Wednesday, May 26, 2010

A Wheelchair Accessible Garden.....For my Mum

I have two gardens.....One at the cottage which is full of indigeous plants, rocky boulders and an abundance of weeds, and my more formal city (surburban) cottage where I like more order and less upkeep.  This garden at home, I planned just after my mother had a stroke. It was an awful time with 4 months in hospital and months of therapy and eventually having to move her into a nursing home.....Planning the garden was therapeutic for me at that time.  My mum comes for Sunday dinner and we wanted her to be able to enjoy the garden and touch and feel and her level in her wheelchair........
We were planning for raised beds anyway, so we just adjusted the plans a little....We had all the paving installed on one level......
And had the pathways made wide enough for her wheelchair to pass through.....One of the stone installers  took the time to make sure she could get around the corners......
Picking herbs with Gracie Girl.
The deck and the patio are on level, so she doesn't fall over the edge and we don't have to hoist the chair up to the dining level......
We used tactile plant materials that created layers of interest........
These Giant Flowering Onions are lovely to see and touch.......they are firm and springy....
Soft and Lacey Japanese Maple....
A canopy of Wisteria to draw bumble bees and birds.....
We hide things to suprise her......
Columbine is one of my favourites......and hers.....
A gazing ball to mirror the house.....
My herb garden is used by my neighbors too...I sometimes hear the back gate open and see a neighbor picking herbs for their dinner.....
I give my mum the scissors and she cuts herbs for our dinner......Last sunday I could see her out of my kitchen window moving back and forth on the paths and pinching bits of herbs and smelling them.......When the lettuce is bigger she can pick them herself for our salad.  I love watching her out here truly enjoying every moment of freedom from the nursing home, and the outdoors and being able to forget her limitations.  She appreciates so much being able to potter the garden freely.......something we take for granted..........
This is her favourite spot.  A little semi circle cobblestone patio.  She catches the afternoon sun here and I make her a big frothy Cappuccino.........
Although this garden is perfect for is so pracical too.  The raised beds are eay to grass, no pesticides, no fertilizer....noisy of all it when we had Mooch, it kept him from peeing on my chives..........

I am going to hang a bell on this hook so she can ring it if she needs me and I am inside......Last year we heard a muffled sound from outside and ran out to find her on the path with a SNAKE (no nasty ones around here) right beside her ....poor thing.....I would have been screaming.....

She can easily smell and touch the flowers in these pots....


  1. What a precious gift you have given your mum, something she can truly enjoy each day. You are so sweet!

    Did someone say snake??????? I'm petrified, don't care if it's a little one or not!!


  2. I love your raised gardens, and it's so thoughtful and wonderful that you've made your beautiful yard and plants fully accessible to your mom :-) I'm sure she's thrilled every time she has the opportunity to come to your place and enjoy your beautiful flowers. And it's so sweet to put little surprises for your mom throughout the garden -- well, except for that snake!! ;-)

    I hope you and your mom spend lots of happy times in your garden this summer and for many summers to come :-)


  3. ya. i would scream my lungs out too....cannot stand snakes....!

    what a great post!
    it's charming the lovely garden you've set up...and such a very loving and thoughtful daughter you are!

    and to share your garden with the neighbours...boy, i wish i lived beside you!!!

    have a great day!

    i love your blog!

    ciao bella
    creative carmelina

  4. Beautiful garden! It's so nice that your mom has such a space to spend her Sundays. I'm sure she appreciates it more than you know.

    Peter built raised beds for our backyard last year too and we love it. There is no grass to mow (the front has enough bad looking grass for our liking) and it's so easy for planting our vegetables. Plus I think they add a lot of interest. I put hanging baskets out for colour and it looks great.

  5. Lovely garden, and the access is obvious now you mention it, but not dominating the layout. Maybe the snake was whispering some secrets to your mum?

  6. Morning Chania....!

    Your garden looks lovely & CALMING....How special for your mum to have this place to come to....And how lucky is she to have you for a daughter....!!!

    Tamarah :o)

  7. Chania, Ooooh! my the garden is peaceful and inviting, you tugged at my heart when you said you wanted it to enable your mother who is in a wheel chair to enjoy what you are able to enjoy!

    The white aged birdhook is fab, and a bell on it would work great for your mother or a garden critter who needs help!!

    THANK-YOU! for your visit and your endearing comment as usual :) I can count on you to lift my art spirits :)
    My daughter is doing well and thank you for asking :)
    How are you doing? You have a GREAT! rest of the week, hope your weekend is filled with garden love.

  8. Beautiful garden. How sweet you are to do for your mother. I live in a horse community, and one of the barns is owned by a couple with the wife in a wheelchair. They went to a great expense to make everything wheelchair friendly.


  9. Chania, I was very moved by this post. What an incredible act of love! The garden is beautiful in and of itself, but the way your mom is able to interact with it makes it even more lovely. It would make my heart sing to see her out there picking herbs for dinner.

    Friendly snakes don't bother me, as long as we keep a respectful distance from one another. I like what Tom said -- maybe it was sharing something magical with her.

    I am so glad you shared this with us! You have really touched my heart.
    Hugs to you,

  10. Hi Chania, I have a daughter in a wheelchair and would love to create a garden like this for her ....yours is is important we create spaces that all can enjoy with ease, cheers Katherine

  11. What a beautiful garden Chania! You have really create an amazing garden where your mum can relax and feel useful, pottering and caring about the herbs!


  12. Chania, not only your garden is beautiful, but specially, your gesture of doing it accessible for your mother and and also sharing it with others.
    You are a wonderful daughter and human beign, Chania!
    Li :-)

  13. Chania, what a beautiful garden and peaceful place for your Mum to enjoy and relax in. I love how you have used so many different textured plants in the garden for her to enjoy. I bet your Sunday dinners with your Mum are one of the best parts of your week. Wishing you and your Mum a wonderful weekend ~ Tina xx

  14. Chania,

    My very first visit and although I intended to peruse much farther into the blog, this post stopped me in my tracks.

    What a wonderfully loving thing to do for your Mother. Good daughters usually come from good Moms. The garden is lovely, just lovely.

    Now to visit the rest of the blog. SO happy I wandered by.


  15. I am all teary eyed after reading this post. What a special daughter you are! This post is truly love in action. How lucky you two are to have each other!
    Health and happiness,

  16. What a lovely idea. It's amazing how often we take for granted the smallest pleasures like walking in a garden. Your mom must be very happy.

  17. Hello!
    Wow Chania your garden is so beautiful! I hope your mother is doing better. So sweet of you to make your garden accessible for your mother. I am sure that means the world to her. This is such a sweet post! SO inspiring!

  18. I love, love, love your blog and the beautiful garden you created for your beautiful mum : )

  19. Hello, First time here at your blog. I truly appreciate what you did for your mum so she can enjoy the lovely garden. My husband is also in a wheel chair and I do everything I can to make him happy and take him out to our garden also.
    Blessings from a new follower,
    Lu, Romance-of-Roses


I love to read each and every comment and are thrilled that you take the time to send one. Thank you so much. Chania