Mark has created a successful garden design business and last year joined GW TV, where he highlights, among other things, issues for those with mobility problems. Although born with spina bifida, it hardly affected him until after the accident 16 years ago. “We had to suddenly rethink our lives and my partner, Jasen, said, ‘you know so much about plants why don’t you do something with them?’” After a garden landscape course, he hasn’t looked back.
His gardens for clients, both with and without mobility problems, avoid a straight-sided, raised-bed, ‘institutionalised’ look, instead he incorporates features like raised tables and uses a long-handled spade to dig holes and a ‘grabber’ to handle plant pots.
Mark’s biggest bugbear is paths that are too narrow for wheelchairs and a lack of turning spots; and he recommends raised path edging for those with spatial awareness problems. In his own garden, hedges are at a height he can trim himself. “I want the garden to be like a normal garden so there are hedges that are at a ‘teasing’ height for those standing who can see over them. Of course, I can’t, but I can still see a hedge and wonder what is around the corner.”