If you or someone you know has impaired mobility and a passion for gardening, then you have come to the right place. Too often, those with disabilities face challenges as they attempt to engage in their favorite activities. This is especially true working outside in the garden.
There are plenty of landscape design ideas that can help you create an accessible garden. Here are four gardening tips to make your landscape welcoming and inclusive with a handicap accessible garden.
Create smooth paved paths
For those in wheelchairs and walkers, uneven walking surfaces can become a serious frustration. It is no surprise that making their way through an uneven garden landscape is difficult.
The best way to make it less difficult is to create smooth paved paths that lead to the most important and frequently used parts of your garden. At times, a concrete walk makes for the most reliable surface, but there are plenty of other hardscape options that can create an easily traveled pathway, including asphalt, brick, and pavers.
Grow your plants in raised beds
Bending down to care for your plants at ground level is a pain whether you have impaired mobility or not. Fortunately, you can avoid the need to get to ground level by growing your garden plants in raised beds.
It’s easy to tend raised beds from a seated or standing position, which is why they are ideal for handicap accessible garden bed designs. Large containers can provide a similarly easy-to-access growing area.
Provide plenty of clearance
Many gardens are full of irregular spaces and small nooks and crannies that few can access with ease. If you want your garden to stand out from the rest and be as accessible as possible, you’ll want to design spaces with simple shapes and plenty of room to move around.
Providing plenty of clearance makes it much easier for those in wheelchairs and walkers to move and turn around. Ample space to move is especially important along pathways and any frequently used garden space.
Keep your garden tidy
Our final accessibility tip relates less to design and more to how you maintain your garden. If accessibility is your goal, we suggest that you make a habit of keeping your garden tidy.
It does not matter how well you design your landscape spaces if tools and garden materials accumulate around your yard. Keeping the most used areas of your garden tidy will make it easy for everyone to access and enjoy your landscaping.
Get funding and advice
If you decide to undertake a garden accessibility project in Minnesota, you won’t need to do it alone. The state of Minnesota has an Accessibility Loan Program that could fund your project.
Are you looking for advice on how to best design an accessible landscape and garden space? Get the opinion of an experienced professional. Contact us today for landscape accessibility advice!