Journal of Therapeutic Horticulture 2 - 1987


Horticultural Therapy in Substance Abuse Treatment
Thomas A. Cornille, PhD, Glenn E. Rohrer, PhD, Stephen G. Phillips, BFA, Jean G.Mosier, OTR 

Most horticultural therapy programs in the United States serve clients who are either in long-term residential programs or who are living independently in the communiy. This report describes a horticultural therapy program in a short-term residential program for individuals with a history of substance abuse. Its development, structure and benefilS are presented, along with recommendations in the hope that similar programs may be developed. Recently a patient, who had participated in the horticultural therapy program made a gift for his primary therapist that summed up the program. It went like this, 'The philosopher that said a job well done never needs re-doing, never weeded a garden". 

Gardens From a Child’s View—An Interpretation of Children’s Art-work
Catherine Eberbach

What are gardens from a child's view? Whal would children like gardens to be? What garden features and elements are important to children? Since the eventual success of any design rests on how sensitively landscape features intermingle with user behavior and preference, answers to these questions may influence how children's gardens are designed. Over the years, numerous books have outlined children's gardening activities (Huckaby and Skelsey, 1973; MacLaJchie, 1977; Ocone, 1983). Public gardens and school systems have historically offered supervised, structured children's gardening programs (Bailey, 1909; Clapp, 1901; Gager, 1914; Greene, 1910; Sullivan, 1938). These gardens typically involved rows of small, rectangular plots linked together by a series of pathways and a central communal area. Although well informed about how to garden with children, we know little about children's perception and use of garden space. 

Horticultural Training for Adolescent Special Education Students
Douglas L. Airhart, HTM, Thomas Willis, EdD, Pamela Westrick, MA

Horticultural therapy uses plants and plant-related activities as treatment for persons with mental or physical disabilities, or for rehabilitation training for individuals with developmental disabilities to qualify them for transitional employment. The purpose of this paper is to describe a horticultural training program which was designed to improve behavioral and prevocational skills of adolescent students unable to attend regular high schools. Prior appraisal by the job developer of a client's adaptability to the program was required to provide realistic expectations of progress. A clear statement of the training objectives was combined with a detailed task analysis of the activities suggested for each client. Demonstrations and short, direct instructional cues were used to initiate job skill Sequences. A structured work routine similar to a shelteredd workshop was followed to instill confidence and avoid confusion in clients. Experienced clients were allowed to assist new clients to increase comraderie and build confidence. Parents were encouraged to cooperate at home with a token remuneration for successful completion of work tasks. Many clients requested to return to the program. For them, an improved self-image and degree of self-sufficiency was a worthy achievement. Continued job skill development was encouraged to increase clients' employability.

Evaluating the Effectiveness of Your Horticultural Therapy Program
Patricia J. Zandstra, HTM 

Professional horticultural therapists are responsible for evaluating their programs to see if they are having the desired effect. A formal evaluation is also of interest to clients, administrators.funding sources, and others who must discriminate between the effectiveness of various health care services. To gather information for a formal report, programs with individualized goals and objectives must be evaluated on the collective results of the success or failure of each individual program. Programs with standardized goals and objectives rely on the collective pre and post test results to determine if their program is working. Evaluation methods for programs with generalized goals and objectives are the most difficult to evaluate and rely on a non-experimental approach, quasi-experimental approach, or classic experimental design. Once the information is collected, a formal program evaluation must be clearly written with recommendations for change. This report must be put into the hands of influential people to help secure funding, improve programs, and ultimately benefit the client. 

Memories of Grandma’s Backyard
Martha M. Tyson

Today's landscape architect faces a new challenge and exciting opportunity in designing environments that enhance the quality of life for the elderly in long-term care facilities in this country. The recent wave of public awareness and positive attitude towards aging has developed into concern/or quality long-term care facilities. One response to this concern for quality care has resulted in the introduction of horticultural therapy to geriatric health-care facilities. This produces a need for specialized environments designed to encourage use of outdoor yards and to facilitate horticultural therapy activities. Designs that respond to an understanding of the aging process and are committed to the continued quality of life for older people are needed much more today than ever before (Carstens, 1985). The physical environment of long-term care facilities has a powerful influence on resident behavior and attitude toward daily living (Regnier, 1985). A sensitively designed outdoor environment is essential to complete a truly holistic philosophy of care. Residents of nursing homes need the opportunity to enjoy the crispness of the fresh morning air, the smell of roses in bloom and dried falling leaves, the warmth of the sun, the sound of birds chirping, and the antics of squirrels scampering across the lawn. How sad it is that many facilities encourage residents to "sit" their life away, when there can be so much more.