[Homestead] Garden beds, ideal height
genegerue at ruralize.com
Tue Dec 19 17:52:10 EST 2006
I wrote sloppily a day or three ago and I do hate to mislead anyone.
The eighty-five foot stone wall that creates the Christina Garden
behind the house has walls that are not at waist level as I wrote.
They are lower. I built them with a kick space at the bottom, as in
kitchen cabinetry. When my toes are in the kick space I lean forward
with the cap ledge of the wall striking me about mid-thigh. That
makes it very comfortable to reach out quite a long way. I don't
recall the exact inches of height, but I think about thirty inches,
maybe less. But I do garden at waist height--at least that's how I
think of it because, except for soil work and seeding, plants are
well above the soil, so picking unsupported tomatoes or cutting
basil, for instance, is at about waist height. Very comfortable.
I recall that when designing this wall I decided that I wanted the
top of it to be useful to sit upon, for restful gardening or just
lollygagging. It's about twenty feet behind the house and the space
between the house and the wall is used as what those in the West call
a patio. So the wall is of a useful height on which to set drinks or
to use as bench space. A bit high for Chris, who is five-three, but
perfect for me at five-eleven. She has to scootch up a bit to get
onto it. Cats love it.
Someone said they want their bed walls to be appropriate for
wheelchair gardening. Others will have different criteria. It is an
important issue for each gardener to consider and resolve according
to their size, flexibility, and personal reality of senior gardening.
A wheelchair is not in my future reality but walkers and wheelchairs
are common aids, so for some that could be a strong determining
measurement. One way to resolve present and future needs would be to
build garden bed walls as high as is presently optimal and then, if
wheelchair use became mandatory, to build a boardwalk next to the
beds on which the chair could wheel.
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