GARDENS FOR THE DISABLED
From time to time I work with disabled clients who have special requirements for their garden. For clients with visual impairment I design gardens that are especially sensory - full of fragrance and many distinctively textured leaves, and a preponderance of golden foliage and white or very pale coloured flowers for maximum visibility.
For clients who use a wheel chair I design raised beds and raised ponds that can be tended easily from a sitting position, and generous paths and patios to give plenty of room for manoeuvre. One of the gardens I designed for disabled gardeners was the Community Garden at Ladymead School (now the Taunton Academy) in collaboration with the Halcon Day Centre in Taunton in 1992, which was constructed and planted during 1993 and won an award the following year, 1994.
The following testimonial relates to a garden I designed in 2006 and was completed in 2008, for a client in Kent.
"I am an Occupational Therapist, and Jenny Short designed a fantastic garden for my client in Kent who had a severe car crash resulting in head injury. She was wheel chair bound and could not get out in to her garden. Jenny listened carefully to my client's vision for the garden and painted a realistic picture of her proposals for her to comment on before work started Jenny's plans enabled her, in her wheel chair, to get everywhere in her garden, have an octagonal green house she can use in the winter, smell fragrant roses, tend plants herself at sitting height, pick soft fruit, have a barbeque, and watch her fish. A truly therapeutic garden. Jenny's sympathetic hard landscaping mixed with imaginative planting and her over view of the works until the finished stage means my client, her friends and therapists are delighted with the result. I would recommend her skills as a garden designer to anyone, but especially someone with a disability."
Francis Beaumont Dip COT, Cert Ed.