The days are getting longer, and the world is getting greener. Those of you who garden are out there already, weeding, planting, digging and getting your hands dirty. Those of you who want to start, though, might be somewhat daunted at the idea of gardening if you have a disability. Unlike some other pastimes, however, the arena of gardening is unexpectedly accessible.
Gardening is a satisfying way to get exercise in the outdoors. You can think of it as a way to get in touch with nature, a way to work out without having to go to the gym, or even a way of obtaining cheap and high quality produce for your kitchen. But whether you’re a keen gardener who has acquired a disability, or novice, getting started can be a daunting prospect. No matter what your disability, there will most likely be a tool out there to accommodate you. Just apply the usual common sense rules to starting any new exercise regime: go slow at first, and check in with your doctor to be on the safe side.
While I was doing the research for this article, I was amazed and delighted by how much there is out there. It seems like every possible difficulty has been thought of and accounted for. But there’s always room for improvement, so keep your eyes open for possible adjustments to make to available tools, such as adding girth to a handle with pipe insulation or duct tape. Consider also getting in touch with our friends Remap if you need a bespoke adjustment to help you.
Having a disability is expensive, and getting into gardening might not look so attractive when you consider buying expensive equipment, but think also about the potential for saving money, especially if you like salad: for the cost of a tiny bag of pea shoots from Tesco, you could grow a lush forest of your own from dried peas from the supermarket and some cheap compost. Container gardening is a great option for newbies, and can be done indoors in the dry.
Another option, if gardening really doesn’t appeal: get somebody else to do it. Ask your local council if a maintenance service is available for people with disabilities in your area. Another possibility is looking into garden sharing: while your garden might be an extra hassle to you, a green fingered local might be desperate for somewhere to put down roots.
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