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How To Create The Perfect Garden For A Wheelchair User

If you or a family member uses a wheelchair, there are times when you can feel like the garden simply isn’t accessible. Winter time, in particular, can make moving about in the garden quite tricky. However, there are plenty of adaptations you can make to any garden space that will make enjoying your own outdoor area so much easier. Here are just a few ways you can create the perfect garden for a wheelchair user:

 

Slopes

Flickr image by mateoutah

One of the simplest ways to access the different levels of the garden is to install slopes or ramps. The first hurdle may be the patio or back door. This can often be quite a significant step down. To install a good quality, usable ramp, consider grip decking. Concrete is another option but can be costly. You’ll need to consider where the slope will lead. If you have several different levels of the garden, you might want to start with a wrap-around veranda. That can then lead to each of the other levels. Alternatively, why not try a meandering path that gently winds its way from area to area?

Rails

Flickr image by Jo Guldi

Handrails are very important in the garden whether you use a wheelchair or not. In winter, decking and concrete can become moist. This will then freeze over and become slippery. Even in the summer, some surfaces can be a little slick after a shower. Dual handrails (one each side) can be so helpful when trying to ascend a slope too. If you have a brick wall, this can often be ideal for securing the rail. If not, you may need a post system that holds the rail in place.

Artificial Lawn

Flickr image by Yahoo! Accessibility Lab

There is some controversy about artificial lawns and its impact on the environment. However, a small amount is perfect if you use a wheelchair. It won’t get muddy or sink so there is no risk of getting stuck in the grass. Best of all, your hands won’t get mucky from your wheels. If you don’t fancy the idea of using it in a larger space, why not use it to border a natural lawn area? This means a wheelchair user can access the lawn area without the risk of getting stuck.

Raised Beds

raised-flower-vegetable-beds

Flickr image by Becky Striepe

For all those keen gardeners, the raised bed saves so much backache and worry about soil contamination. For a wheelchair user, it means growing and tending to plants becomes a delight once more rather than a physical difficulty. You can create a raised bed with sleepers to bring your planting up to you rather than having to get down on the floor. Best of all, you can create the shape and size that suits you. Why not create a few so you can grow your own organic veg as well as beautiful flowers.

Creating a beautiful garden that is accessible can take a bit of planning. Why not take a few photos and sketch the area you have? Think about where paths could lead. The activities you like to enjoy in the garden may also help you decide what you would like to have there.

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