Gardening is a popular and relaxing pastime which you can continue or start to enjoy if you are blind or partially sighted.

Getting into gardening

RNIB has worked with Thrive to make gardening more accessible. Thrive is the leading charity in the UK that uses gardening to bring about positive changes in the lives of people who are living with disabilities or ill health, or are isolated, disadvantaged or vulnerable. This is known as therapeutic horticulture. 

RNIB, in partnership with Thrive, has developed a range of services which provide information and guidance to gardeners who have sight loss. We also have the following factsheets available which provide advice, information and contact details to help blind and partially sighted people to access gardening:


Thrive can also provide you with useful hints and tips from other gardeners who have sight loss. They offer a range of services including:

  • How to set up a local gardening club guide, which can help you to start your own club. 
  • Gardening advice by telephone, email or post to help you with any gardening questions you may have, with some information by post available in braille and large print and on CD.
  • Carry on gardening website, which brings you easier ways to do everyday gardening jobs with tried and tested gardening equipment and tools for people who have sight loss.
  • Annual membership costs £25 and includes a quarterly "Growth Point" magazine available online.
  • Set training courses delivered regionally across the academic year. Bespoke training is also available alongside representation at seminars and conferences.
  • Specialised gardening publications available to purchase (the catalogue of publications is available on the Thrive website and you can also request this in large print from Thrive).

The following publications are currently available from Thrive and are available in large print and audio formats:

  • Getting on with gardening 
  • Getting on with growing food
  • Getting on with growing in containers 
  • Gardening Yearbook
  • Gardening Together

Although Thrive no longer hold stocks of these books, they can print out colour photocopies and bind them, or send audio CDs. There are also a limited number of braille copies available too. They can also be downloaded from Thrive's website in PDF format for free. For more information about any of the support provided by Thrive telephone 0118 988 5688 or email [email protected].