Horticultural therapy is based on the idea that interacting with plants will results in well-being, no matter if it is a professionally designed garden or just having plants in your home. Many studies reported that just spending some time in nature- such as walking through a garden, a park, a forest- can improve not only the performance of your mind but your blood pressure, your heart rate, and your stress hormone level and eventually will bring you longer life.
Horticulture therapy has a long history. The therapeutic benefits of garden have been recorded since ancient time. In the 1940s and 1950s, horticulture therapy was used for hospitalized war veterans that resulted in significant positive improvement on their state of mind. After that, this practice no longer limited to treating mental illness, but it was embraced for a much wider range of diagnoses and therapeutic options. Today, horticultural therapy is accepted as a beneficial and effective therapeutic modality.
Horticulture therapy techniques are utilized to assist clients to learn new skills or regain those that are lost. Horticulture therapy helps to improve memory, cognitive abilities, task initiation, language skills, and socialization. In physical rehabilitation, horticultural therapy can help strengthen muscles and improve coordination, balance, and endurance. In vocational horticultural therapy settings, people learn to work independently, problem solve, and follow directions. Horticultural therapists are professionals with specific education, training, and credentials in the use of horticultural for therapy and rehabilitation.
What makes a garden therapeutic? The basic features of a therapeutic garden can include wide and gently graded accessible entrances and paths, raised planting beds and containers, and a sensory-oriented plant selection focused on color, texture, and fragrance. Learn more by reading AHTA’s characteristics of therapeutic gardens.
A therapeutic garden is a plant-dominated environment purposefully designed to facilitate interaction with the healing elements of nature. Interactions can be passive or active depending on the garden design and users’ needs. There are many sub-types of therapeutic gardens including healing gardens, enabling gardens, rehabilitation gardens, and restorative gardens.
To learn more about therapeutic gardens, please read this source: PDF