February 16, 2007, Newsletter Issue #52: Accessible Gardens

Tip of the Week

They say that nature is brutal, but when was the last time you saw a rhododendron deliberately avoid someone in a wheelchair or someone over 65? Organic gardening compost is food for the soul.

Gardening can be a comfort, and a great form of therapy. One of the advantages of raised bed gardening is its accessibility. There's no squatting in the dirt. Raised garden beds are typically 12 to 30 inches off the ground, so amputees, paraplegics and quadriplegics can garden easily--the same for older people who have difficulty stooping and bending.

If you have mobility issues and you place hoses at accessible heights near the raised garden or use automatic sprinklers, your garden will thrive. You can also use hanging baskets and planting bags around a house or an assisted living facility in addition to organic gardening with raised beds or containers. When you get frustrated with people's attitudes, gardening is a great release...the flowers and vegetables will reqard you for your gentle care, and you'll stay healthy and active.

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Carma Spence-Pothitt