So yesterday I wrote an article about wheelchair accessible gardens. I focused on the dimensions and linked websites with plans to build your own. Well in France there is an organization that is making wheelchair accessible garden kits. The Suitecase is a group of architects and artists that created the Terraform program for wheelchair accessible garden.
How Terraform Formed
Below is a description from the Terraform website on how the project started (Translated by Google Translate):
This proposed experimental garden for disabled persons is born from the meeting of the Collective Suitcase and gardeners Mauves in Nantes in 2004. We realized this during the critical role these gardens as a place for meeting, sharing and solidarity, through resistance to casualization (self-sufficiency) and positive way to fight against forced inactivity (unemployment, retirement …). Garden and gardening have recognized virtues. They are vectors of social ties and can help break the isolation of individuals, to promote exchanges between “valid and invalid,” as between generations, and to fight against all forms of segregation that often affect people with disabilities. We also realized that the practice of gardening in general, could be a tool for personal development, a possible factor of integration and social cohesion, but also many people there were, a priori access, lack of equipment adapted: wheelchair, elderly.
What’s In The Box
So what all comes with the kit. Well just four pieces and some screws. Three walls made of wood boards and a plastic shell. The four pieces come together to form a box with the plastic shell serving as the roll-under space. The shell curves into the box to give a wheelchair using gardener easy reach to all parts of the garden. The shell is made of recycled and recyclable polyethylene. Douglas fir treated with natural oils make the wood sides environmentally friendly and reusable.
Overall dimensions are approximately 5ft wide, 4ft deep, and 31.5 inches high. Once put together the box can be filled with soil. Terraform recommends a layered mix of soils, branches, and compost. If one doesn’t want to fill the whole cavity then installing a makeshift garden “floor” wouldn’t be too difficult.
Availability & Conclsion
Right now Terraform is working with other groups across France and Europe to make their gardens available. Though as of now Terraform is not available in the U.S. Their might be hope though, according to this article by Treehugger.com, Terraform is working to make the garden kits available in North America due to requested demand. For more on Terraform visit Terraform.fr (Google Translate version).