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The Ability Garden
 
2013 Water Garden Tour
 
With Spring finally here, the Coastal Water Garden Tour is in the midst of preparations for their 2013 extravaganza, an event that benefits the New Hanover County Arboretum's wonderful Ability Garden program. The Ability Garden provides therapeutic gardening instruction and activities for area residents with various forms of disability.
 
The tour occurs Saturday, June 1st from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday, June 2nd from 12 p.m. until 4 p.m.. This year's tour includes 11 sites, several showcasing 2 or more water features. Designers include Drew Thorndyke of Cape Fear Water Gardens, Josh Rickards of Creative Cascades and Sue LoRusso of Hampstead Landscaping.
 
A wonderful addition to this year's event is the presence of Handmade Wilmington, a group that will be hosting a local artisan's market featuring music and food on the Arboretum grounds with their booth fees benefiting the Ability Garden.
 
Tickets are $15 and can be purchased at The Arboretum, The Stone Garden, The Transplanted Garden, Seasoned Gourmet and at Pender Pines Nursery. For more information, please call The Arboretum at 910-798-7660.
Don't miss this opportunity to marvel at and enjoy the works of local landscape designers.
 
Horticulture Therapy
Horticulture Therapy, a program of the Arboretum at New Hanover County focuses on the Ability Garden.  This is a unique garden space designed to encourage and promote successful gardening opportunities. Some of the features that make the Ability Garden special are:
• Raised beds
• Adaptive equipment
• A wide variety of garden containers including "vertical garden boxes"
• Barrier-free space
• An outdoor classroom
• "Hands-on" activities for all
• Free of charge
 
Who uses the Ability Garden?
The Ability Garden encourages and promotes successful gardening for groups and individuals who have a variety of physical and sensory abilities. Some of our users are:
• Nursing homes
• Group homes
• Rehabilitation facilities
• Support groups for specific populations
• Adult day care
• Physically and/or mentally challenged individuals
• Special education classes


 
What services does the Ability Garden provide to the community?
The site provides the opportunity for all citizens to engage in gardening activities within a "can do" environment. Gardening is promoted as essential to our concept of quality of life for individuals of all ages and abilities. Some of the services offered are:
• Staff includes a registered horticultural therapist
• Speakers on a variety of accessible gardening and related issues
• The Try-A-Tool Program featuring a wide variety of adaptive equipment
• Arboretum tours geared to the needs of the group
• Opportunity to experience nature related activities