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Advice for Blind Gardener, Shady Garden

Hi. I have just moved into a new flat with a very shady west facing garden. Im blind, though I can see a little and am looking for some advice on what to do with this space? It has a 45cm very stony border around it on 3 sides. There is a big tree that blocks out most of the sunlight. 

I need: 

* very low maintenance - ideally no weeding as I won't be able to tell the difference
* suitable for this very stony soil in west London
ll suggestions most gratefully received! 



  • FireFire Posts: 18,146
    edited October 2021
    Thanks for you post and welcome.
    There is a link at Thrive about gardening ideas for non sighted people.

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    Raised beds might be easiest for access - you can make the soil as easy as you can.
    Maybe go for touch and smell distinctive plants like ferns and mint - so that you can tell by texture and scent what plant is what. A place to sit and a small table can be nice, and a small water feature for aural pleasure, if that might work.

    I might suggest that if you go for larger plants (perennials), you will get to know which plants are yours pretty quickly.

    Is the tree owned by a neighbour, not your own?

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    This episode of Gardeners world features a blind gardener and discusses how she has designed her plot. Though she does have help in the garden.  She says she has lots of straight edges to help her navigate easily. Also a raised pond. She has planted astilbes in the shade and conifers, enjoying shape and texture.

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    This summer GW featured a lady called Kerry who has been blind since birth (Manchester) - from min 15. She says she finds it easier to break down tasks into smaller blocks. She uses smaller tools so she has more control of the tasks. Adapting tools for you might prove helpful.

    I put markers into the places I have planted new plants, to remind me they are there. If planting seed directly, Monty Don often recommends planting in straight lines, so you can know that anything outside the line is likely to be a weed.

  • pansyfacepansyface Posts: 22,742
    edited October 2021
    I’d recommend the Sarcococcas for their beautiful scented flowers in winter and spring. I have several different ones and they are no bother to look after at all.  They just get a quick chop if they begin to get a bit too wide and near the path. The birds love their berries too.
    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
    If you live in Derbyshire, as I do.
  • Thanks so much for the awesome answers everyone. Really appreciated. Lots of options it seems :)
  • FireFire Posts: 18,146
    @nickvswKValO please keep us posted. If you have a plot plan or idea, we can help put some ideas together for design or planting... 

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