Accessibility is an increasingly important consideration for manufacturers of garden equipment, Nathan James Dodd explores how some have addressed this issue.
Forest, a major supplier of timber garden products, believe that everyone should be able to enjoy the benefits of growing flowers, fruit and vegetables.
Forest's Collaboration With Thrive
That's why they are working together with 'Thrive', and organization whose mission is to use gardening to change the lives of disabled people.
Thrive advises Forest on the development of new products with disabled people invited to try them out give feedback. Forest's new accessible gardening collection is the result of this collaboration, with items designed for all those who need to sit, kneel, stand or use a wheelchair to garden.
The raised Mini Garden Trough for example is perfect for those people who have trouble bending, and the Trough and Cold Frame Planter has been designed with wheelchairs in mind. Other low maintenance and easily accessible products include raised beds, table planters, and ladders, and 2.5% from any sale is donated to Thrive.
Eden Zero Threshold Greenhouses
If you're looking for a greenhouse, Eden has developed their own Zero Threshold™ sliding door system, which has step free access through single or double doors..
This means greenhouses such as their Birdlip, Blockley, Bourton, Burford and Monarch models are ideal for wheelchair users and people who are not entirely steady on their feet.
Intalogs Raised Ponds
Raised ponds are perfect for any disabled fishkeeper, and Intalogs manufacture attractive timber clad ponds, square or hexagonal, of up to 400 gallons capacity with sides that are 2ft 4in (75cm) high.
The ponds are supplied with a liner and a pump or filtration system can be added to ensure the water is healthy enough to keep fish. They are easy to assemble and three seats can be screwed into place, so anyone can relax on the side of the pond admiring and feeding the fish.
Artificial Grass And Ornaments
Perhaps not immediately coming to mind, artificial grass can also be beneficial as of course it doesn't need mowing, feeding or weeding. Low maintenance, pet friendly and hard wearing, artificial grass is a durable and all weather surface.
Ornamental features should also not be underestimated in a fully accessible garden. GardenSite recently delivered ornaments to a interactive sensory garden in Glasgow, where their shape and texture can be touched and felt.
If you are a mobility scooter owner, refer to our blog on Asgard sheds that are accessible via a ramp, and where you can store your scooter, protected from the elements.