Journal of Therapeutic Horticulture 11 - 2000


Benefits of Gardening: An Exploratory Study of the Mid-Aged Women in New Zealand
Judith L. Kidd, MSW, Mag, Nancy A. Pachana, PhD, and Fiona M. Alpass, PhD

Gardening is a major leisure activity in New Zealand, especially for mid-aged and older women. Although it has long been recognized as a beneficial form of physical exercise and lifestyle, the non-physical therapeutic benefits are little researched. This exploratory study of menopausal women gardeners examines the relationship between gardening and women's psychological and physical well-being, identifies the extent to which women participate in a specific gardening activities, and describes the perceived beneficial effects obtained from various levels of involvement.

Treatment of the Sexually Violent Predator: A Horticultural Approach
Robert B. Gibson and Michael P. Hughes

Horticultural therapy can be a usefull adjunct in the treatment of high-risk repeat sex offenders. This paper provides a description of a garden group and rationale for its use in the treatment of sexually violent predators at Atascadero State Hospital. Key compenents in the Sex Offender Commitment Program that are supported by the garden group include the acquisition of skills for tolerating frustration, delaying gratification, improving self-esteem and self-efficacy, and managing leisure time.

Perspectives on Intergenerational Horticultural Therapy
Mary Predny and Paula Diane Relf

Horticulture has shown to be a useful therapeutic and educational tool when working with elderly adults, children, and developmentally and physically disabled individuals, and many other special populations. Recently, there has been an increased interest in intergenerational programs that combine older adults and children. These programs have many potential benefits such as decreased isolation and negative attitudes and an increased understanding and acceptance between the different generations through exposure to diversity. Previous research indicates that not all intergenerational programs are successful.  This paper will discuss the previous intergenerational research findings and guidelines, the uses and benefits of horticulture for elderly adults and children, and research done by the authors using these guidelines to implement an intergenerational horticultural therapy program.

Introduction and Development of Horticultural Therapy in Japan
Eisuke Matsuo, Hiroyuki Takafuji, and Hideki Hirano

Horticulture has been used as a therapeutic tool around the world. This has also been true in Japan. However, when referring to the definition of horticultural therapy as specifed by the American Horticultural Therapy Association, horticultural therapy has not truly taken place in Japan. Recently, some trials in horticultural therapy have begun in Japan. This paper deals with the present status of the Japanese therpeutic use of horticulture, the introduction of horticultural therapy into Japan by Japanese and foreign horticultural therapists, and the development of horticultural therapy.

Cultivating Life Skills: Prairie Treasures Vocational Horticulture Workshop
Karen Denise Sellers

Horticultural therapy at Larned State Hospital began in 1955 with the construction of a greenhouse. Through the years, its purpose has changed from production to meeting client therapeutic needs and embracing developing trends in mental health services. Currently, the program offers therapeutic and vocational activities while at the same time providing support services for the hospital. This study will focus on the design of the greenhouse vocational program, a horticulture workshop known as Prairie Treasures. The effectiveness of the workshop in assisting clients to meet individual treatment objectives will also be discussed and evaluated.

Adapting an Existing Greenhouse for Accessibility by an Older Adult Population with Developmental Disabilities
Devah Brinker, MS, HTR

As a result of implementing person-centered planning in the State of New Jersey, individuals with developmental disabilities are given choices and options in decisions that govern their lives. Increased medical technology and optimal rehabilitation have allowed this population to live longer than any other generation of disabled individuals in the past. Retirement and leisure time activities are new options that have been offered beyond the productivitiy and employment era.

Vocational horticulture and horticultural therapy have proven in the past to be excellent personal and community activities that promote and enhance the well being of all persons, especially the elderly. The New Lisbon Developmental Center's Horticulture program has work and leisure options but depended on a greenhouse that was inadequate for its participants because their physical disabilities have increased with age. This project was initiated to change the greenhouse's physical restraints to provide adequate functioning of the aging horticulture participants.

Exploring Accessibility: A Hands-on Teaching Tool
Paula Diane Relf and Mary Predny

As part of a horticulture therapy class assignment, groups of three to four students each spent one and half hours analyzing a Virginia Tech greenhouse while using various equipment to simulate disabilities that future clients may have. Their instructional goal was to analyze the greenhouse and surrounding area for accessibility. The purpose of this assignment was to develop insight into the limitations that the environment can have on individuals with disabilities, awareness of the adaptations that can be used in horticulture for disable individuals, and empathy for future clientele. The results were written in comments from the students regarding the class. Their comments were most constructive and gave insight into the value of such an assignment for future use.