Artcicle two. Arthritis Research UK gardening week
Niki Preston looks at garden design
Give some thought to the lay out and design of your garden. There is no point having a huge lawn and deep borders if you have limited mobility, after all who is going mow the lawn and weed the beds. Raised bed gardening is definitely worth a try. I have a totally raised garden.
It wasn’t achieved over night, in fact it has taken three years and it was done in stages. I still have my big borders they just have raised beds in now; most of them were made from decking by my very handy husband, James. If a complete garden makeover is simply out of the question then here are a few ideas that might be worth a try.
Have a good look around your garden and decide which parts you really would like to garden in more easily. Placing stepping stones in strategic places can provide a good solid surface to stand on. This year we are planning some new pathways across the lawn as I can no longer walk on uneven surfaces and I finally managed to convince James to give up some of the lawn. So consider a few pathways to get you to the bits of garden that are impossible or too precarious to get to.
I have also recently added several raised beds and pots to the patio because on really bad days when I can hardly walk at all, my garden still calls to me so making the patio accessible has been brilliant. I can get my garden fix even on very painful days, sitting and whizzing about the patio on my chair to the different beds, pots and even the raised pond.
Having several different seating areas is also a good idea, nothing fancy just a seat. That way you can garden to the seat then take a break, sit where you are instead of having to walk back to the house, then garden a bit more to the next seat. It is also a great way to admire your garden from every angle.
A little bit at a time and you will soon have an accessible garden, start with a few pots and the garden is your oyster.