I’ve come across a couple of small articles on how gardening soothes us. “Geosmin” is the component in soil that affects our brains and gives us a feeling of peace. But, did you know there is a formal association for and about horticultural therapy? My guest this week, Jeff, the Plant Guy, reminded me. He highlighted the various institutions he personally travels to, various programs he shares and the positive results. Results can happen on a more subtle level. Memories are stirred, we think back to other times and places often with positive results. Here’s a great article that talks about gardening improving longevity.

Horticultural therapy is a time-proven practice. The therapeutic benefits of garden environments have been documented since ancient times. In the 19th century, Dr. Benjamin Rush, a signer of the Declaration of Independence and recognized as the “Father of American Psychiatry,” was first to document the positive effect working in the garden had on individuals with mental illness.” (American Horticultural Therapy Association)

They also state: “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.” (American Horticultural Therapy Association)

I had an opportunity a couple of years ago to help out at the Hobbs Farm on LI. They produced food for the 11 food banks that existed at that time throughout LI.

The founder had a son who was severely injured in a car accident and disabled. They were able to put in a macadam surface for wheelchair access and built high raised beds for wheelchair bound folk. The canopy and benches gave them a place for snacks and a way to get out of the sun. It was and is a very practical and useful therapeutic design garden area, all part of the bigger farm.

Today I’d like to remind you to get out into your yards, gardens, nearby forests. If you can’t and have houseplants spend some time with them today. They clean our air, add moisture to it and lend a feeling of well being. All good.

Do you have any memories connected to a particular plant or flower? We enjoy hearing from you. Please share. Thanks. Judith

 

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