Our gardens are a source of life-long pleasure. From the careful introduction and nurturing of the plants we adore, to the regular work of weeding and mowing the lawn, they are a labour of love. However, the commitment required to sustain an exciting, beautiful garden can be a strenuous one – especially for those people who enjoy gardening but live with physical mobility problems. These days, such issues shouldn’t stop individuals getting in the garden and enjoying the colours and nature in their outside space. Below, we’ve highlighted a few of the tools and methods gardeners who live with mobility problems can adopt in order to continue doing the thing they love.
A decent potting bench which brings everything up to arm’s length, can be a godsend for the gardener who struggles to bend and stretch. Many an hour can be spent tending and repotting smaller plants, and sowing the seeds that will provide delight in months to come.
Raised beds and planters
If you have back problems that make it painful for you to bend, raised beds and planters can be an excellent alternative to planting directly into the ground. Those who enjoy growing vegetables should select varieties that don’t set in too many roots and don’t grow too high. Try beetroot, carrots, onions, lettuce and radishes. You will also find that raising the plants off the ground is a great way to improve drainage, as well as affording you the opportunity to vary soil type according to different plants’ needs.
Today, there are many tools on the market that allow the green-fingered to keep gardening. As well as lighter and ergonomically designed tools that enable arthritic fingers to grip with ease, there are a great variety of telescopic tools that extend your reach. Forks and spades with extendable handles make digging and turning over soil a much less arduous task.
Ramps and paving
Broad, well-designed ramps restore garden access for wheelchair users, and can also be very handy for anyone who finds taking steps hazardous. Meanwhile, paving that is even, well-laid and chosen for its anti-slip finish is a must. Wide paving stones and, where possible, a solid handrail, can instil confidence in gardeners and ease the fear of falling.
For those with mobility problems, one of the main difficulties presented by gardening is that of carrying items from one area to another. There are a range of items that offer a solution to this issue, from hardwearing gardening aprons with deep pockets to sturdy trolleys that allow you to transport large plants and other unwieldy items.
By introducing a few simple ideas and quality products to a garden, physical mobility problems needn’t be an obstacle for the green-fingered. With just a little intelligent design and an open mind, both the garden and the gardener can enjoy a newly invigorated lease of life.