The gift of gardening

19.10.22 03:35 PM By Dan
Recognising gardening’s therapeutic and joyful potential, a couple out west have set about building and gifting accessible raised garden beds.
By Dan Nathan

Craig knows firsthand the therapeutic powers of gardening. During bouts of depression last year, gardening became his go-to escape.

So, when he and his wife Emma dropped off a large, circular raised garden bed they were selling to a neighbour, and they realised she was in a wheelchair and wasn’t able to access the majority of it, they were dismayed. 

A discussion ensued about the design and dimensions of a raised bed that would allow the woman to garden independently. Craig and Emma went home, made two rectangular beds from salvaged materials, and returned to the woman’s house. 

She was rapt. And Craig and Emma were hooked. 
Craig and Emma have put a lot of thought into the design of the beds and the materials used, maximising both accessibility and durability.
Realising that people living with disability may face hurdles in accessing the joys and therapeutic benefits of gardening, he and Emma have made a project of lowering those hurdles for as many people as they can. 

Searching for tin and timber destined for the tip, and using their own funds to buy the screws and brackets, they started building more beds. 

They’ve gifted about 18 so far - all to locals living with disabilities - and they have another 20 ready to go, with more underway. Hearteningly, as the word has spread, people started getting in touch to donate materials and money. They’ve had a big donation of tin, but suitable scrap timber has become harder to source, so they’ve started buying freshly milled Cypress from the local mill.

Living in Hamiliton, a small town about 3.5 hours west of Melbourne, Craig and Emma’s supply has started exceeding demand, so they got in touch with us. 
Craig and Emma have been busy.

If you’re interested in a bed, but can’t easily pick it up yourself, get in touch with us. 

If enough people around Melbourne are interested, we may be able to organise transport. (If you have access to a ute and/or a trailer we’d be able to borrow, or drive yourself, please get in touch!)

To express interest in a group transport option, contact Dan Nathan at AQA on 9489 0777.

To contact Craig and Emma about picking up a bed directly, email:

Each bed is roughly 1800mm long, 680mm wide and 450mm high. 

If you want to support the project, Craig and Emma welcome donations to help cover costs. They've also begun selling beds to able-bodied folk, with all money going towards building beds to give away.
Read about how our resident gardening superstar Young Ok set up her accessible garden.

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