The Universal-Accessible Garden
This fruit, vegetable, herb & flower garden is designed to demonstrate the many ways gardening may be enjoyed by those with limited space, those with physical, developmental or mental limitations, gardening with children and for those who would like to try something different.
The raised beds include a 3 foot by 3 foot square bed 1 foot high, a fake fieldstone circular raised bed 1 foot high, a two-sided 20 degree slanted raised bed with 2 sections per side, a vertical wall with planters open on both sides, a 2.5 foot high stone wall raised bed, a 6 inch deep 2 foot by 6 foot bed sitting on 2 foot legs with the bed segmented with wire for the visually impaired, an inverted 4 step riser with planters attached to each step, a rolling raised bed designed to be rolled like a drawer, a multi-tiered 6 bed complex, and two 1 foot deep 1.5 foot by 3 foot lined planters with trellises.
On the patio by the blueberries are several containers, some with a trellis attached, and benches attached to some beds allowing one to sit and garden. The house patio consists of columnar apples, pumpkin pot and window boxes.
The perimeter consists of a 4 wire trellis with apples and peaches trained as an espalier. Pear trees are along the back of the shed. Blueberries are within the bird netting.
The gazebo, located in the center of the garden, provides a place to sit and relax. Two sections are reserved for wheelchairs within the gazebo.
The miniature children's playground consists of a sandbox, seesaw, swing set, jungle gym, tricycle with a copper boy and a wagon pulled by a copper girl, which have been converted to planters. A butterfly topiary sits on a rock as an added touch. The raspberries represent a dragon's body with a head and tail made of plant and non-plant material.
The walkway was installed by landscapers and homeowners through 7 classes taught by EP Henry staff, as well as Extension staff. The short retaining wall and patios were installed by Extension staff.
The Master Gardener Volunteers, landscape industry reps and Penn State Cooperative Extension horticulture staff have designed, built and installed many of the beds, while several others have been donated by companies. In addition, funds from the Master Gardener Volunteer plant sales were used to purchase materials and plants.
For additional information regarding the beds and specific sections, brochures are located in information boxes around the garden.
Plans for Universal Garden Beds: