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Gardening Tips For The Disabled

By: Jeff Durham - Updated: 17 Aug 2012 | comments*Discuss
 
Gardening Disabled Access Disabled

Whether you’re an elderly person who has enjoyed gardening all of your life but have now found that it’s become a bit of a struggle physically or you’re a younger person who has always had some kind of disability – it doesn’t necessarily mean that gardening should be off limits.

In fact, getting out amongst wildlife and nature can often help ease things like stiff joints and help with things like breathing and gardening is an activity that doesn’t require you to over exert yourself so if you’re still able to get up and about, you can make it as leisurely as you want it to be.

Restructuring Your Garden

Many disabled gardeners restructure their garden to help them to get around. Useful gardening tips for disabled access can include raising or lowering the position of fixed equipment such as hose pipes, for example. You could also incorporate things like fences containing chicken wire for things like climbing vines and these will also serve as support to lean on or to grab onto providing they’re fixed firmly.

You can put strategically placed garden benches around your garden should you ever be in need of a rest. Alternatively, if you’re using a wheelchair, you can purchase special flower boxes which you tend to off the ground at waist height or use more hanging baskets, for example.

In other words, gardening doesn’t need to mean bending down all of the time and tending to everything at ground level and there is a lot of information online for gardeners who are interested in disabled access.

Tools

These days you can buy specially designed tools and gardening equipment that are designed solely for use in the sitting position. There are also tools that can be adapted so that they extend and a lot of this gardening equipment and tools are made out of lightweight components meaning they are much easier to use which will help if your grip is not as good as it once was.

For those who may only have one hand, there are specially adapted ‘cut and hold’ tools which you can buy and some which come with a swivel head which helps with things like pruning and you can also buy wheelbarrows with two wheels which are designed for people who might only have one hand or only able to use one.

Visually Impaired

If you’re eyesight is not as good as it once was, you can still enjoy working in the garden. Having good lights for the porch, steps and pathways are important and you can also use different types of paving in different areas to signify where you are.

Gravel, stone and bark clippings will all feel very different underfoot so that will help to keep your bearings and placing pebbles close to areas where you shouldn’t go because it’s dangerous to walk can help too. Planting flowers with different scents and using hedging and fencing so that each boundary feels different to the touch will also help if your eyesight is not as good as it once was.

If you do suffer from a disability and are unsure whether gardening is still safe for you to get involved with, you should seek advice from your GP first. However, as long as they give you the go ahead and providing you follow any advice they’ve given you, there is a lot of information online about gardening for the disabled. It contains plenty of useful gardening tips to enable you to still follow your passion for gardening safely.

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