Accessible Gardening Is Great For Everyone
Thanks to a wide variety of adaptive devices, these days gardening can be enjoyed by people of all levels of ability. The population of people with disabilities worldwide is immense and varied, but thanks to creativity and technology people of all levels of ability can participate in the enjoyable and productive activity of gardening.
Whether you have conditions that might hamper your participation in gardening or know someone who does, this article presents some excellent information to help you plan and maintain an accessible garden.
When making plans for your garden, be certain that it is not constantly exposed to the blazing sun. Some shade is good for your plants and your gardeners. Provide shade by placing your garden near a good shade tree for breaks and incorporating shade sources such as bushes and vine covered trellises into your design. Make break areas pleasant and enjoyable by including fragrant plantings such as flowers and herbs nearby.
Create a good mix of perennial and annual plants so that a sizable portion of your garden will simply show up every year without your having to do much. Perennial plants include shrubs and bushes, many herbs, bulb and tuber flowers such as iris, daffodils and tulips, and so on.
Automate as many garden functions as possible. For example, rather than dragging hoses around daily, think about placing drip hoses strategically throughout the garden. In this way, watering can be accomplished by turning on the faucet and setting a timer.
You can make your flower and vegetable beds more accessible for people who use wheelchairs and people with back problems by making them raised beds. Be sure the beds are approximately two feet high for ultimate ease of access from a seated position. Two and a half feet high may be better for ambulatory gardeners who have back problems.
Alternately, gardeners who are quite elderly or are unable to venture forth into the garden for other reasons can enjoy container gardening in a windowsill or on a patio. There are many choices in container plants that do very well. Herbs are an excellent choice for a windowsill container garden. Patio gardens with sizable containers can yield tomatoes, squash and many other common vegetables and a wide variety of flowers and small shrubs.
In addition to making adaptations by adjusting the height of your vegetable and flower beds, you will also want to invest in some good adaptive tools. There are many choices available in gardening tools that make it possible for people of varied ability levels to participate in gardening. For example, those who have trouble bending can use tools with extended handles. Those who have the use of only one hand can use tools especially designed for one handed use.
If you or a fellow gardener uses a wheelchair, be sure to plan smooth pathways that are about three feet wide. Nice wide, smooth pathways make it easier for people using walkers as well. Of course, it’s a lot easier to push your wheelbarrow or pull a garden cart along an ample and well maintained pathway, too, so everybody benefits.
Gardening can be extremely therapeutic for people of all ages and all abilities. When you go the extra mile to plan and create an accessible garden, you are sure to find gardening easier and more enjoyable for everyone in your family or group. Follow the tips presented here to make gardening easy and fun for people of all ability levels.