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Roses hold incredible supplies of therapy ideas within them; these beauties can involve all the senses and make your programmes simply come alive as participants' explore the wonderful world that roses contain

HT activities are countless and including woodworking in your list just seems to fit-the-bill! Creating a garden sign from the wood up can bring about the most amazing results. Grow some garden signs in your programme today!

The installation of raised beds at different levels and modes of construction, such as these in the Ability Garden area at the Cobourg Ecology Garden serve to enable gardening by all! From sidewall seating to standup beds your project can serve anyone who wishes to grow regardless of age, stage or ability!

More and more the very act of looking at a picture of a garden setting or sitting out in a garden area taking in the sights, sounds and scents is being documented as healing and restorative. You can make the visual aspect of HT prominent at your site by including quiet 'thymes' for viewing garden and nature using photos, magazines, videos and garden tours.

Gloriosa daisies (Rudbeckia hirta) are exceptionally beautiful plants for any programme … superb as self-seeders, long-lasting blooms, wonderful cut flowers (cutting encourages the plants to send out more blossoms) and outstanding for drying and use in dried flower activities. Easy to grow in almost any soil and they look great in sunny beds, boxes, barrels or borders.

Reach for the sky when planning with and for your participants for optimal results! Trumpet creeper (Campsis radicans) are beautiful vines packed full of HT potential! It's waxy blooms come in beautiful shades of red, orange and yellow and they attract hummingbirds, wasps and bees and serve as a larval and nectar host to the Plebian sphinx moth; what great visitors for your garden projects! As an added bonus, the seed pods provide food for birds in the winter.

Talk about companion planting - Purple coneflower (Echinacea purpurea) and the Tiger Swallowtail butterfly (Papilio glaucas) grow together like ants on a log! And grow your programme you will when you sow various other host plants for this butterfly including wild bergamot, apple, raspberry and cherry. You may want to develop an exclusive butterfly gardening programme once you get hooked on the mysterious ways of the companionship/dependency between plants and papilio!

Why plant raspberries (Rubus idaeus) in a healing garden?  Because these plants will impart many opportunities for tantalization of the taste buds and other senses!  I am sure you can think of numerous ways to implement raspberries in your programmes, but don’t forget to take the fruit into your programme kitchen - the berries can be made into jams, cookies & pies or simply consumed as they are!  Make naturally dyed aprons for work or other apparel for sale from fabrics such as muslin, silk, cotton and wool which have been dyed with ripe raspberry fruit.

In the context of accessible gardening, the expression ‘Grow Up’ takes on a whole new meaning.  Using trellises, arbors, walls and down-up pulleys for hanging baskets can make the world of difference in growing a garden for folks with physical limitations.  Plants that climb, vine or twine, both flowering or evergreen, are more versatile than most plants, whether it be growing horizontally as groundcovers or climbing to the heavens.  Upon the myriad in this scrambling group, Clematis, English ivy (Hedera helix) and Morning Glory (Ipomoea) are wonderful types that you can grow easily in most raised bed climbing gardens.

Recipe for a Raised Bed Garden, part one: construction & composition  Wood, stone, brick, plastic or nothing at all can be used to contain your mound of soil intended to elevate your garden to higher levels.  In an accessible garden, raised beds should be no more than 4 feet wide to ensure access to the planter from both sides and no more than 2 feet wide if access is only from one side. Ideally, pathway widths should be 4 to 5 feet enabling ease of wheelchair and scooter turning and persons walking side-by-side. For safe traveling and ease of movement is it best to have paths composed of brick, crushed stone or textured flagstone.

Recipe for a Raised Bed Garden, part two: Soil, Seed and Plants  Select plants that are high producers per inch of growing space, with interesting textures and fragrances.  Assistance for people with visual impairments at harvest time comes by growing plants with contrasting or bright colours. Choose plants that your programme participants want to grow or eat.  Vegetable crops that mature quickly include radishes, summer squash, lettuce, mustard greens, yellow wax beans, green beans, & cucumbers.  Big seeds like sunflowers, peas and beans are excellent choices for your clients.  A truly great advantage in raising the soil is that the depth makes it much easier to grow deep-rooted crops such as carrots, beets, potatoes and parsnips … can you smell the stew yet?  You may want to look at this page for more info: www.humeseeds.com/raised.htm.

Recipe for a Raised Bed Garden, part three:  Water and Sunshine These are the final two ingredients that remain in our ‘raised bed garden recipe’.   Place plants with similar water requirements together, those that need the most water in the beds closest to your water source and the drought-tolerant ones farthest away. A precautionary measure: the area around the spigot should be paved to prevent mud and slipperiness. Water faucets should be at least 24 inches off the ground and have lever-type handles rather than the traditional round ones, they’re much easier to manipulate! Use a lightweight hose with an on/off valve at the end and extension nozzles or watering wands for reaching hanging baskets and across deep beds. Snap-on hose couplers are easier to attach than threaded connectors.  Make sure to pick a place that will get plenty of sunshine and because your bed(s) will be more or less permanent make sure that you place it in the best possible location on your site.


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