Preparation tips for a disabled gardener
We all like to be spontaneous, but it can be very frustrating to find you need to trek back inside to get some forgotten item.
Here are some ideas to stay on top whether you are plannning for the season or just want to be able to seize a few moments in the garden.
Make sure you have all the tools you will need to hand. Keeping the storage area tidy will make it much easier to pick up what you need. Whatever the scale of your garden, Life will be much easier and stress-free if you can get straight to it!
Try to keep everything in one easy-to-get-to place.
You might have a garage of a garden shed – great, but is the doorway easy to open and step into?
and is the area out side the door firm and anti-slip?
If your garage has doors that are difficult to manipulate, and if you have the space, consider getting a garden shed. A shed need not be ugly and can be fitted with benches and hooks to keep everything in order.
Not everyone has a garden requiring a large number of tools, so if you only have a few hand tools, that could just be be a drawer but make sure the tools are easy to find and the drawer is not overfilled.
Instant tool kits
Gather your most commonly used tools into a kit.
I like to keep a small bucket with the most commonly used hand tools for gardening on impulse. In it I have some hand tools and a little kneeler. A weeder, and a pair of secateurs together with a small trowel are my top picks. My garden gloves live in there too.
Keep some gardening clothes handy.
As well as the tools you might need some protective clothing for the job in hand. Prickly plants can tear your arms to bits and the sun can be exhausting. A sun hat or a warm woolly hat in cooler climes, should be kept handy along with a tough shirt or jacket to protect your arms. Think about protection for legs and feet if that applies to you.
You don’t want to lose precious time searching for things or worse, sustain an injury because you didn’t have them.
Planning for the longer term
You can use our guides for more detailed information on these subjects.
The right tools for the job
Use the right tools for the job and that you can handle easily. Lightweight tools made from strong materials will make a difference immediately.
Jobs such as weeding, pruning and trimming can be tackled with special tools with a longer reach or an angled handle. Power tools such as trimmers also have a place in the list.
Lawn maintenance and mowing will be much easier to do with the right equipment. Even sweeping up leaves and raking things over can be tackled with specialist toools.
Using watering systems can greatly reduce the effort and time spent when watering in Summer.
The right kind of gardening
Choosing different ways of growing things that suit your abilities will make gardening a joy rather than a chore.
Consider growing in containers or raised beds in the garden or even growing indoors.
There are many ways to enjoy a garden indoors. The scale can be small or large with ideas for gardening from window boxes to using a conservatory or glass extension to the house.
The right equipment
Anyone can garden more easily when things are easy to move and there are places to sit and rest.
Barrows and trucks should be stable and easy to push and wheelbarrows with two wheels might suit. Smaller totes or veg baskets are easier to pick up and carry when they have a stiff upstanding handle. You could use a bucket as a tool carrier. If you use a wheelchair a tray or basket attachment could fit the bill.
If you need to sit when you are gardening a seat that can be carried with you is the minimum. There are kneelers that can be flipped and used as a stool, for example.
Chairs or garden seats in permanent positions around the garden can make such a difference and can look very attractive. A note for able-bodied gardeners – consider your elderly visitors! Everyone should stop and look around some of the time anyway, if only to cook up the next gardening idea.
A permanent table positioned near the house or shed can be a great help. Make sure the height is right for working, and you could set up two in an ‘L’ shape or have a special table with a recess that keeps everything within reach just by turning in your seat.
Changing your garden design.
The design of the garden can be changed completely so that you are able to move among the plants easily, access the planting areas and enjoy your time outdoors to the full.
Our guides will lead you to designing the garden to be both practical and visually apealing.
Steps and paths should be easy to negotiate and be made from materials that keep them free of mud and slip-free. Wheelchair users will benefit from hard surfaces on paths and relaxation areas.
The right kinds of plants
Low maintenace plants such as certain shrubs and perennials will reward you with colour and texture without too much work and provide the main structure.
Spring bulbs can be planted underneath and, once planted, will increase and multiply,
If you love annuals, these can be crowded into small beds, containers or hanging baskets for a burst of colour in the Summer.
Getting help when you need it.
Increase your circle of gardening friends by joining clubs or having an ‘Open’ day. Gardeners of all ages love talking to other gardeners, swapping ideas and plants and like helping and joining in. You might be surprised by the interesting people you meet!
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