A new website for those who love visiting gardens has been launched by Bella D’Arcy Reed to encourage participation in this great British tradition by people who have mobility problems.
Still a work-in-progress, it contains a directory to gardens open to the public written by people with disabilities (and room for loads more reviews), interviews with BBC Gardeners’ Question Time contributor Christine Walkden and blind gardener of the year Jeremy Scott, and all sorts of information about designing for disability and specialist gardening tools.
There are also special features on making the most of your visit to Kew Gardens and a piece on accessible play at Hestercombe Gardens, the Crown-owned estate in the heart of Somerset.
Visit the website by clicking on the following link www.accessiblegardens.org.uk
Sample review: Bella D’Arcy Reed wrote this about Hever Castle in Kent:
The gardens at Hever were a revelation to me – I had not realised there was such a collection of Roman artefacts or the grand, theatrical arcade overlooking a lake (I recognised it from a fashion advertisement I once saw in a magazine at the hairdresser – with a model in a gorgeous dress blowing in the wind – the dress not the model…).
For me, on a scooter, it was so easy to get round. There was only one hitch – one step without a ramp, but it had a notice on it apologising, and the scooter was lifted up (without me on it) by helpful gentlemen around me. The ramps up to the arcade and down again were exciting – quite steep and I had to ‘rev up’ and ascend to encouraging calls by other visitors (and an ice cream cone in one hand) and be very careful with the brake on the way down.