disabled gardeners

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merlin777
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disabled gardeners

Postby merlin777 » Sat Jul 27, 2019 9:52 pm

Is there a specific thread for disabled gardeners? I'm interested in any tips to make gardening easier from a wheelchair?

I'm having my garden made wheelchair-accessible next week and i've had a small conservatory added. I'm just getting into herb pestos and herb teas so they'll be a lot of that around indoors and out. I'm thinking of a small Tahitian lime for the conservatory and a lemon verbena.
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Diane
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Re: disabled gardeners

Postby Diane » Sun Jul 28, 2019 11:26 am

Sounds like it will be a lovely garden when it's all finished....I found a link which you may find useful. https://www.carryongardening.org.uk/tip ... eners.aspx

Let us all know how you progress please.
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Re: disabled gardeners

Postby robo » Sun Jul 28, 2019 11:28 am

I would recommend high raised beds that way you could work them from you wheel chair
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Re: disabled gardeners

Postby Primrose » Sun Jul 28, 2019 12:15 pm

As well as herbs Merlin, do you like growing any vegetables. It would help if we could better understand what your growing preferences were then we might between us to come up with some "blue sky" thinking in how you might be able to best do this.

Troughs on stilts as well as raised beds are obviously an option as well as wall mounted containers at an accessible height.
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merlin777
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Re: disabled gardeners

Postby merlin777 » Sun Jul 28, 2019 5:22 pm

is there a way to post an image?
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Re: disabled gardeners

Postby peter » Sun Jul 28, 2019 9:10 pm

merlin777 wrote:is there a way to post an image?

Yes.

Click on "Attachments" below the box you type in when posting, select your image via the dialogue, to embed it in your text click
"Place Inline"

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merlin777
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Re: disabled gardeners

Postby merlin777 » Sun Jul 28, 2019 10:45 pm

OK, so heres what my garden looks like now, with the proposed conservatory which is almost finished and south-facing.
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Heres a CAD drawing of the proposed landscaping. The whole garden is flat for the wheelchair. The green is astroturf - wheelchairs dont cope well with lawns. The tree turnk is the bottom of a lovely big silver birch. The raised beds are 1m deep. The plan is to plant perennials at the back so i dont need to get there except for some long-handled pruning and other things at the front although ideally it should all be perennial.
I like herbs - just discovered herb pestos mmmnnn - and any fruit and veg i grow has to be REALLY low maintenance which cuts down my choice a lot.
The conservatory will have some nice hanging plants (more room for the wheelchair) but i'm think of having a tahitian lime and a lemon verbena and a lot of herb pots such as basil, rosemary etc.
All suggestions and observations gratefully received.
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Re: disabled gardeners

Postby oldherbaceous » Mon Jul 29, 2019 9:48 am

That's certainly a decent area of raised beds, merlin777. I think it will be a matter of experimenting a little, to see what suits your personal needs.....One suggestion I will make is, when the blokes are filling the raised beds with soil, get them to mix some Chicken manure pellets in with the soil, this will give the plants a good start in life....
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Re: disabled gardeners

Postby Primrose » Mon Jul 29, 2019 12:22 pm

Merlin, Design looks nice and simple with hopefully minimum maintenance. You mention your back garden faces south which will obviously influence what your plant where but most herbs like a sunny position. Your north facing fence beds could support leeks and leafy greens like Fordhook Giant variety Swiss chard which has attractive bright green leaves.

Is the garden fully enclosed with a tall boarded fence at the back of your raised beds? If so perhaps a few perennial plants like hollyhocks will add some height & perspective and plants like these can simply be chopped down with long handled shears at the end of the season.

. Mixed lettuce mixtures will add interest& colour at the front of the beds and carrots with their feathery stems will hopefully grow free of carrot fly at that height.

OH gives good advice in suggesting you fertilise the soil well with chicken manure pellets or other nutrients before planting. This will hopefully keep it in good condiction and save efforts in having to enrich your growing areas further down the line.

My garden is rather eclectic with one border containing a mixture of vegetables and flowers. It works well and confuses the cabbage white butterflies!

Oh, and dont forget a few spring bulbs. We all need something to look forward to after our dreary British winters!

You don't say where and how you're going to hang your washing outdoors if you currently do so. Could you have an area built into your astroturf to accommodate a Hills Hoist type rotary airer? It would need an anchoring spike built into the ground through the AstroTurf but the central pole of the airer could presumably be cut down to a lower height so you could reach the lines from a wheelchair. Alternatively perhaps you could have a small concreted or paved area near the house where this could be set up?
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Diane
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Re: disabled gardeners

Postby Diane » Mon Jul 29, 2019 4:07 pm

And perhaps a shaded area where you could sit when it's too hot to garden.
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Re: disabled gardeners

Postby Westi » Mon Jul 29, 2019 7:33 pm

Merlin that looks pretty impressive & what a treat getting a blank canvas to make a start & great that you are seeking advice from real gardeners. I would look through the garden catalogues, just sign up to any sites you like & for free they will send them regularly & they cover flowers & veg & fruit. Totally agree with bulbs as dependent where you live you can just leave them in & grow other flowers over them & there are some lovely wispy perennials that will just come up year after year but not crowd out the space & although they slowly migrate they are so light they don't impede any other plant - note no name to this as I am not into flowers as much & just chose what I like & they were pretty in the pic & pretty in real life & you will recognise them.

If I was to make a suggestion it might be to move the compost bins away from under the window - sometimes you get an insect overload around the bin in summer which will love your open window! Can they move them to where the quarter bed is near the shed? Under that window they could put in some long baskets - perfect for strawberries!
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Re: disabled gardeners

Postby Primrose » Mon Jul 29, 2019 8:09 pm

Also I realise the design may not be accurate and to scale but will you be able to get your wheelchair through the gap where the tap is between the end of the raised bed and the paving stones to access the side of the house?

I agree with Westi's comment about the location of the compost bins away from windows. Whilst they might be handy being close to the kitchen for the dumping of potato peelings etc, even smells from sealed bins like these can encourage rats to come sniffing round and you don,t want them venturing right close to your conservatory door !

In the plan you also appear to have the AstroTurf coming right up to the edge of the house as you step out of the conservatory. In reality I wonder how oractical this would be and whether it would be better to have a double width of pacing slabs or small patio adjoining the house to provide somewhere stable and non slippery to stand on or sit in your wheelchair, perhaps for doing odd jobs, rather thqn the whole surface of the garden being AstroTurf. Perhaps mentally "walk yourself" through all the small actions you will be doing in the garden and ask whether the base under the asteoturf will be firm enough to cope with all the demands being made on it.
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merlin777
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Re: disabled gardeners

Postby merlin777 » Mon Jul 29, 2019 9:47 pm

Thanks for all your tips. Good to see I already have some of those in hand but there are plenty I hadn't considered. In no particular order.....
Pre manuring is a good call.
Love leeks. Are they low maintenance?
It is fully enclosed and I always fancied some holly hocks..... which arrived last week! They are seeds and they are: foxglove (digitalis purpurea) mixed colours mainly pinks and whites and pams choice.
Don't mind mixing flowers and veg at all.
Forgot to mention I have a lot of large pots. They are flexible easy to access.
In the drawing you can see the raised bed is lower around the Base of the silver birch. Thats for a woodland bulb area. There are already some bluebells and I'll be adding son drops and some dafs.good call to add some wispy perennials. I had some planned for the raised beds so I'll put them under the tree. I have cornflowers, and blue and purple poppies lingholm and laurens grape. Might do some love in a mist too. Self seed g is fine with me if they are nice.... easier to pull them out than put them in!
The long baskets is a good idea. I was considering strawberries in the conservatory in on eof those long bag things but there are some good hanging positions outside too. Maybe some cherry tomatoes?
I put a lot of thought into the bins. The location is one of the few I can't see from sitting in the cnservatory so good for aesthetics. Closer to the house the better for wheel chair access too. The window/insect problem won't arise because I can't reach those windows to open them!
That gap is huge.... over 1.5m but we'll spotted. Missing things like that can cock me up.
I'll use traps or bait if I need to. Don't want the rats anywhere. However I'm caeful not to compost things they like. I just started a bokashi composter indoors to cope with that.
The original design was all paving and a slope to deal with run off. Wheelchair users recommended astro turf to me. As long as it's not thick and the subsurface is laid properly I'm assured it's as good as paving, easier to maintain, nicer to look at and even cleans your wheels. The landscaper assures me it'll be as flat and solid as the paving but also be porous too which I think is a greener way to go (no pun intended). You can barely see it but theres a drain between the astro turf and the house too.
I have a small apple tree too. It'll need to be moved but I don't think a raised bed is good for it?
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merlin777
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Re: disabled gardeners

Postby merlin777 » Mon Jul 29, 2019 9:52 pm

That should be snow drops.
Something else I have to think about is regular watering. Anything really thirsty might suffer if I haven't got the stamina to water hanging baskets. I've always found Stewart self watering balconnieres help a lot with that.
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Re: disabled gardeners

Postby Primrose » Tue Jul 30, 2019 6:58 am

You certainly seem to have given a lot of thought to this. What's important is to end up with a system which works for you and which you can enjoy.
I think watering is something that you will need to get right as with a south facing garden, warm summers are going to dry out your beds very quickly. A self watering hose with might work for the beds on the side where the tree stump is but running it all around the garden probably wouldn' tbe practical with the shed in the way. When I did this around the borders in our garden I found the dispensing rosettes at the beginning of the water flow emitted copious water and those at the far end of the pipe emitted only a sparse dribble. Another problem is limescale here. By the end of one season the whole fandango had to be taken up, all the dispensing rosettes soaked in vinegar to remove the limescale as they would get blocked up. So ensuring plenty of water retaining material in your beds will obviously help reduce watering in the first place.

Yes, leeks are very low maintenance. The pests seem to ignore them and they don't use a lot of space compared with other more "spreading" vegetables.
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