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Ranella is in her 70ss and has had two strokes, one when she was having surgery to replace a heart valve. She had the second stroke in 2008.

Despite these set-backs, Ranella was determined to regain her independence and now, after a period of time with support and help from social services and carers, she does all her own cooking and housework, and nearly all her own gardening. Her son-in-law comes and helps with the heavy work, but the main thing for Ranella is that being in the garden makes her feel more content.

She has enjoyed gardening for as long as she can remember and grew vegetables for her children when they were small, but now she likes to concentrate on flowers, preferably cosmos and hellebores. Her favourite colours are white and yellow.

In the garden, she users her stroller frame to hold on to with one hand and then digs with the other. A bucket on the stroller seat holds any weeds and rubbish. She is very proud of a magnificent holly tree at the bottom of her garden which she grew from a cutting. As well as working in her garden, Ranella goes to a gardening club run by the Stroke Association and this has helped her get some of her old confidence back.

Ranella tells us:

"Just keep going – you can do it. At first I needed help with everything and had carers coming to my home to support me. One day they came and I said to them: "You don’t need to come anymore I can do it on my own now".
"You have to be determined to keep your independence. You have to keep trying to do it for yourself."