Recently in Therapeutic Horticulture Category

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

Therapeutic Horticulture Angela Kariniemi

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Hello everyone,
Monet is famous for is beautiful garden paintings which I think capture some of the essence of what makes gardening and therapeutic horticulture special.
This is his Blue Water Lilies, 1919 taken from
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Weed Out Hate - A Twist on Therapeutic Horticulture?

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Much of the research surrounding therapeutic horticulture focuses on the connection between the emerging field and its larger application and possibilities within the structured world of medicine.

Those practicing within therapeutic horticulture are actively moving to validate their work in the eyes of western medicine. This movement is carried forward by practices such as accreditation, licensing, research, and publication. While the movement to make therapeutic horticulture a "valid" medical therapy is important, it's also important to not forgo the more broad-based appeal and accessibility that is inherent in this practice.

The Weed Out Hate campaign is a great example of the basic concepts of therapeutic horticulture being applied in a more broad-based manner. The global campaign uses gardening as a way to teach children to root out hate while planting seeds of peace, love and respect. The physical act of pulling weeds out of the ground and planting sunflower seeds in their place is used as tangible symbolism for showing kids the importance of pulling weeds of hate and anger out of their own lives and planting seeds of promise for a better tomorrow. While this obviously wouldn't fit a "medical" description for therapy, I can't imagine any greater way to apply the basic concept of therapeutic horticulture.

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Dallas Arboretum

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Before last week I thought I understood what therapeutic horticulture meant, but as we learned more about therapeutic horticulture and landscape I realized that I was grouping these two topics together. After last weeks readings I realized that I did not truly know what therapeutic horticulture is. I did a little research and I found that the Dallas Arboretum offered a pretty extensive therapeutic horticulture program.

Not only does the arboretum offer programs at their location, but they are willing to travel to different locations to offer on the go programs. It seems like many of their programs are arts and crafts related. Also I think their slogan is very related to our class "let nature nurture you." From what I understood from the website it appears that therapeutic horticulture is engaging people in hands-on activities related to horticulture products.

Therapeutic Horticulture for Veterans


I found a short video that interviews some veterans who are involved in TH and discusses what TH does for them.

I do not know of any TH that is available in the area where I live, nor where I grew up. Has anyone seen or been involved with TH in their communities? I would love to see something like this at the VA Center here!

About this Archive

This page is an archive of recent entries in the Therapeutic Horticulture category.

Library Information is the previous category.

Therapeutic Landscapes is the next category.

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