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Gardening is becoming an increasingly popular activity, with The National Gardening Association suggesting that participation in the hobby among younger people is up by 63% since 2008. Even for those who don’t necessarily want to get their hands dirty, a garden is still a beautiful, relaxing and sociable place to be. With two thirds of the planet having a connection with a disability in some way, it is important to make sure that gardens are accessible for everyone.
Accessibility and pathways
Having a disability can sometimes make general mobility, bending down and getting around difficult, so having a well considered garden layout is important. A well considered layout is one that takes such access into account, because easy access can understandably make a big difference to using and enjoying your garden.
First, access from inside the house to the garden should be considered. Steps are impossible to use with wheelchairs. Therefore, from the door and throughout the garden, there should be a series or slopes, gradual curves and perhaps strategically placed handrails. Pathways should also be wide enough to allow a wheelchair to comfortably fit and maneuver itself around.
Creating a beautiful space to relax in and have friends over does not have to be difficult because of a disability. A garden oasis is within reach, and it’s amazing how different aspects of a given disability can be healed or helped by the presence of different elements within the garden. For example, water features are a great addition, creating a serene, calm atmosphere. Adding a water fountain to your design will add a new level of calm to your garden and can be a charming focal point, which also eases anxiety, mental disabilities and promotes health.
Another great idea to consider when designing a disabled-friendly garden space is to use beds of mulch instead of grass. The benefits of mulch are that is breaks down, helps to fertilize plants and prevents weeds, which is particularly great is bending down to weed would be a problem. Mulch is another low maintenance option because you don’t have to mow it or water it.
Garden design incorporates the layout of a garden and what is included in it, be it plants, a patio or features such as water features, bird tables or a vegetable patch. Creating a disabled-friendly garden design may require a little extra consideration but is achievable and need not be any less beautiful. Having a well-planned space outside is a boon on many levels, providing fantastic therapeutic alone time, access to a space to enjoy socially, and a potential hobby with which to keep mentally and physically active.