Blend Wheelchair Ramps Into Your Landscape Design

July 22nd, 2011 by
As the Baby Boomer generation ages, it’s possible that we’ll see a shift in how residential areas are made accessible. It’s not hard to imagine McMansions with wide, elaborately decorated granite wheel chair ramps. These design features could add a sense of sweeping majesty to a home while making it easier for friends and family members on wheels to make a grand entrance. Right now, most ramps are tacked on to a house as an afterthought. They provide necessary functionality but aren’t all that attractive. That’s why YardShare contributor AZ_Jamie is asking for help in concealing a wheelchair ramp so it’s not visible from the street.

Front Yard Wheelchair Ramp

The trick here is to make sure the landscaping doesn’t crowd the ramp but still offers adequate coverage. It’s also got to hide the ramp all year – not just during the spring and summer. An evergreen hedge is one option, but it’s not the most imaginative choice. A blend of hardscaping and landscaping is a better idea. Why not build or buy a sturdy trellis with a nice frame? Something prefab like this (but slightly larger), would be the easiest to install:

Trellis to blend a Wheelchair Ramp

The trellis itself creates a screen that breaks up the outline of the ramp even before vines start filling in the gaps. The structure should be placed at least a foot away from the ramp railing so vegetation doesn’t spill over into the aisle. The garden box in front of this trellis provides one step down to make the visual transition from the trellis to the ground less abrupt. Adding a small garden bed in front of the trellis box and extending it along the perimeter of the pathway up to the ramp would complete this area. The existing shrub by the driveway could be pulled and one added near the corner post (the one with the gutter downspout) instead for better coverage and better “flow”. To keep from flooding the new bush, an extension can be added to the downspout to divert water away and into the yard.