Gardening: A healer


Gardening has proven to be a healer for persons with disabilties. Plants and trees are living breathing beings which has its own way of communication if you are keen enough to listen.

Thus, here we discuss the gardening equipments for persons with disabilties, the correct plant selection and the gardening activities for persons with disabilties.

• Garden equipment for people with disabilities :

✓ Garden equipment can be adapted in many ways to suit people with varying disabilities.

✓ Consult an occupational therapist for expert advice.

Suggestions include:

✓ Use tape, foam padding, bicycle grips and PVC pipe to improve grip and handle length on tools.

✓ Find specific ergonomic (designed to reduce discomfort) and enabling tools – these are available at some hardware shops.

✓ Use gloves that have a sticky surface or gloves with gripper dots.

✓ Use of splints and supports may also be appropriate – consult an occupational therapist.

✓ Look for lightweight tools that are easier to handle.

• Plant selection for people with disabilities :

✓ Consider using varieties of plants that have sensory and textural qualities.

✓ Sensory plants include those that have special sound, smell, taste, touch and visual qualities.

Examples of great sensory plants include:

✓ Touch – woolly lamb’s ear, succulents (such as aloe vera), bottlebrush species, snapdragons

✓ Taste – basil, strawberries, peas, rosemary, carrots, cherry tomatoes

✓ Smell – jasmine, sweet peas, lavender, pelargoniums, native mint bush, lemon balm

✓ Bright colour – daffodils, rainbow chard, marigolds, pansies, sunflowers

✓ Sound – corn, bamboo and grasses rustle against each other when the wind blows

• Garden activities for people with disabilities :

✓ People with disabilities can be involved in many gardening activities, including :

✓ Watering

✓ Digging, planting and sowing

✓ Pruning and clipping

✓ Weeding and mulching

✓ Flower picking and arranging

✓ Craft activities using materials from the garden

✓ Harvesting garden produce

✓ Cooking food from the garden.

So pull up your socks and let’s get started with some gardening.