Volunteer Rutgers Master Gardeners Promote the Growth of Horticultural Therapy in their Community
Madeline Flahive DiNardo and Katherine Sabatino

To promote the benefits of horticultural therapy, the Rutgers Master Gardeners of Union County, New Jersey offer an “Introduction to Horticultural Therapy” program. The volunteer Master Gardeners provide eight horticultural therapy sessions to county agencies that serve people with special needs. The objectives of the program are to provide administrators with information and practical experience for continuing a horticultural therapy program and teach participants basic horticultural skills. Rutgers Cooperative Extension provides training and recognition for the volunteers. The Master Gardeners have a horticultural therapy committee structure in which four co-chairs share responsibility for program recruitment and scheduling, supplies, and horticultural therapy activities. The program has been offered at 57 sites, reaching over 1,625 children and adults with special needs. Agencies have incorporated horticultural activities into curriculum and activity schedules and planted community and accessible gardens as a result of the program.

The Importance of Community Gardening for Homeless Women: A Pilot Study
Cathy A. Pierce and Linda M. Seals

Families with children are the fastest-growing sector of the homeless population; most of these families are headed by single women and reside in shelters rather than on the streets. Loss of one’s home, the conditions of shelter life, and the physical and sexual abuse that often precipitate homelessness result in a diminished sense of self-efficacy. The study described here investigated the impact that participation in gardening activities has on the self-efficacy of homeless women. Results suggest participation in gardening activities can play an important role in helping homeless women develop increased self-efficacy, which will help them to escape from homelessness.

Heritage Alzheimer’s Garden: A Post-Occupancy Assessment
Emily Diehl Schlenker, PsyD, RN, CHN, RMT

A courtyard attached to a nursing home Alzheimer’s unit was converted to a garden space at the request of administrators and staff members. An evaluation tool created by Clare Cooper Marcus was adapted to assess frequency of use and acceptance of the garden by 20 unit residents, ten staff members, and a few members of residents’ families. The overall appreciation of the garden was evident, although some areas of the garden call for expansion and improvement.

Skills and Theories to Inform Horticultural Therapy Practice
Matthew J. Wichrowski MSW, HTR

Horticultural therapy practitioners utilize an eclectic variety of approaches in their work with a broad array of patient groups. Currently a framework for horticultural therapy treatment is still in the early stages of development. This review looks at a variety of theories that serve as guidelines for skill development, offers theoretical orientations that can help to provide favorable outcomes in particular settings, and helps inform the practice of horticultural therapy.

An Empirical Approach to Feng Shui in Terms of Psychological Well-being
Ke-Tsung Han, Ph.D.

Feng Shui has endured as an art of ideal site selection in China for more than 2000 years and still remains popular today. Similarly, therapeutic horticulture has been a means of human well-being since ancient Egypt and has received increasing attention and support in recent years. However, the usefulness of Feng Shui has seldom been empirically examined. In this study, self-rating questionnaires were used to collect 40 subjects’ responses in terms of five states of emotion, two types of cognition, and two kinds of preference before and after they saw scenes either with or without good Feng Shui. The results showed that the subjects preferred the Feng Shui environments, but that this preference did not reach statistical significance and a medium effect size for Cohen’s d. Moreover, the Feng Shui landscapes had the effect of creating, in those who observed them, positive emotional and cognitive states, particularly increased confidence, with a large effect size. The findings obtained from this preliminary study seem to indicate that this ancient method of site selection might not be purely superstitious.

Therapeutic Gardening with Physical Rehabilitation Patients
Brenda Lantz

The objectives of this paper are to outline the benefits and goals of a therapeutic gardening program and give a global view of how a therapeutic gardening program is utilized within an acute neurological rehabilitation hospital setting. The Therapeutic Gardening Program at The Institute for Rehabilitation and Research (TIRR) in Houston, Texas is described, including an explanation of adaptive equipment, types of gardening tasks that are incorporated into a holistic therapy program, and the particular therapy goals addressed. The garden area at TIRR provides a safe place to work on therapy goals related to mobility, cognition, expression, and leisure, as well as learn adaptive skills for gardening with a disability.