General Discussion:

Raised flower beds to garden from wheelchair.


Messages posted to thread:

From:Date:Zone:
Carol Hagerman18-Sep-02 11:20 PM EST 5   
Susan19-Sep-02 07:30 AM EST 6a   
alnoro20-Sep-02 02:21 AM EST 8   
Ed20-Sep-02 09:08 AM EST 5a   
ann Kennedy04-Apr-09 06:29 PM EST   


Subject: Raised flower beds to garden from wheelchair.
From: Carol Hagerman
Zone: 5
Date: 18-Sep-02 11:20 PM EST

I AM CURRENTLY DOING SOME VOLUNTEER WORK AT A HOME FOR 6 YOUNG MEN (AGES FROM 17 TO 23) WHO ARE ALL IN WHEELCHAIRS. WE WOULD LIKE TO START SOME VEGGIE/FLOWER BEDS AND NEED SOME HELP IN THE DESIGN.WHAT IS BEST HEIGHT AND WIDTH FOR EASY REACH. DO WE NEED TO PUT A LAYER OF GRAVEL IN FIRST FOR GOOD DRAINAGE BEFORE WE FILL WITH GARDEN SOIL? THE SOIL BASE IS VERY SANDY.HAS ANYONE IN THE FORUM HAD EXPERIENCE BUILDING SOMETHING OF THIS NATURE? I WOULD APPRECIATE SOME ADVICE.


Subject: RE: Raised flower beds to garden from wheelchair.
From: Susan
Zone: 6a
Date: 19-Sep-02 07:30 AM EST

You might find the following site useful:

http://www.extension.umn.edu/distribution/horticulture/DG6757.html

I am disabled but not yet in a wheelchair - I use a walker and am currently still able to maintain a traditional garden. However, I do have future plans to build a raised bed along the property line on one side of the yard. I plan for a bed that would be 24-30 inches high and about 24" wide (since it would be accessible from only one side...) I would make it 36-48" wide if it was accessible from both sides. I would put a level path of packed crushed gravel like you find in parks etc. along the side to make access easy. I plan to put a couple of inches of gravel on the bottom and fill it with a mix of compost, peat moss and triple mix. Watering can be difficult - I uses soaker hoses in all my current garden beds as they are water efficient and easy for me to hook up to the main hose by using snap-together hose connections, so I plan to put soaker hoses on top of the raised bed.

I'm not sure where you are located but you might want to check out local facilities where you might find raised beds used by disabled people - try calling rehabilitation hospitals and seniors residences to inquire if they have raised beds for gardening and then go look at some and ask questions about how they were built and what problems the patients/residents find in using them... I really think that providing an accessible garden area would be a great idea for the home. Good luck....


Subject: RE: Raised flower beds to garden from wheelchair.
From: alnoro (alnoro@shaw.ca)
Zone: 8
Date: 20-Sep-02 02:21 AM EST

I work with many handicapped people at all levels of challenge. Might I make a few suggestions, to add to the above. try using a partial pedastal design. that way most wheeled apparatus has more ability to get closer. buy, or adapt garden hand tools with longer handles for further reach. avoid gravel if possible,if it's only use is for drainage.If possible use styrofoam from packing crates or bought sheets. they sell really inexpensive sheets for insulation and roofing. I use them for drainage,broken and loosely tossed in or in some cases fitted...Whichever the situation seems to require. The reason I use styrofoam is it so greatly lessens the weight in your containers, is a good recycle use, and with the weight reduction you lessen the weight and pressure on your supporting wood framing. remember what you want to plant. If you are just putting in smaller perrenials or most annuals you don't need a great deal of depth. why have 2-3'of soil for a few petunias or lobellia.For a vast majority of annuals 18' is more than enough soil depth.at one project we attatched our tomatoe cages horizontally and did our best to train the tomatoes to them. We ended up with a really great crop of tomatoes and a lot of fun comments. the next year they were planning to do cucumbers and beans the same way( don't know how it turned out)Just remember the best part of gardening is the enjoyment of the doing and the experimenting. the results and the harvest are to me a bountiful BONUS. Enjoy


Subject: RE: Raised flower beds to garden from wheelchair.
From: Ed
Zone: 5a
Date: 20-Sep-02 09:08 AM EST

Sound advice, both Susan and alnoro! That really covers all aspects of the subject.


Subject: RE: Raised flower beds to garden from wheelchair.
From: ann Kennedy
Zone:
Date: 04-Apr-09 06:29 PM EST

I hope to be allocated a downstairs apartment with a garden which is small and bare. I have a movement and muscle wasting disorder and would love a low maintenace garden design with a patio potted area, a swingseat in shade, a water feature, raised beds and scented blues flowers and any that attract wildlife. Are there design galleries I can see as I am a visual person and could get some ideas. Looking forward to hearing from you. I am new here!!! xAnn


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