Posted: 04/05/2017 at 11:14
I have no experience designing around wheelchairs and wheelchair accessibility - but I have used raised beds before.
My own experience is that raised beds dry out much quicker than normal soil and anything like the structure in your picture would:
a) Dry out very quickly and require either constant watering or an irrigation system.
b) Anybody watering the 'bed' with their legs underneath the staging would get wet legs because excess water needs to be able to drain out of the bottom.
What does the client want to grow in the beds? Shrubs, most perennials and some veg would all require more than 11" of soil to grow in.
11" would probably restrict them to salad crops, herbs, and smaller perennials and annuals.
My own raised beds were made from hefty, pressure treated pine 'sleepers' (8' x 8" x 8") placed directly on the ground and built 2 sleepers high.
They were probably low enough to be accessible from a wheel chair and narrow enough that the middle could be reached from either side without over stretching. (Might need to be narrower for a chair user).
They were also a nice height to double up as a makeshift seat for any companion in the garden
The main advantage with these beds was that they took lots of soil and compost so they didn't dry out too quickly and they also received some watering by capillary action from the ground. The sleepers can be cut to any length to make interesting shapes / fit the space.
I was able to grow a full range of veg in these and they would also have been suitable for most perennials and small shrubs.
I hope you can find something that works - good luck with the project - sounds like a good cause!
Last edited: 04 May 2017 11:19:30