Gardening with sight loss.

Thrive logo which is a blue tree and a green hand side by side.

Thrive is a national charity that helps people with a disability to start or continue gardening.

Gardening has been proved to be relaxing and theraputic and sight loss may make this more difficult but with careful planning and thought you can continue to enjoy the benefits.

Thrive have practical information to make garden jobs easier, advice on taking care, useful hints and tips and details of the equipment and tools which will be particularly helpful to any one wanting to carry on gardening with sight loss

Some hints and tips from their website can be found below.

If you have some vision, you’ll find your tools easier to spot if they have bright handles. Or you can paint the handles white.

  • Most visually impaired gardeners like to work close to the soil and often use short handled tools.  There is now a whole range of ‘multi-change’ tools with snap on interchangeable heads. Chose a handle length that’s right for you – 30cm (12 inch) is popular.


  • Make sure you choose the right tools for the job. Try out tools before you buy them and check for weight and comfort. Choose well balanced and lightweight tools to help prevent stresses and strains in your hands and arms.


  • If you have a weak grip, hand tools will be easier to hold if you slide some plumber’s insulating tubing over the handle, or there are specialist ranges with wide spongy grips.


  • Find the best way for you to carry your tools.  You could use a garden cart, wheelbarrow or bucket. A garden cart with an aluminium frame allows you to carry long tools and hand tools with smaller items in its tray. It also holds a refuse sack.


  • Hand tools can be carried in a tool belt, apron or bag – whatever you find easy.  Secateurs can be safely carried in a holster.

When planting either in containers or in the ground it is helpful to have clearly marked out areas so you know where you are planting. This can be achieved by using brightly coloured string,tape or ribbon.

With planning and practice there is no reason you should not be gardening with sight loss and still be able to enjoy the benefits of your labours.

My mother-in-law was blind yet still loved to know her garden was beautiful and enjoyed the feel and the smell of the hanging baskets I planted each year. I used to take them into her bedroom so she could feel and smell them.


Award-winning blogger and former care columnist for Devon Life magazine. I am passionate about helping elderly people and people with dementia live purposeful and independent lives.
Designer of the Dementia Assistance Card and Points Of Light award recipient, Caron hopes to help carers when resources are limited and demand is ever-increasing. I am here to support you.

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