Tips to Make Your Garden Accessible

By Andrew Herbert

Gardening is a great way to spend time with your family and create a beautiful outdoor space. But, for some people, it can actually be a challenge. Disability-related barriers can make gardening very difficult, especially for those who have limited mobility.

If you're thinking about getting into gardening but aren't sure how to get started, read on to learn how to create an accessible garden design as advised by a leading landscape contractor.

Kids in accessible garden

Benefits of Accessible Gardening

Accessible gardening has been proven to improve the quality of life for people with disabilities. It can help improve mental health and psychological well-being through improved motor skills, as well as increase a sense of community, cognitive function and confidence with the acquisition of new skills.

According to a recent study, common gardening tasks such as digging, pulling and weeding give you moderate to high-intensity physical activity. These actions can also improve your blood circulation.

Gardening can also be considered a part of a holistic treatment program used by many therapists as an alternative method of treatment. Research indicates that gardening gives you a sense of responsibility and care, makes you live in the present moment, and helps you stay connected to nature and living things.

Gardening is also an effective way to cope with anxiety, isolation and depression. Involvement in groups and community activities helps those individuals with disabilities who may be zoned out from stress to feel included and cherished.

Another important, and fairly obvious, benefit of gardening is nutrition. Fresh fruits and vegetables grown in your own garden can contribute to healthy eating and save money on groceries.

Grandmother and children in an accessible garden

How Can You Create an Enabled Garden Design?

If your loved one has limited mobility or any other disability, you need to make sure that your garden has a safe and accessible design. Here are some tips to help you create an environment that lends itself to adaptive gardening:

Choose Proper Dimensions

When it comes to garden design, it's important to consider the needs of the people who will be using the space. You should choose an area that is large enough for the person to access, but not so large that they will have to move too much to get to their favorite plants.

Build Accessible Pathways

You should build pathways that are wide enough to accommodate wheelchairs, walkers or scooters. You should also make sure that they are smooth and flat so that the disabled person can easily get in and out of the garden.

Make Access to Water Easier

Hire a professional plumbing services provider to help with your garden's water supply. Ask the contractor to install spigots and faucets in easy-to-reach areas, so that you or your loved one can easily access the water without having to get up or bend down.

Fall fashion

Plan Your Garden Carefully

Think accessible and comfortable as possible. Here are some features that you can add to make an enabled garden design:

  • Raised Flower Beds: Flower beds should be elevated above the ground so that the person can easily access them without having to elevate or lower themselves. If you or your loved uses a wheelchair, you can even consider adding a ramp beside the raised flower bed to make it even more accessible.
  • Container Gardens: If you have difficulty maneuvering, you can still have a beautiful garden by using pots and plastic containers. Container gardens are great because they are easy to move around, and can be placed in any location.
  • Vertical Gardens: One of the biggest gardening challenges that people with disabilities face is reaching for the plants on the ground. Vertical gardens can help solve this problem. You can directly attach hanging pots on the walls or use a steel trellis to create a vertical garden or green wall.
  • Keep it Small: If you or someone else in your life has limited mobility, keep the garden small and easy to manage. You can also consider adding some low-growing plants that won't require a lot of attention.

Choose the Right Gardening Tools

It's important to make sure that all of the tools in your garden are safe and easy to use. They must be lightweight, easy-to-grasp and have a comfortable grip. It is also critical to avoid using any tools with sharp or rough edges, as they can easily cause injuries.

Treat Gardening Like It's a Workout

Gardening is a great way to get the body moving. It is also a fun and stimulating activity that will help people with disabilities stay active and engaged in their day-to-day life. In fact, gardening can help improve mental health, as well as provide a sense of purpose and independence, especially among older people.

If you are constructing a garden for yourself or a loved one with disabilities, it's important to consider the big picture and make sure that the design will meet each specific need. Involve all parties. If it is your green-thumbed loved one that requires accommodations, ask them what they would like to see in the garden and work with them to create a space that they will truly enjoy and be comfortable in.

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