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Gardening Tips For People With Poor Eyesight

By: Jeff Durham - Updated: 17 Aug 2012 | comments*Discuss
 
Gardening Garden Eyesight Impaired

Gardening can be dangerous at the best of times but for those who have poor eyesight or who are visually impaired, it can be even more precarious. Of course, it’s important to use your common sense when it comes to actually gardening if your eyesight isn’t great, especially when it comes to using sharp tools and power tools in particular. However, there’s nothing stopping you from enjoying spending time in your garden and there are several steps you can take to make it easier for you to do just that.

Make Adjustments To Your Garden

If your eyesight isn’t quite what it used to be, a few simple adjustments around the garden can make it easier to get around. You should light any pathways, steps and any entrances to a porch or conservatory and paint the edges of things like handrails and steps in colours which contrast.

Brightly coloured garden furniture and locating wind chimes in particular spots in the garden can also help. You should also ensure that any shrubbery is cut back from walkways.

Using Your Senses

It’s a well known fact that if your eyesight deteriorates, then you’ll naturally end up developing your other senses such as touch, smell and hearing to compensate for that. Therefore, you can truly take advantage of that in a garden. Using a different combination of gravel, paving and wood chippings on your pathways so that they feel different underfoot is a good way for someone to be able to tell exactly where they are.

Larger pebbles can also be used in certain places to indicate areas where it’s dangerous to walk. Imaginative use of fences and hedges so that each boundary feels different is also a good way for people to get their bearings as is strategic planting of flowers and herbs with different scents.

Keeping Gardening Safe

If your vision doesn’t prevent you from carrying out some gardening duties, there are additional steps you can take to make things a little easier. First and foremost, make sure that any electrical tools are fitted with a residual current device (RCD) which will cut off the electricity supply if the cable is cut and only use such tools when the daylight is at its peak. It’s also better to get tools which have brightly coloured cables that can be easily picked out against the background.

Gardening gloves should always be worn but if you find that you’ve come to rely on your sense of touch to compensate for poor eyesight, try putting a couple of slits just below your fingertips so that you can still benefit from the sense of touch without putting the rest of your hands at risk.

Colour coordinating tools will also help you distinguish them from each other more easily. You can wrap various different coloured tape around the handles or simply paint them. Different coloured watering cans for plants and those which contain weed killer should also help.

These are just several examples of what you can do in your garden to make life a bit easier for you if you’re visually impaired or have poor eyesight. However, the crucial thing to remember is to only tackle jobs and use tools which you are 100% confident of undertaking safely. If in doubt, get someone else to do these for you.

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