2015
  19. I’m so happy for Nando and for you. Your garden is beautiful Suzanne, so green. I cannot enjoy anymore mine because of the heat but I love gardening. Your mixed fruit crumble looks very tempting! 🙂

    June 25, 2015
    • When it’s really hot I enjoy the air conditioning not the backyeard. Thanks so much Linda.

      June 25, 2015
  20. The garden looks fantastic, Suzanne! So happy for Nando! And the crumble… looks delicious!

    June 25, 2015
  21. A pet wheel chair is a great invention – I never knew it existed! I hope Nando will do better once he gets it.
    Your garden looks beautiful! So many plants, herbs and flowers 🙂
    Cheers!

    June 25, 2015
    • Thanks so much Julian. It’s amazing now what they can do and things that are available for our pets.

      June 25, 2015
  22. Glad to hear positive things about Nando. Your garden looks so nice! Crumbles are hard to beat!

    June 25, 2015
  23. So exciting that Nando is getting wheels! I’m sure it will make things so much easier for both of you 🙂 I have to admit that I am not much of a gardener myself but I love your setup with the pots. Usually I head out to our garden plot begrudgingly to help Matt with the weeds and watering.

    June 25, 2015
    • I hate weeding probably because it’s so hot out and the sun is beating down on me and it’s such hard work. I share your disdain for the job. I do love the results though when it’s done. Thank you I actually prefer container gardening it’s much more manageable for me.

      June 25, 2015
  24. Suzanne I love what she has done to your backyard!!! Now can she come to Ky and help me 😛 LOL
    Enjoy your new view of plants…thinking of you and Nando!! xoxo

    June 25, 2015
    • Thanks so much Amy, they were terrific and my backyard is so nice now!

      June 25, 2015
  25. Can you imagine how happy Nando is going to be when he gets his wheelchair? It will be such a relief/help for him. Whatever is necessary to make our furry friends happy and comfortable!!! 🙂
    Your yard looks lovely and perfect for entertainment! Your team did a great job!

    June 25, 2015
    • I wish you all could come here for dinner I know it’s far but I would love it if you all came over. Thank you so much Francesca.

      June 25, 2015
  26. Thanks Suzanne– love catching up with you! So exciting that help is on the way for Nando. Will be wear the wheelchair all day or just for eating? I hope it’s a huge help. And you yard looks super! Our yard could use the same treatment. So many bushes have been there too long with not enough tender care. But your new and improved yard is so bright and colorful. Love the orangish flowers on the back fence. Happy summer ahead friend…

    June 25, 2015
    • Thanks Rhonda, I know Nando will use the wheel chair to eat and probably to go outside to relieve himself. I will have to see how he does with it and how well he adapts. Thanks, my garden is 100% better, it looks so nice. The orange flowers in the back is a trumpet vine. It’s beautiful but what I love most about it is that it attracts hummingbirds, I see them all the time hovering, it’s so beautiful. Hope you are all doing well and thank you again.

      June 25, 2015
  27. What an exciting news for Anandi! Look forward to see the pictures of his new support. I wish you both, all the warmth.
    That backyard does look like a great makeover after all the retouches. ❤️

    June 25, 2015
    • Thanks so much Sonal, yes as soon as they locate wheels that are his size and I have I will post pics of him. Can’t wait. The backyard is a work in progress, almost done but I am so pleased with the results.

      June 26, 2015
  28. Stephanie @ The Cozy Cook #

    Beautiful garden Suzanne!!!! wow!!! We have our very first garden this year and we’re SO excited. I have more basil than I know what to do with- I never thought I’d have that problem 🙂 Your pictures are beautiful and fun to look at! 🙂

    June 26, 2015
    • Having outdoor space is wonderful. I look forward to a summer where I can actually enjoy being outdoors. Thanks Stephanie hope to see some photo’s of your garden too!

      June 26, 2015
  29. I’m so pleased to hear that Nando’s going to be getting wheels – it’ll make him so much more comfortable. Your back garden looks charming and very big for a city garden. Mosquitos are such a pest aren’t they? I spend the whole Summer smothered in citronella!

    June 26, 2015
    • Thank you, yes hoping they find some wheels that will fit him soon, The backyard is coming along nicely, so far nothing dead, thank goodness. Other than food for other insects I am not sure why mosquitoes exist.

      June 27, 2015
  30. That’s such good news about Nando’s wheels, I hope they make his life much easier. The garden looks lovely, pretty and colourful. Well done! 😉

    June 26, 2015
    • Thank you so much, I hope he will adapt once we get it, The gardener who did the yard is really good, I wish I were as good with plants. LOL.

      June 27, 2015
  31. Lucky nando to get some wheels, hope the effect is what you hoped for, your garden looks ver inviting, what a transformation in time for summer, hard to believe its the sane space

    June 27, 2015
    • I hope he adapts, thank you so much.

      June 27, 2015
      • Hope so too – but i am sure he will let you know and its great that you are trying, i know i would too

        June 27, 2015
  32. I know you Suzanne just from the blog, but for what I understood you have a big hear. I can tell it from the way to behave with your dog. If everyone were like you with the world would be a better place to live. Go Nando go!

    June 27, 2015
    • Thank you for that. My Nando is such a sweet boy, it’s tough seeing him going through this. It’s hard on both of us but I have to do everything I can for him while he is with me.

      June 27, 2015
  33. – I am so touched that there are organizations which provide assistance equipment to pets. I was wondering how Nando was doing. I am curious to see how Nando likes his wheelchair!
    – I love your backyard’s before and after photo. I used to have a low maintenance small garden, and in spring, I placed potted flowers all over. It made so much difference, as I see it here. The raised bed is so wonderful!
    – And, mixed fruit crumble looks yummy!

    June 28, 2015
    • Thanks Fae, Wheelchairs are very expensive. I was consideing purchasing one but when I saw the post on Sharon’s blog I literally leaped out of my seat. What a wonderful idea and it’s great that wheelchairs are being re purposed for other pets in need. I also am curious and hopeful Nando will like the wheelchair when we get one.
      I am not one to putter around in the garden, I am not terribly fond of digging in the dirt nor getting hot and sweaty so spending literally hours weeding was not appealing. Container gardening is what I really like and the low maintenace plant beds are just what I wanted.

      June 28, 2015
  34. Hugs to Nando – the little trouper. And I love your garden. Will print this off because your backyard could be a starting point for our very old limestone townhouse garden which is – if you can believe it – currently asphalt! (On the plus side – it’s low maintenance!). Crumble looks lovely Suzanne. Such a great post.

    June 29, 2015
    • Ha, I was considering pouring concrete befoe Jessica came along, I wanted low maintenance I don’t have the time to spend hours in the garden, Thank you so much, Nando is a trouper, he has so much spunk and tenancity. I love limestone, much prefer to brownstone, your house must be beautiful. Thanks so much!

      June 29, 2015
  35. Sweet Nando. Bailey is sending him lots of love, hugs, and kisses!

    June 29, 2015
    • How is Bailey? My poor sweet Nando is having such a hard time. It’s taking every ounce of patience and love to get through each day, He is deteriorating almost daily and it breaks my heart.

      June 29, 2015
      • I’m so sorry, Suzanne. My heart breaks for you. Bailey is doing well. Happy that I’m home with him now that it’s summer break.

        June 29, 2015
      • Thanks Patty, I am thankful for every day I have with him. I just want him to be comfortable and happy.

        June 29, 2015
  36. I’m so sorry Nando is struggling, Suzanne. I hope he gets his wheelchair soon. I had never heard of wheelchairs for pets. I love your yard. It is a great space. The flowers really add a lot to it. Your crumble recipe looks so yummy! What a great combination of fruits. I have really been enjoying the peaches from Trader Joe’s lately. It’s wonderful to have a source for good fruit. The topping on yours looks so good!

    June 29, 2015
    • Thanks Shari. Thursday he gets his wheels and I can’t wait. I really hope he likes it. I love peaches and eat a lot of them in the summer. I always buy enough and slice and freeze them so I have summer last just a little longer.

      July 7, 2015
  37. CC #

    Wow! What a lovely little backyard you have, Suzanne! I LOVE the before and after shots and your flower pots are so cheery! Love the crumble too! In Scotland, I think almost everyone knows how to make a crumble topping from knowing 2-4-6 (2 oz of sugar, 4 oz butter, 6 oz of flour)! Enjoy your garden and good luck with the mosquitoes!

    July 7, 2015
    • Thanks so much, outdoor space in NYC is always something to be treasured. It’s so nice and when the garden is done nicely it certainly makes it easier to spend time outside. Thanks and yes thats a great way to remember the crumble topping, love that.

      July 7, 2015

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