National Garden Scheme Partnership

Evidence suggests that the benefits of gardening can be huge.

A report by our partner, the National Garden Scheme, showed that gardening can:

The report suggests garden access has potential to help with healthcare costs, and should be used more in our health and social care system.  

Even a little time spent gardening can be good exercise, so whether you prefer window boxes or an allotment, gardening can be for everyone.

Gardening tips and advice if you have Parkinson's

Adapt your Garden

  • Widening pathways may help, especially if you use a wheelchair or walking aid.
  • Narrowing flower beds reduces the distance you have to reach.
  • Raised beds mean you don’t have to bend so far to tend to plants or vegetables.

Choose plants and tools to suit you

  • Long-handled tools or high-stemmed plants mean less bending.
  • Ground cover planting, gravel or shingle can all help reduce weeds, meaning less time kneeling.
  • Consider carrying your tools – a simple apron with large pockets, a tool belt or wheelbarrow can save you time and effort.
  • Create a relaxing environment with lavender plants or the sound of a water feature.

Stay safe

  • Stretching and regular breaks can stop you getting too stiff or straining your muscles.
  • Remember the effect your medication may have on your ability to garden. Think about times you're 'on' – and don't forget to take your tablets while absorbed in gardening.
  • Try taking a pill timer or reminder alarm to help you stay on track.

Seek advice

  • Discuss your needs with a nurse, local adviser or occupational therapist, who can advise you on accessibility and daily living aids, or help you with an exercise plan that includes gardening.
  • We have a range of daily living aids, including pill timers and equipment to assist when out and about in our shop.
  • For further advice, try the equipment finder at Carry On Gardening where you can filter by garden job and disability.
  • Get advice at Thrive, a charity that provides gardening information for people with disabilities.
  • The Gardening for Disabled Trust gives grants to people with disabilities or illness across the UK so they can continue to garden. People of any age can apply for a grant or free membership.
  • If you don’t have garden access, consider visiting a public outdoor space. Find your nearest National Garden Scheme opening.

About our partnership

Over 3,700 beautiful gardens throughout England and Wales open each year on behalf of the National Garden Scheme. These gardens help raise vital funds to support charities - including Parkinson's UK.

In 2018, the National Garden Scheme donated £185,000, our largest ever gift. All the money donated by the National Garden Scheme is raised through garden entry fees, teas and cake.

The National Garden Scheme is Parkinson UK's largest corporate supporter - our partnership has now raised over £950,000 since 2012. We were delighted to be the first guest charity to be named a permanent beneficiary in 2016.

Michelle's story - gardening and Parkinson's

"Things that I plant and nurture in my little garden have helped me to focus on the future in a positive way, which has made me feel back in control of my life again."

Read Michelle's Story
Michelle holds up a plant at her local garden center