A Garden for All

Date posted: April 11, 2014

This spring quarter Bellevue College will now have a garden that’s open for any ability!

On a recent sunny day, English instructor and Garden adviser Karrin Peterson showed off the new ADA approved garden so we could understand the ways gardening is now going to be available to all abilities on campus.

Karrin first showed off the new raised garden beds, her inspiration for which came from Professor Dr. Willem Van Cotthem’s YouTube Video on Bottle Tower gardens.  Karrin stands beside her variation on the video which utilizes recycled yogurt containers to hold the lettuce and flowers in an upright design which makes the maintenance and harvesting accessible from multiple angles and heights, an easier reach for most.

The raised strawberry buckets have over 22 plants in just 1 square yard!  These raised container gardens were inspired by the UW Garden and could also easily hold 2 broccoli plants (or many other varieties) per bucket making them a salad “bucket” of sorts.  In both the middle of the strawberry and lettuce/flower buckets is a metal rod in which water is fed down through all areas, there are also holes and gravel at the bottom of the containers for water filtration.  Gardens such as these not only make it easier for all ages or abilities to plant and harvest but they are also a great solution for those living in environments that do not have a typical gardening space available.

Raised garden beds show water filtration center

Another addition to the garden is a drip irrigation system that was being installed when we met, which along with water retentive soil in the beds, the added mulch and all watering done at night on a timer will combine to help minimize water evaporation and loss.  The hope is to bring in a water measuring device in the near future so the garden will be able to report usage and manage efforts for sustainable water consumption.

new drip water irrigation in an ADA bed

This bed (above) having irrigation installed is a medicinal herb bed with a variety of plant varieties and the bed (below) is empty for the new spring quarter nutrition class which will be a poly cultural bed, meaning it will be a mixed bed full of all sorts of different plants.  Our own surprise garden bed right here on campus, how fun!

ADA approved beds at Bellevue College

Spring usually means Earth Week, flowers blooming and gardens being planted…. now at Bellevue College many more can participate in what spring has to offer!