Your garden is an important space and there is no reason why you shouldn’t enjoy it. But all too often, we hear people say they can’t enjoy their garden like they used to. It could be because of illness or because they can’t access.
Making your garden more accessible is possible – just follow these five steps to success.
Step 1: Raised flower beds and pots
The part of the garden that many of us struggle with is the low-down flowerbeds, common in gardens across the country. Frankly, there comes a time when digging over heavy soil or toiling for hours on bended knees is no longer fun nor possible.
The solution is to garden in raised flower beds, as well as containers and pots that make gardening a more accessible hobby to all.
We often think we can’t or shouldn’t change the status quo but the truth is, insects and garden birds love any garden full of flowers, fruits and vegetables, whether they are in raised flower beds or a traditional shaped one!
And you will love your garden all the more if you can continue to get out and about in it, as you always have done.
Step 2: Change your planting schemes: sensory planting
This may be something you already do but most of the time, we choose what plants to put where by the choice of colour and whether they like the conditions, such as dappled shade or full sun.
What we don’t always do, is plant to excite the senses. For someone who is weakened by illness or is simply slowing with the years, a sensory garden excites and relaxes the senses.
Thus, when it comes to planting schemes, choose;
- Brightly coloured, pollen-rich flowers to attract bees
- Scented blooms that release their heady perfume at different times of the day, such as beautiful lavender plant or night-scented stocks
- Consider herbs too, perfect for touching and spreading their fragrance around the garden
- There are many plants that are soft to the touch too, such as ‘lambs ears’
- Ornamental grasses are ideal for adding gentle sound to the garden too
Why not invest in a wooden bench and enjoy the garden caressing your senses?
Step 3: Plants herbs and come-again salads
Keen allotment or fruit-growing gardeners can find that the work involved in sowing, planting and tending to their crops can become too much, even when planting and harvesting from raised beds.
This doesn’t mean your harvesting days are over but what it may mean is shifting your focus from the heavy labour of digging to plants that are easier to tend, but still give you an edible product;
- Salad leaves are not just the run-of-the-mill iceberg that seems to grace every salad but bitter tasting leaves, as well as fiery leaves that add drama and depth to the salad. Easy to grow and nurture, you can create all kinds of tasty salads for your summer-time meals.
- Herbs are a delight to grow but they need to be regularly cut in order to keep growing strong. Grow a selection of herbs that complement meat and vegetable dishes, such as rosemary for spring lamb, sage for pork and parsley for beef. Herbs that work well with vegetables are mint for new potatoes, basil to use in tomato-based sauces and dill for carrots, delicious roasted with a hint of summer-time honey.
Step 4: Add magic and ambience with solar lights
An accessible garden is one that is easy to maintain and to use too. So far, we have raised flowerbeds and containers, we have changed planting schemes to excite and soothe the senses and we have herbs and other easy to grow edible plants.
Now we need to enjoy the garden, and this means creating an ambience that is relaxing, inviting and beautiful.
Solar lights require no effort in terms of either adding to the garden or maintaining them. from pretty string lights draped over plants and around border edges, to uplighters and spotlights, the range of solar lights is getting bigger and better.
Step 5: Get clever with bulbs
Accessibility is about enjoyment and although it may mean changes, it doesn’t mean a boring garden in winter time either.
Container gardening is sheer joy, especially in spring when the bulbs you spent the autumn packing into containers suddenly flourish into life.
Keep the containers close to the window that overlooks your garden and although it ay too cold to get out into the garden, you can still access its beauty and colour from the warmth of your home.
Sloane & Son have a range of garden seating options as well as many ideas on how to increase accessibility and usability of your garden.