Raised Beds - 2
A 24 inch high raised bed with a serpentine or curved side wall made from stacked interlocking concrete block available in a wide range of colors and styles.
An 18 inch high by 5 foot wide brick raised bed with a 10 inch wide limestone sitting ledge along one side that narrows to 4 inches on the other side for better access to the soil.
Construction materials most commonly used include naturally decay-resistant wood such as cedar; marine plywood; landscape timbers; concrete; and brick or other masonry. Recycled plastic lumber is also worth considering for its durability, with newer versions more closely matching the look of real wood. There are a few kits on the market that include brackets made to hold planks or concrete pavers bought locally to make the sides. As with large containers, raised beds filled with soil are very heavy and may be inappropriate for the deck, rooftop, or balcony garden.
The chief disadvantage of most raised beds and containers is that they offer no space underneath for the feet and knees of seated gardeners. There are plans available for 'table planters' that have shallow 6- to 8-inch-deep 'pans' containing soil mix with the necessary 27-inch knee clearance provided with legs like a table or by attaching them to a sturdy fence or wall. The pans cannot be any deeper because the combined final height will be 33 to 35 inches - nearly out of reach for seated gardeners. The advantages in comfort need to be balanced with the fact that these tend to dry quickly in full sun and even more so as plants mature and roots fill the smaller soil volume. This also limits the types of plants that can be grown to shorter, shallow-rooted varieties.
|Wheelchair user in garden tending a tall planter bed with red and yellow flowers|
|Attach pots, window boxes and shelves within easy reach to sturdy fences and walls increasing the amount of accessible gardening space.|
|Woman with camera standing in front of raised cedar planting bed|
|Man standing in front of a planting bed with green plants which encircles a round brick column.|
Containers and their larger relatives, raised beds, offer the greatest amount of growing space to the gardener with a disability. However, gardeners with smaller spaces or others looking to use what they have more efficiently may want to look 'up' to vertical gardening techniques to add more growing areas within reach.