What's your favorite substrait to roll on in the garden?

Hey all you rollers!
I am working on an accessible garden nursery area at our church garden. Two of our workers are people who use wheelchairs, and I am interested in knowing what you like to use for flooring.
We have someone who is going to make this area for us - it can be cement, graded for water run off (but where it runs to is the problem!!), or decking but that would need a ramp and we are in a very small space. This is an ultra miniature garden center - a place to hold, showcase and work on our plants which are for sale to the community.
We are a group of people who garden and also have disabilities, most of us live in group homes and have cognitive or emotional disabilities so we have never had to tackle some of the projects we now need to work on. Our two gardeners who use wheelchairs do not garden anywhere else and have only recently begun to use a wheelchair ...so they aren't sure what they think would be the best thing. Clearly wood chips are not. That has been a bit of a challenge!


Tempe, AZ(Zone 9b)

I would prefer concrete myself. Anything hard that I can't get stuck in or get mud all over my chair.

Milton, MA(Zone 6a)

Concrete, cement, pavement, even asphalt - something very nearly flat. If it's a manual chair, you'd like to be able to stop and use both hands without having to put on the brakes.

What a great project, Glynnis!

Thanks guys. I was kind of afraid we'd have to do concrete (asphalt is not very commonly laid here). It is relatively inexpensive and you are right about it being best for manual wheelchairs which is all we can provide for our folks who need the assistance to be mobile. We do need a run-off, but maybe we can do a central drain which would make a very small slant on all sides to the center, but it would be a much more negligible slant than having the drainage to one end of the whole area.
I do plan to level the area. There is a weird, sharp slope at the back into a neighbors property (which is why I'm trying hard to correct drainage) and I'm having treated wood put in as a support for the fill and flooring, raised a bit higher to catch chair wheels too. Don't need anyone going over the edge!!
I'm also thinking of putting some sort of rails or poles around the area too. VERY VERY sturdy ones for our folks who are on their feet but have balance or weight bearing issues. Natural tenancies are to grab whatever you can when you are going down (or feeling like you are) and that often tends to be a flat of plants...not very stablizing!! They could even be bars attached to sides of the tables....out of the way of seated gardeners.
You'd laugh if you saw the size of this area. There will be no way for a anyone in a chair to make a 3 point turn. It's tiny! Doing my best to make it at least usable for everyone!

Milton, MA(Zone 6a)

Glynnis, you could take a look at the ADA specs. You don't have to follow them, but just to get an idea of what's a good height for something grab-able, what's a good width for a wheelchair, person on crutches, person using walker, etc,. Just a thought.....

You are right. We are having some engineers and architects working on this project - I will ask them to look at the ADA specifics and help me define which we might could follow. We won't be able to follow all of them, but we could certainly use most as a guideline.


Milton, MA(Zone 6a)

Don't worry about getting sued, which is why most architects are afraid to even look at them. You're very welcome!

St. Louis County, MO(Zone 5a)

What a wonderful project, please continue to share the progress. I'm not a wheeler yet, but it is out there in the future.

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