How to Create an Accessible Garden for People with Lower Mobility
Gardening is great for our physical, mental, and emotional wellbeing! But uneven footing, lots of maintenance, and a heap of bending can make gardening a bit of a challenge for people with lower mobility.
So, here are a few tips to help you create a garden that’s accessible, inclusive, and easy for all to enjoy.
Designing an accessible garden takes careful planning from the get-go. First, ensure that all paths are wide enough to accommodate wheelchairs, walkers, or mobility scooters. Aim for a minimum width of 91 cm—but the wider, the better. Also, opt for flat, stable surfaces in all areas to make it easier for people with all abilities to navigate. If your garden has slopes, try to keep them as gentle as possible. And if necessary, consider installing ramps or concrete pathways to make navigating the inclines safer and more comfortable.
MAKE IT EASY
Garden maintenance can be a bit of a challenge for people with lower mobility. So, consider selecting low-maintenance plants to make gardening easier year-round. Look for species native to your area, as they often require less fuss. If you’re fond of florals, avoid annual plants that need to be replaced every year. Instead, choose perennial plants with long flowering periods. And if you’re into edible gardening, grow some easy fruit and veggie plants in raised garden beds, such as cherry tomatoes, lettuce, and strawberries!
As far as lawns go, you have a few options. You could opt for some artificial grass to keep the fuss to an absolute minimum, and to avoid the danger of an overgrown and unruly lawn. Or you could plant a clover lawn for some bee-friendly ground cover that only grows around 20 cm tall! Otherwise, if you prefer the look of a traditional lawn, consider hiring a professional gardener to keep your lawn free from lumps, bumps, and out-of-control growth.
Safety should always come first! So, installing some safety features in your new accessible garden is a must. Consider railings along pathways and sturdy grab bars near steps or raised garden beds for extra support. Ensure your garden is well-lit with outdoor sensor lighting along paths for safety during evening hours. And if possible, include comfortable seating areas throughout the garden, offering places of rest and respite where needed.
With some mindful planning, everyone can enjoy the wonderful benefits of gardening safely and comfortably!