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Summary Bulletin: Gardening at Home

Authors: Bridge, C., Carnemolla, P.
Illustrators/Contributors: Svenger, M.
Published: 4th June 2014
Audience: Consumers, Government/NGOs/Peaks, Industry, Librarians/Researchers/Students
ISBN: 978-0-7334-34


This Summary Bulletin recognises the importance of providing a safe and accessible environment for older people and those living with a disability when they enjoy and tend to a garden – be it their own private garden or a shared community area. This report provides a reference for modifying or designing garden spaces to be appropriate for a safe and enjoyable gardening experience for all abilities and ages.  Inaccessible gardens and unmanageable house and garden maintenance are recognised as factors for older people making the decision to move house (Judd et. al, 2014). Therefore low maintenance, accessible gardens are important in the support of older people who want to remain in their homes as long as possible.

This report summarises how to approach accessible and safe garden designs and is laid out in three sections.

Publication History

1st edition Gardening at Home: Summary Bulletin by Lara Oram and Lyndal Millikan, December 2007.

Contribution of Authors

This is the second edition of the Summary Bulletin: Gardening at Home replacing the original publication of the same name, authored by Lara Oram and Lyndal Millikan (2007).

Phillippa Carnemolla undertook the research for this second edition. She developed the content, and formatted and wrote the Summary Bulletin.  Associate Professor Catherine Bridge also provided content for inclusion in the Summary Bulletin, and advised, restructured and reviewed the final report.

Table of Contents

  • Contribution of Authors
  • Reproduction of material
  • Table of Contents
  • Figures
  • Tables
  • Introduction
  • Background
  • Section 1: The Accessible Garden Environment
    • The Residential Garden
    • Accessible Landscape Features
    • Stairs
    • Ramp Design
    • Plants and accessibility
      • Planting Schemes
  • Section 2: Accessible Garden Planning, Tools and Equipment
    • Accessible Garden Beds
    • Raised Garden Beds
    • Table Planters
      • Vertical Gardens
      • Watering
    • Garden Planning
    • Products to assist in safe and accessible gardening practice
  • Section 3: Safety in the garden
    • Handling soil, potting mix and mulches
    • Commercial products and chemicals
    • General gardening equipment safety
  • Plant Safety
    • Sourcing safe and sustainable plants
    • Poisonous or venomous animals and insects
  • Conclusion
  • Appendix 1: Gardening at Home Checklist
  • Appendix 2: Standards Relevant to Accessible Gardening at Home
  • References

Specialist Review Panel

Nell RickardNell Rickard Landscape Architect Australian Institute of Landscape ArchitectsGuest Expert Reviewer
Sandra LightfootMacarthur Home Modifications and Maintenance ServicesIndustry Panel
Beverley GarlickBeverley Garlick Architects Royal Institute of ArchitectsIndustry Panel

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