Wheelchair accessible garden

From Table to Table 

Helen Williams, an architect studying landscape design at the University of Gloucester, and Caroline Lennon, a landscape designer, were inspired by a project brief to create an accessible garden for a wheelchair user who wanted to create and maintain their own garden. They approached Habinteg for support and design advice for this ground-breaking project.Caroline Lennon and Helen Williams garden designers. Pictured with wheelchair user.

The garden features a number of design innovations:

  • Raised beds for access to planting areas
  • Pulley system for access to hanging basket growing area
  • Integral drainage / irrigation system to reduce water consumption and watering equipment 
  • Heights and dimensions of garden tailored to garden user
  • Low maintenance design including storage space at usable height
  • Intended for use with shallow rooted crop plants which will not overgrow 

Its attractive contemporary finish has appeal for any gardening enthusiast with the added advantage that the design can be adapted to suit particular users, for example people who prefer to be seated or standing when gardening, as well as wheelchair users. It would also be well suited to urban or high-density environments as it is compact, easy to maintain, has integral storage and maximises the use of planting space. 

Helen hopes that her accessible design will catch on and enable more people to pursue a passion for gardening. “I am hoping to look into developing this concept further as already there are alterations I would make to ensure the design is more adaptable. As my idea for this garden came from family members who did/do use wheelchairs, I would be so pleased even if it only inspires one person to be able to see that an interest in gardening can continue and be even more accessible.”

White flower close-up with background of mixed lettuceEating / planting area with climbing plant frame and adjustable hanging basketSlate floorspace showing wheelchair access and raised beds

Royal Horticultural Society Silver-Gilt AwardHelen’s garden won the Royal Horticultural Society Silver-Gilt Medal, narrowly missing out on the Gold Award. Not bad for her first garden! The ‘From Table to Table’ garden recently appeared at the Malvern Autumn Show.