Let’s not beat about the bush, the UK is a nation of green-fingered garden lovers. Over 27 million of us take to tending the plants as a hobby and it’s especially popular amongst the over 55s. But if you have a condition that affects your mobility or it’s just not what it used to be, getting out into the garden can be a challenge. Horticulture can be a fantastic stressbuster and can get you out of the house and enjoying the fresh air. Here are some tips to make sure your gardening hobby doesn’t become a thorn in your side.
Nip Steps in the Bud
First things first, think about your journey to the garden, starting with getting out of the house. Depending on your budget there’s an option for everyone if you’re finding accessing the outside less than rosy. If you have a bit of money spend you could consider looking into getting a lift installed. While it seems like a pricey option, there are companies out there who can supply and fit a range of level access lifts for every budget. Alternatively, installing grab bars can go a long way to making you feel safer getting outside and are a lot more cost-effective.
Clear the Clutter
Take some time to organise your garden and make sure everything has a place. Obstacles left lying in the garden could cause slips or trips. Find a secure and easy to reach place to house your tools to keep your garden neat and avoid any injuries. Multi-purpose grabbers are popular solutions to help tidy things away.
Put Down Roots with an Accessible Walkways
If you use a wheelchair or rollator, it can sometimes be tricky maneuvering over surfaces such as gravel or grass. Installing pathways can make your garden much easier to access. Replacing steps with ramps is a great solution but it could involve a bit of work. But a few weeks of disruption could be well worth it. For optimum accessibility, pathways that are at least four feet wide can comfortably fit a wheelchair or mobility aid. If you live in a wet part of the country, you could consider a non-slip surface for the path for better grip. If your budget won’t stretch that far you can find moveable ramps here.
Get Smart with Plant Placing
There are some excellent options to make planting easier. Why not consider getting some raised beds built that can bring your plants within easy reach? For a more cost-effective solution, you could use existing garden furniture such as patio tables to support garden boxes. Fitting a trellis or hanging baskets attached to a wall takes away the need for bending and is also a great idea to get the most out of a small garden.
Tools of the Trade
Nowadays, accessible gardening tools are widely available from garden centres or mobility shops. Lightweight tools can help take the strain out of using them and you can find extended easy-reach gardening utensils available which alleviate the need to reach. For visually impaired gardeners, tools are available with brightly coloured handles to make them easier to see.