A person outside in a wheelchair on a stone path
Time in a garden can work wonders for our wellbeing. If you use a wheelchair, you may want to make some adaptations to garden design and technique. This can make gardening more comfortable, rewarding and accessible.
  • Tending to a garden gives a sense of purpose. Our efforts lead directly to achievements
  • Time spent in nature has been shown to be good for mental health. It can reduce stress and improve wellbeing
  • Actively gardening can help with muscle tone, physical wellbeing and help release tension
  • Gardening provides an opportunity for continual learning and mental stimulation
A gardener in a wheelchair stop to admire beds of purple lavender
A gardener in a wheelchair stop to admire beds of purple lavender

There are around 1.2 million wheelchair users in the UK according to the NHS. They do also admit this figure is quite old.

The reason for being in a wheelchair and degree of physical mobility are many and varied. Around a third of wheelchair users are ambulatory. This means the individual is capable of walking in some circumstances.

A decision to go outside one day in my wheelchair saved my life. Sitting in the sun, my shoulders dropped, my breathing slowed and my conversation picked up. Something had changed and it felt very positive.

Mark Lane, gardener designer and Thrive ambassador

To get the most from your garden, whatever your individual situation, may require some adaptations. These can help improve safety and comfort. Find links below to articles on accessible design, activities and tools and aids.

Thrive ambassador and Gardener's World presenter Mark Lane
Garden designer and Thrive ambassador Mark Lane

Mark Lane is a professional multi-award-winning garden designer. He is also a Thrive Ambassador, presenter on BBC Morning Live, BBC Gardener’s World, QVC and the RHS Flower Shows.

He describes gardening as a lifesaver for him, following a serious car accident in 2000. In this video, he talks about the profound effect of a simple decision to sit outside his wheelchair.

Mark Lane shares how gardening has helped him

Help us continue to make gardening accessible for all. Make a donation to Thrive today. Thank you.

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Written in collaboration with
Mark Lane, garden designer and Thrive ambassador

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