Gardening with Disabilities

handicapped sign

Gardening with Disabilities

Gardening is an activity that can be enjoyed by almost everyone, regardless of their age or physical limitations. For those who find gardening physically difficult, careful planning and new approaches can work wonders towards making gardening an accessible and rewarding pastime. Some considerations might include:

  • Safe, stable and well-drained walking surfaces that provide good traction.
  • Wide pathways and work areas.
  • The use of raised beds and work trays to reduce bending and stooping.
  • Tools that provide a mechanical advantage.
  • The use of containers and flower boxes.
  • Installing seating so the gardener can rest or work while sitting down.

Resources

The links below have ideas and suggestions for gardeners with disabilities or limitations.

Gardening For Life. WSU Extension Publication MISC0545. A guide to garden adaptations for gardeners of all ages and abilities. This guide also has a unique section on creating a “sensory garden”, where plants are selected for their color contrast, fragrance, feel, taste, and sound.

Making Gardening Easier. Oregon State University Extension. A series of articles that help to make gardening available for all:

Wheelchair Gardening. Suggestions for the gardener who uses a wheelchair.

Garden Friendly. Maryland Cooperative Extension. How to help make a garden friendly to those who are physically challenged.