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gardening with disabilities

Can anyone tell me if there is a forum or website that focuses on the practicalities of gardening for people with disabilities?


  • I just typed "disabled gardener" into G****e and got a list of useful looking websites, so worth investigating I think.                                  
  • Hi Dinah, depending on how severe the disabilities are, I found that a kneeling frame helps enormously if you have to try and get up from your knees. Also, it’s light enough to pull along with you as you move along a border. You need a dry environment though. Valerie 
  • TopbirdTopbird Posts: 6,981
    I'm not aware of any websites specifically for gardeners with disabilities but it might be that support forums for specific disabilities have separate gardening threads on them.

    There have been quite a few threads running on this forum in the past started by people wanting advice about making their gardens easier to manage, special tools etc etc and I think quite a few of our members struggle / cope with different mobility and other agility problems (poor grip / balance etc).

    If you (or someone you know) has some specific problems you could try posting on this forum. I think you'd be surprised how helpful and supportive some of the responses are. You may find a couple of other forum users have the same issues and are happy to give lots of helpful tips. You can always go down the route of Private Messaging if you need to swap information you don't want published in a public space.
    Heaven is ... sitting in the garden with a G&T and a cat while watching the sun go down
  • DinahDinah Posts: 294
    Hi, yes Valerie, I think the kneeling frame would help me too. It is too wet here at the moment anyway (possibly a small boat would be best for our back lawn right now :D but getting up from kneeling is a problem, especially if it's slippery. Thank you for the suggestion, it will help.

    Topbird, I've just been getting some good advice on setting up raised beds for better drainage on this forum, and I thought the higher they are the better for access, so that has inspired me to look for more solutions. There are probably lots of things that people have discovered to make garden access easier. As you suggest I'll try some more specific searches here. It would be nice if there was a specific thread where people could add their enabling discoveries, but people have so many different problems to overcome, I can see it would be huge. Thank you for letting me know these things do come up this forum.

    Thank you too Buttercups for trying out the best search terms for me more generally, I'll give it a go.
  • Lizzie27Lizzie27 SomersetPosts: 9,253
    @Dinah, that's the spirit, go for it!

    I had to be strapped into a full back body brace every day for two months when I crushed a vertebrae at waist level years ago. It was most uncomfortable as I couldn't bend at all in it. I looked like robo cop and got some very funny looks in the supermarket! Your version sounds a lot better.

    One of my most useful gardening tools is a long handled brush and pan set so I can brush down the paving, collect leaves etc without saves bending. I also like my green tough plastic garden sholley (if that's the right word). It is a waist high, collecting bin on two wheels which you push or pull round the garden. Our garden's on a slope so is terraced with steps and a wheelbarrow is no use. Mine is light enough to lift one handed (if empty) up and down the steps and will hold a sack of compost. 
  • DinahDinah Posts: 294
    Exelent stuff! I do have a long handled brush and pan, and yes it is so useful indoor and out as I can't bend easily with a back problem too. I havn't tried the sholley type product yet, but I will watch out for it when I can lift things a bit better, hopefully soon. How are you managing now you are out of the back brace with lifting things like pots, and digging of course? I hope it is easier now.
  • Valley GardenerValley Gardener Rhondda ValleyPosts: 2,351
    I have a knee problem so I dont think I can use my kneeler now,it was so useful to help getting up. I have visions of gardening with a crutch😕 I darent fall again as it cost a fortune to replace my smashed glasses!
    The whole truth is an instrument that can only be played by an expert.
  • Lizzie27Lizzie27 SomersetPosts: 9,253
    @Dinah, I'm good now, just not as flexible as I once was! It was 15 years ago. I'm not supposed to lift heavy things but get round things like compost bags by opening them up and shovelling some of the contents into a bucket at a time. You learn to adapt over time. Digging's getting a bit problematic but I don't do much of it, the occaisonal hole when planting a rose or shrub perhaps. We don't dig our raised veg beds.

    @Valley Gardener, I really like and use one of the memory foam kneelers, expensive but so worth it for arthritic knees. I once had to crawl across our (biggish) lawn on hands and knees as I couldn't get up without something to lever myself up on! I try to remember to take a fork with me to spike into the ground nearby.
  • Valley GardenerValley Gardener Rhondda ValleyPosts: 2,351
    Thanks @Lizzie27 thats a good idea😊
    The whole truth is an instrument that can only be played by an expert.
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