101-year-old Navy veteran and her daughter turn metal wheelchair ramp into beautiful garden

Posted at 4:11 AM, Oct 01, 2018

Florida resident Harriet Wolfe may be 101 years old, but she still loves to move around her home in St. Petersburg's Magnolia Heights neighborhood.

Making sure the Navy veteran can safely get outside is the reason the local VA recently built a wheelchair ramp in the front of her house. 

Harriet adores the ramp.

“It’s wonderful!” Wolfe says with a big smile.

But her daughter, Jeanne, who lives with her mom, was worried.

“It was like a spaceship landed!” says Jeanne. “It was so shiny and silver.”

This neighborhood is quiet and close-knit, and a few nosy neighbors can be tough to please.

“They’re all on the Nextdoor app,” says Jeanne. “So, I decided to be proactive and start planting.”

What Jeanne worried would be an eyesore and a social-media topic for a few grumpy neighbors turned into one of the prettiest gardens in the neighborhood.

Jeanne spent about $1,500 to have plants native to Florida, including crepe myrtle, oleander and peanut plants, to surround the ramp, which is slowly getting entangled in pretty green vines. 

The garden is drawing Monarch butterflies, too.

Even better, Harriet and Jeanne’s new yard needs little water and even less maintenance.

“I decided to turn a negative into a positive,” says Jeanne.

Neighbor Wendy Mako agrees that the neighborhood is close but believes Jeanne handled the situation perfectly.

“She did a fabulous job,” said Mako.