Turf Doctor Shares Wheelchair Accessible Yard Designs
In our latest Saskatoon Landscaping article, we discuss how a wheelchair-accessible yard layout can make a real difference to how you enjoy gardening.
Wheelchair Accessible Yard Design Ideas
Depending on your disability, it might be easier to focus more on container growing. Make sure any ground-level areas are low maintenance to keep the digging and weeding needed to a minimum.
A wheelchair-accessible garden design was featured at the L.A. Garden Show a few years ago. The Turf Doctor team thinks the design is ingenious on many different levels.
Laramee Haynes said he planted his showcase garden for the show from a wheelchair. He wanted to be sure it could be done.
“Countless people tell me they don’t garden anymore because of knees, hips, whatever,” he said.
A large circular planter that rotates on a truck axle, lazy Susan-style, is surrounded by two arc-shaped boxes — all of them high enough for a gardener in a wheelchair to pull up and tend to the tomatoes, herbs and lettuce that he planted.
Haynes’ garden has a circular planter 8 feet in diameter and it was sectioned into eight triangular boxes. Small plants were placed closer to the gardener, to make sure no tendrils draped over the edge and caught the wheelchair. Haynes decided against pole beans or corn because they might be too tall to tend.
The height of the raised planters is perfect for individuals in wheelchairs to work in their gardens. The entire patio garden and planting beds are designed in the round and rotate on a truck axle, making it easy and comfortable to wheel from one section to another or have the planter boxes move like a lazy Susan. The design also allows the gardener a good view at any point of the rest of the planting beds.
This patio garden design is inviting—it draws you in and engages you to interact almost immediately, rather than being formal and unapproachable.
Gardening with disabilities is not only possible, but it’s a great way to maintain one’s lifestyle and happiness during a time of physical adversity. Gardeners with disabilities are people who are very much attuned to the outdoors. Having a yard that’s suited to the needs of the disabled can be a vital part of recovery and care.
An enabled outside space would include things like such as synthetic turf, raised beds and wider pathways to achieve both accessibility and functionality. The ultimate goal is to have a garden that can be enjoyed by everyone from the very young to the very old, and even the blind and wheelchair-bound. And just as with any gardening project, the disabled gardener’s ideas are endless.