Journal of Therapeutic Horticulture 13 - 2002


Stress Recovery Effects of Viewing Red-Flowering Geraniums
Eunhee Kim, PhD and Richard H. Mattson, PhD

To document the influences of plant visual characteristics on human health benefits, this study examined the stress-recovery effects of viewing red-flowering geraniums (green foliage with red flowers) as compared to non-flowering geraniums (green foliage without flowers) and to no plants, by measuring psychophysiological indicators and self-rated emotional states. Viewing red-flowering geraniums significantly enhanced stress recovery of high-stress induced females, as indicated by greater recovery in electroencephalograph beta (21-27 Hz) and electrodermal activities. Females who viewed red-flowering geraniums also self-reported improved positive emotions and greater attentiveness in the Zuckerman Inventory of Personal Reactions. Stress recovery responses of males to red-flowering geraniums, nonflowering geraniums, or no plants were not significantly different.

Influence of an Outdoor Garden on Mood and Stress in Older Persons
Susan Rodiek

Despite recent interest in healing gardens and therapeutic landscapes at residential care facilities, few empirical studies have measured health outcomes in elderly populations. This study explored methods for assessing psychological and physiological outcomes associated with natural environments. Seventeen residents ranging from 71 to 98 years of age (mean 84.7) engaged in the same activities at an outdoor horticultural garden or indoor classroom. Before and after the experience, subjects were assessed for positive and negative mood, anxiety, and salivary cortisol. No significant change was found in mood or anxiety level. Cortisol was significantly lower in the garden environment compared with the indoor settings, indicating greater reduction in stress level. This pilot study supports previous research finding health-related outcomes associated with brief exposure to natural environments.

The Importance of School Gardening for Urban Children: A Case Study in Milan, Italy
Manuela Baietto and Francesco Ferrini

Contact with plants has become, in modern society, a rare experience for children and many horticultural programs concerning environmental education have been set up either for children with psycho-physical problems or simply to stimulate knowledge and respect of nature. The research carried out on this topic has underlined an increase of self-control, a deepening of the concept of nature, a better comprehension of the meaning of work, an increased sense of pride and accomplishment, an improvement in care-taking and nurturing behavior and, in general, a notable contribution to the mental development of the involved children (Adil, 1994). In this way, these children do not perceive themselves as passive subjects in the scholastic environment.

In Italy, nursery or elementary schools that include alternative programs as plant care are very few and participating in horticultural activities is not really encouraged. Thus the aim of this paper was to propose a solution for a school in Milan that could stimulate a multi-disciplinary approach to fill the lack of programs and structures.

Gardening as a Treatment Modality in an Acute Psychiatric Center
Lynn Bortz, OTR and Mira Cal, MOT

At Shalvata Mental Health Center, an acute psychiatric hospital in central Israel, the gardening program has become a popular treatment modality. Treatment takes place both individually and in group settings. Patients vary in age from juveniles to mature adults with a wide variety of psychiatric diagnoses and levels of illness ranging from acute to chronic phases. Generalized treatment goals of the gardening project include the performance areas of productive and leisure activities with sensori-motor and cognitive performance components and psychosocial skills. Goals of the program are influenced by temporal and environmental factors and both goals and the treatment course are suited to the individual. The program can be either therapeutic or rehabilitative in essence. Several criteria for acceptance exist. A survey of both clients and their case-managers will be presented relating to the efficacy of the treatment tool.

First Jobs in the Green Industry
Joel Flagler, HTR

Horticulture is being used effectively in the training and treatment of youth with behavioral and emotional problems. First Jobs in the Green Industry uses gardens and greenhouses as learning and treatment settings. Rutgers University Cooperative Extension of Bergen County delivers the specialized horticultural program with support from the County Vocational-Technical School and the Division of Mental Health. The program, in its fifth year, operates year-round on $75,000 in annual funding from state sources. This innovative program is popular with the youth, their counselors, and funders alike. Successes with plants have impacted positively on the participants’ behavior.

Social and Therapeutic Horticulture in the United Kingdom
David Foster

Thrive was established in 1978 as the United Kingdom charity that uses gardening to improve the lives of disabled, disadvantaged, and older people. Thrive runs four garden projects, supports a network of 1,600 independent projects, provides advice to individuals on easier gardening, and researches and promotes the benefits of gardening. Thrive started to formalize a network of projects in 1998. Many projects were isolated, marginalized, and under-resourced. The first task was to collate information about the range and type of services offered and to find out and respond to the needs of the network of projects. The overwhelming number of practitioners could see networking as an effective way of sharing information and forging mutually beneficial relationships. They were keen for Thrive to play an active role in establishing these networks further. This article will talk about the challenges and trends of social and therapeutic horticulture projects in the United Kingdom as seen through the work of Thrive.

Application of a Client-Centered Horticultural Therapy Approach in a Behavioral Setting
Linda Salomon

The horticultural therapy project in Israel’s Hod School for children with behavioral disorders attempts to apply a client-centered approach in a behavioral setting. The client group consists of children with low self-awareness and poor verbal skills. The therapeutic garden is a facilitating environment that provides freedom to make choices and decisions and experience creativity and play. The clients play the dominant role in the therapeutic process and the therapist performs minimal interventions and allows nature to take its course.

Horticultural Therapy and Bartimeus Education: Recent Developments in the Netherland
Hans Schuman

This article deals with three recent developments in the Netherlands regarding horticulture therapy and the work of Bartiméus Education. Bartiméus Education developed gardening as part of an empowering curriculum for visually impaired pupils at a special secondary school. In recognizing the impact of a visual impairment on the acquisition of common knowledge and skills, Bartiméus Education started to think of new and innovative ways to support self-empowerment in pupils with visual impairments. One of the outcomes was a beautiful garden of 2500 square meters where pupils deliberately learn to use their remaining senses. The garden is a place where they work, have fun, and acquire knowledge and skills that will support their transition to adulthood and society.

What Makes a Garden a Healing Garden?
Ulrika A. Stogsdptter and Patrik Grahn

The interest in healing gardens has increased around the world. Several research disciplines and professions deal today in different ways with healing gardens. However, do we define the healing garden and its effects on the visitor’s well-being in the same way, or are we talking about different things? This article consists of two parts. The first part discusses healing influences of healing gardens based on theories and findings from the different research disciplines of environmental psychology, landscape architecture, medicine, and horticultural therapy. The second part of the article focuses on the people the healing garden is intended for. When dealing with healing gardens, it is fundamental to try to find answers to how and why the human being benefits from being in a healing garden.

A Universally Designed Garden for New Horticultural Therapy Education in Japan
Fusayo Asano and Yoshisuke Miyake

The first horticultural therapy professional curriculum at a public school in Japan started in September 2002. Its mission is to disperse the proper knowledge and skills of horticultural therapy in Japan. This article introduces the new curriculum of horticultural therapy education and its universally designed garden and explains the background of the establishment of the horticultural therapy professional course and the universally designed Horticultural Therapy Garden at Hyogo-Prefectural Awaji Landscape Planning and Horticultural Academy.

The Profession of Horticultural Therapy Programs Compared with other Allied Therapies
Candice A. Shoemaker, Ph.D.

The 1950s and 1960s saw the beginnings of defining horticultural therapy as a profession and the need for formally trained horticultural therapists. Historically, horticulture was used as an activity or diversion for hospital patients, for vocational training, and in occupational therapy. Horticultural therapy continues to be closely affiliated with these allied therapies such as occupational therapy, recreational therapy, and activity therapy. Comparisons between these allied therapies can be a useful tool in understanding the past and defining or identifying strategies for the growth and development of the profession into the future. This paper provides a brief history of the profession and an in-depth comparison of the evolution of horticultural therapy to the other allied therapies.

Proposing Horticultural Therapy Programs in Residential or Day Treatment Facilities
Charles E. Majuri Ph.D.

Implementing horticultural therapy into an institutional setting is contingent on many variables. The intent of this article is to address a few of those variables that may determine the success or failure of attempts to include horticultural therapy into an established, conventional, clinical treatment structure. Specifically addressed are the issues of instituting horticultural therapy on the programmatic level as opposed to having temporary or seasonal garden projects, which are much less formalized and may or may not include horticultural therapy techniques. Particular attention is given regarding specific and key personnel one needs to deal with and strategies for these interactions for horticultural therapy programs to be successful.