Gardens During Wartime



Here is a link to an interesting story from National Public Radio about Kenneth Helphand's book Defiant Gardens: Making Gardens in Wartime.

Although the creation of gardens during wartime does not generally occur within the direct context of Therapeutic Horticulture (TH), I find it fascinating that people have for centuries created gardens as a means of survivial, both for food and comfort. The prevalence of gardens in areas of conflict suggests that people are aware of the therapeutic significance of gardens even if they are not implemented within a structured framework As Helphand states in his book, "Gardens are inherently optimistic, The gardener has faith that what is planted will grow" (p. 224). The growth that occurs in gardens signals that things can change and gives us reason to have hope.

The top image is of World War I soldiers alongside the gardens which they had planted in the trenches.

The bottom image is Brook Turner with his 'lawn' in Iraq, which he planted as a comforting reminder of home.
(images taken from

Helphand, K. I. (2006). Defiant gardens: Making gardens in wartime. San Antonio, TX: Trinity University Press.

Levine, K. 2006. Tending 'defiant gardens' during wartime. Morning Edition. Washington, D.C. National Public Radio


You may also be interested in the WWII Japanese gardens that were made by the internees, which definitely fit into TH.

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This page contains a single entry by soga0002 published on March 12, 2013 5:18 PM.

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