- 16 Dec 2009
Greetings from Salisbury. I'm a single mum with ME/CFS raising a child with autism/hyperactivity. Yeah...that's usually "interesting". When the marriage deteriorated last year I moved into a new property with a garden that, shall we say, "needs work": a rubbish tip filled with rusty metal, old nails, rotting carpet, tarps, and discarded wires, incredibly uneven lawn that is a nightmare to mow and I've taken a spill just trying to move around out there more than once, my son has fallen off the split level wall as there's no fencing, broken paving...I took what I could get, but it's obvious that it needs work. My son loves being outdoors and would be outside all the time if he could help it, and we both love gardening.
However, with all the research into sensory gardens for autistic children, into gardening as therapeutic for the disabled, for all the community and school garden projects, there is very little out there for the disabled who actually want to garden at their own home who may be isolated or lack the mobility to get out and about. In all my hunting round I have literally found only ONE charity which assists disabled with grants to make their gardens more accessible. All other grants see it as a "want" and not a "need" - but when I can keep my child calm, entertained and safe, get myself out of the house, make my home more beautiful, grow food and cut down on food costs for my family, I wonder what part of a garden is NOT a need?!
I have had a brilliant landscaper round to have a look at the place, and even though she's doing her best to pull strings to find some cheap materials to level my garden, put in fencing for my son's safety, and fixing the paving, it's a huge struggle for me to find the funding. I've been contacting local clubs like the Rotary, Lion's Club, the Wilton House, Gardening for the Disabled, anything and everything I can think of, but if anyone here may have some ideas - as it's the foundation groundwork that is the most important - and most difficult to fund - I would be most grateful.
In the meantime, I'll spelunk round the site, take in some ideas, and keep hoping I can get something going. My warcry of late has been "If I am going to be a prisoner in my own home, then at least allow me to gild the cage."
Cheers in advance.