Basics of Horticultural Therapy

The American Horticultural Therapy Association (AHTA) states that “the benefits of involvement in horticultural activities and exposure to nature can be seen in cognitive, psychological, social, and physical realms and research continues to revea

from GreenHouse17
from GreenHouse17

l these connections across many groups of people”(AHTA, 2012). Therapy through the use of horticulture is the idea that working with and being surrounded by flowers, plants, and produce can have numerous healing results through physical work; smell, touch, and sight stimulation; social interaction; and various skill development. The design and layout of the healing gardens and farms utilized for therapy is also an important aspect of any program, especially in regards to sensory stimulation. Horowitz gives an example of how this is approached: “Plants selected should engage as many of the senses as possible, have evocative meanings for the cultural or age groups served, and include medicinal plants and those that do not require pesticides. The plants may also need to be tailored to particular patient populations”(2012).

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