Journal of Therapeutic Horticulture 3 - 1988


Horticulture Therapy with a Four-year-old Boy: A Case Report
Edward Hoffman, PhD, and David Castro-Blanco, BA

Horticultural therapy was conducted with a 4-year-old boy diagnosed as having speech-language impairment and exhibiting a variety of behavioral problems and depressed affect, enrolled in a special preschool program. Horticultural therapy was initiated after 15 sessions of traditional play therapy had yielded limited results. Over the course of 30 horticultural therapy sessions, the child showed marked improvement in his in-class behavior. Gains were also demonstrated in his improved affect and capacity to exhibit empathy and nurturance. Clinical implications are briefly discussed.

Some Conceptual Ideas in Horticultural Therapy Drawn From Practice
Konrad R. Neuberger, MA

By approaching horticulture as ergo- or work therapy, patients can benefit from nature and plant related activities by using these experiences to become more familiar with their own nature. Horticultural therapists bring patients in contact with their own ability towards growth and change through a lively interaction with plants. 

A Systematic Approach to Horticultural Therapy
Patricia J. Zandstra, HTM

To enhance the credibility and quality of horticultural therapy programs, it is essential that horticultural therapists document the effectiveness of their work (Zandstra, 1987). The systematic approach to horticultural therapy described here was designed to provide the therapist with a model to follow in the therapeutic process. This systems approach adapted from Systematic Counseling Stewart et al (1978) provides a process for assessing client needs, establishing goals and objectives to meet those needs, and for objectively evaluating the outcome of therapy. Although the systems approach has been designed for use with individuals, it can also be used with groups of clients by establishing goals, designing learning objectives, and creating horticultural objectives that are applicable to the whole group.

Gardening may Reduce Blood Pressure of Elderly People: Activity Suggestions and Models for Intervention
Johanna Fliegel Lewis, and Richard H. Mattson, HTM

Activity questionnaires and blood pressure records were compared for 53 people aged 45 to 99 from two nursing homes and two senior centers. Participants were most often involved in activities requiring clerical and social skills. Participants' frequency of and preference for horticultural, social, and other activities differed by location. Contrasts between preference and frequency scores were greatest for horticultural activities. Participants' systolic and diastolic blood pressures were related to their blood pressure medication.frequency of activity, age, and diet.

Horticultural Activities and Demographic Factors Influence Children’s Self-esteem
Patrick Neal Williams, HTR-PROV, and Richard H. Mattson, HTM

A five month study of children who participated in a supervised gardening program at a mid-western community garden revealed differences in self-esteem, horticultural knowledge, and quality index of gardens. The demographic factors used in this study were age, gender, and number of children per family participating. Children gardening without other siblings had higher self-esteem, gained more horticultural knowledge, and had better appearing gardens than children gardening with other siblings.