December 17, 2017

Valuable Advice for Designing an Accessible Garden

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Gardening, or just spending time in the garden, should be something that everyone can do. Regardless of ability, mobility, or age, we should make it possible for anyone to get outdoors and enjoy plants and flowers. If you want to create an accessible and safe garden, there are some important things you need to think about. People who want to get out in the garden could be in wheelchairs, might find it hard to bend down, or could be unsteady on their feet. If you’re planning a community garden or creating a garden for someone you know, here are some things to take into account.

 

Leave More Space for Moving Around

 

You don’t always have a lot of space to use when you create a garden, so you might try to do your best to get as much into a small space as possible. However, this isn’t ideal if you want to invite people who might have mobility problems into your garden. If they find it hard to get around, they might need some more space to move. So narrow paths aren’t going to be particularly helpful. Making sure there’s more space to move around is helpful to people who use wheelchairs, as well as other mobility aids.

 

Remove Steps and Barriers

 

Another issue that can affect people with mobility challenges is varying levels in your garden. If the ground goes up and down a lot or there are steps and lips to get over, it can cause problems. Trying to keep things on one level or having gradual inclines makes everything more accessible. Eden Blockley Greenhouses have zero door thresholds, so they’re easy for anyone to get in and out of. No thresholds mean less chance of tripping, while wider doorways make greenhouses and other structure more accessible too.

 

Raised Vegetable Beds

Not everyone can bend down to tend to things that they’re growing. And even if they’re not growing anything, they might want to get up close and personal with the plants. Whether your garden has flowers or vegetables, raised beds mean that no one has to get on their knees to enjoy them. You can even have beds at different levels so that people can experience them when they’re both sitting and standing. Ideally, raised beds aren’t too wide so that anyone can also reach right into the middle. You can experiment with boxes, planters, and even hanging baskets too.

 

Get Some Decent Garden Seating In

 

Putting in a seating area is always a good idea for a garden, even when you’re not trying to make it accessible. But it’s even more important for an accessible garden because it gives people somewhere to rest. They can take a seat if they’re feeling tired or perhaps need some peace and quiet, away from the rest of the garden. Think about how you can make seating easier to sit on and stand up from.

An accessible garden is a great idea either for someone in their home or for a community space. Everyone should be able to enjoy getting out in the garden.

featured image credits David P Howard 

About The Author

Profile photo of Sara L

Freelance Journalist. Qualified Horticulturist

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