Skagit County Master Gardener Foundation

Cultivating plants, people and communities since 1977

One of our most popular gardens in our Discovery Garden is our Enabling Garden. Master Gardeners have had many requests for plans or suggestions for “how to do this at home.”


The six raised beds and ergonomic tool display illustrate ways to garden for those with limited strength, energy and physical ability. Scented, colorful, textured plants are featured in the raised beds, some of which offer sitting ledges.


Enabling Garden Projects and Plans

These plans are for building permanent structures for a public garden, such as the Discovery Garden. Another option for home owners is to purchase a raised bed garden kit, available at garden centers.

Click on the titles to access the plans for each garden.

LatticeGardenLattice Garden
This 8′ x 4′ x 1′ bed with lattice down the center provides two easily reachable sections. The lattice can support perennials or vegetables.


SittingLedgeSitting Ledge
This 8′ x 4′ x 2′ bed with a sitting ledge along the sides provides a comfortable working height, especially for bad backs and an easy reach from each side.


VisuallyimpairedVisually Impaired Garden
This 8′ x 4′ x 33″ table-bed is designed for wheelchairs to fit under. The planting design is to assist the visually impaired to locate the central focus of interest. Extremely colorful plants should be fragrant and/or textured.

WheelchairGardenWheelchair and Walker Garden
This 8′ x 4′ x 33″ table is designed for easy wheelchair accessibility and walker stability. All areas are easily reached by the three indented working spaces.


LogSidesLog Sides
This 8′ by 4′ x 18″ bed can be constructed to any comfortable height. The logs are fastened together with rebar. For a greenhouse cover use 1/2″ PVC pipe as shown in the picture.


SquareFootRaisedSquare Foot Raised Garden
This 8′ x 4′ x 2′ bed is divided into 1′ sections for intensive, continual harvest planting which limits weeding, thinning and most physical exertion. The garden can easily be managed with a trowel.


The Enabling Garden hosts the Carnivorous Plant Display


More Resources


Read this great article titled Ergonomic Tools & Methods by a Master Gardener that was published in the Skagit Valley Herald. 

Also check out a Master Gardener written article on Gardening with Raised Beds.  Here are the resource files: Construction Instructions – Materials List Raised Bed Diagram

WSU Extension Publications  “Gardening for Life” is a great resource for senior gardeners and gardeners with disabilities. Click here to read.

Other Enabling Ideas

While strolling through the Discovery Garden, check out our crushed gravel trails and the Vegetable Garden raised beds for additional inspiration to incorporate in your personal enabling garden.

Garden Path Improvements

Enabling Garden Plant List

#Botanical NameCultivarCommon nameTreeNative
1Cercis canadensis 'Ruby Falls'weeping eastern redbud*
2Euonymus fortunei 'Emerald 'n Gold'winter creeper
3Hakonechloa albovarigataJapanese forest grass
4Carex oshimensis 'Evergold'sedge grass
6Lavendula 'Anouk'French lavender
7Heuchera micrantha 'Palace Purple'coral bells
8Lavatera arboreatree mallow
9Rosa rugosa 'William Lobb'shrub rose
10Lonicera japonicahoney suckle
11Stachys byzantinalambs' ears
12Hydrangea anomalaclimbing hydrangea
13Hemerocallis lilioasphodeluslemon daylily
15Clematis 'Vanso' Blue LIght ®clematis
16Helleborus orientalis 'Heritage Cherrywood'lenten rose
17Camellia japonica 'Debutante'
18Cersis canadensiseastern redbud*
19Kerria japonicaJapanese rose
21Erica erigena 'Superba'pink heath
22Erica carnea 'Springwood White'winter heath
23Malus 'Evereste'crabapple*