What great news it was to read ‘The Access for All Appeal’ leaflet on the table at The Terrace Café at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh back in January. Having had one garden visit with a wheelchair last June, I can completely see the need for such a valuable project and wish it much success 🙂
What well positioned good sized direction signs for wheelchair Accessible paths we saw on our January garden visit. Together with fresh looking rope edging, I’m guessing both are fairly new additions to the garden and possibly a result of donations to this appeal. Enhanced accessibility will benefit not only wheelchair users but families too, from the young in pushchairs to older family members with walking difficulties.
It has to be said, The Botanical Gardens at Edinburgh does have a fair few paths with slopes – some fairly steep at that. It was only when I found myself pushing at wheelchair up them (and just as hard holding it going back down them) that I wondered if maps were available to have made my visit easier. It should be noted that I knew the layout of this garden pretty well and I got caught out.
On leaving the garden at the end of our wheelchair visit (temporary for my daughter after knee surgery) I asked staff if they had maps to help guide visitors with wheelchairs/access needs and was told they didn’t. I said I thought it would be a great help and she said she’d note my suggestion. I wonder…
The leaflet I picked up on this visit suggests a donation of £10 will fund 200 new accessibility information leaflets for visitors which is just brilliant! You can read the leaflet here. There are four gardens under the umbrella of the Royal Botanic Garden in Edinburgh – the other three sites of Benmore, Dawyck and Logan are all quite different from each other (having different needs too) but will all benefit from this appeal.
Our January garden visit had no restrictions in mobility (except for distance as my daughter’s knee has limitations yet). The plan for this visit was to head to the Rock Garden via the Chinese Garden, which is just down from the Terrace Café where we always start our trip by having a coffee there as we have a car journey to get to this garden. Here’s what caught my eye on this visit…
Along the path edge… whispy grass-like foliage en masse, boulders and Bergenia 🙂
Trying to break over the path edge… I love to see branch structures at this time of year 🙂
Along the path edge… and under, water falls over velvety, mossy rocks – magical 🙂
The path edges of the Rock Garden… great to see evidence of gardeners at work here 😉
Along the path edge… Helleborus foetidus, velvety moss again, Bergenia with lighting 🙂
Along the path edge… More wheelbarrows and Wheelchair Access signs 🙂
Rope threaded through posts – this idea has been on my mind for a few years now 😉
Along the path edge… is where that eye of mine takes me when on garden visits. I have always been as drawn to the edges of paths and borders just as much as the contents inside. I look to be inspired on garden visits and depending on what I am working on in my own garden my eye is scanning as I go. As gardeners we all do that 🙂
What does your eye scan to on big garden visits like a Botanical garden? The plant collections and houses, magnificent trees, what’s in flower or do you like looking at the structural stuff too? My eye was scanning for something quite different during my wheelchair visit last June. Looking back at my photos, I see they are all cropped and watermarked ready to post but it was a busy time and they never made it here. I’ll sort that soon – February is a great blogging month for sharing a bit of summer colour 🙂
Wishing you good weather to enjoy your garden this weekend. Have you plans? I’ll be working on fine tuning some new path edges – of course! Assuming we don’t get any snow, all will be revealed soon. I love it when a garden plan comes together – don’t you 🙂
This post was published by Shirley for shirls gardenwatch in February 2014.