Posted on 6th April 2023

Making Your Garden Accessible: Renovations for a Barrier-Free Outdoor Space

In our fast-paced society, spending time outside has been shown to have several positive effects. There is evidence from scientific research to show that spending time in nature may stimulate the imagination, improve concentration, and reduce stress. These benefits would help everyone, but those with injuries or chronic health problems would benefit the most. But outdoor spaces aren’t often designed with these groups in mind, so caring friends and family members may want to learn more about how to make their lives easier. If you or someone you know has mobility issues, or if you have mobility issues yourself, there are several modifications you can make to your garden to make it more accessible, which will make it easier for you to enjoy yourself more.

Clear things up

Many individuals take pleasure in a densely packed garden, but others who like more breathing room might consider shifting things around or getting rid of some of their favourite plants. As a first step, remove any unnecessary flowerbeds or other landscaping features and replace them with grass. Consider bringing in most of your outdoor furniture and just keeping the essential pieces. If you want to be able to move about without obstructions, you should try to find and get rid of those that are in your way, no matter how big they are. You shouldn’t chop down every tree or demolish everything you have if you want to take advantage of the shade and privacy they provide, so give some thought to keeping some of them.

Adding an awning

Your garden will be elevated from its current status to that of an exceptional living place once you install an awning. If you have an awning over your patio or deck, you may use it regardless of the weather. Your garden will be more comfortable throughout the year and easier to access if it is shielded from the damaging effects of the sun’s rays, strong winds, and torrential rain. To that end, you should think about contacting an awnings supplier in Chicago if you happen to live there to ensure this project is left to the pros. Since they shield you from the sun’s potentially dangerous ultraviolet rays, awnings allow you to spend more time basking in its warmth. They also shield your house and its furniture from the fading and sun damage that may be caused by ultraviolet light (UV), allowing your couches and paintings to have a longer lifetime.

Creating a pathway

A surface that is tougher than garden soil should be considered to ensure that those using wheelchairs or other mobility aids have no issue getting from point A to point B. Having a good walkway is crucial to creating a barrier-free landscape. The route should be large enough for a wheelchair and paved so that it is continuous and easy to navigate. A width of at least 152 centimetres is recommended. If you have a pond at the far end of your garden, for example, you need to make sure that they can access it. It’s best to use a material like concrete, brick, or granite for walkways. If you want to keep children safe, you shouldn’t create a road out of anything slippery. 

Adapt the garden

Garden upkeep is a favourite pastime for many, and it’s only fair that those with physical limitations have the same opportunity. To aid them, you may modify your garden so that it is more accessible to those with disabilities. For those who may have mobility issues, raised bed planters may be adapted to accommodate their needs. For those who aren’t confined to wheelchairs, it might be helpful to have chairs placed near the beds. Nothing should be out of their reach, so ensure the beds can be accessed from all sides.

Ramp instead of stairs

In order to make the garden accessible to individuals with disabilities, you may need to remove certain features or add others. Instead of thinking about garden stairs, think of ramps for your outdoor environment. They’ll make your garden more accessible in the long run, both for you and for others with mobility issues. You may alternatively have both, with a ramp for those who require it and regular stairs for others who don’t.

Kill weeds

For obvious reasons, weeds may be a major obstacle for individuals using wheelchairs, so we should do our best to clear them off all walkways. The weeds in your garden and/or on your paths may seem insurmountable, but there are likely numerous inexpensive and natural approaches you haven’t tried yet. One of the tried-and-true natural approaches that produce excellent results is digging out weeds. Carefully lift them out of the ground using a garden fork or hand trowel, seeking to get rid of as much of the root system as possible to slow or stop any regrowth. You might also use commercially available weed killers, but be careful not to kill the plants you want to keep.

Window boxes for herbs

Because of this strategy, chopping fresh herbs for the kitchen is as simple as extending one’s arm out the window. You can use window boxes along the side of a garage or hang them from the railing of a balcony at a height that is around waist height. This method is very similar to the concept of vertical gardening, with the exception that window boxes may be hung anywhere there is a flat surface on which they can be anchored.

Level the ground

Those who use wheelchairs or have problems walking may have a difficult time walking in your yard if the ground is not flat and even. You may need to pay a construction firm to come and level your garden for you, depending on how uneven the ground is. You can probably tackle things on your own if you have bumps by filling them up with a shovel and some soil. Maintain a well-mowed lawn at all times and remember to regularly water it.

Wheelchair-bound people and those with different disabilities require our assistance so that they may participate fully in society. One method to achieve this is to assist them in using and appreciating their gardens, which many of them would love to be able to.