Gardening can be a therapeutic pastime, and one enjoyable even if have a disability or lack of mobility. But by keeping a few tips in mind, you can change even the most daunting garden into an accessible getaway. We’re going to offer several suggestions about how to adapt your garden design to be friendlier, more accessible, and less cluttered for you and your guests.
Know Your Tools
Several gardening tools exist to help make maintaining your plants even easier than ever. Rakes, pottery tools, and other handheld items often come with what is called an adaptive arm. These allow for greater reach to higher or lower locations without straining one’s neck or muscles. Using a hose instead of a watering can also allows additional reach for plants that are less accessible.
A hose can provide additional benefits, however. One tool, called a Soaker Hose, can be hung above your garden to drip water into your plants slowly. Some gardeners even use a normal hose and a bit of DIY ingenuity to create this same effect. When you enter the garden, simply turn on the water and watch as the hose simulates natural rain to hydrate your plants.
Height is Your Friend
Other than new equipment, there are several tips for upgrading the garden itself. Raised beds are a common addition to a garden, as they place the plants higher up and closer to arm’s reach. The bottom of raised bed gardens are often open or punctured, allowing water to drain through, and this can be used to stack several rows of plants over one another for maximum effect.
Another inventive way of increasing the height of your plants, however, is to use large or vertical planters, such as barrels or stacked boxes. While a relatively simple fix, it allows you to use more dirt to elevate the plants to a more manageable height. Some people even place materials under the barrel for that additional oomph, removing the need to use additional dirt of fertilizer.
Choose Your Plants Wisely
Some of the most beautiful plants in the world are perennials. As such, consider planting more of these so-called evergreen plants over annual or deciduous ones. It can cut down on your time spent planting and tilling your garden. As a bonus tip, try combining the two by planting perennials in easy to see locations from outside while creating an annual flower bed for yourself, to impress neighbors even in winter.
Finally, consider making changes to any surface in your garden you don’t plant to mulch and plant in. Adding manmade walkways like stone paths can make getting around easier for those with decreased mobility. Additionally, if you cover spaces near your plants with even simple substances like paper, the reduction in direct sunlight and air can inhibit the growth of even weeds.
Gardening is an increasingly valuable hobby. While many people build gardens simply to relax amidst a natural environment, others use it to grow vegetables and save money, or even for therapeutic practices. With a growing population of gardeners not just in the US, but across the world as well, accessibility should never be a factor. And with these tips, hopefully, you will find a way to make your garden design more comfortable as well.