Is gardening a form of therapy?

Horticultural therapy is a professional practice that uses plants and gardening to improve mental and physical health. A horticultural therapist works with any group that can benefit from interaction with plants, including veterans, children, the elderly, and those dealing with addiction and mental health problems.


lovers often say that gardening is a therapy and that evaluation might be truer than you think. Gardening improves physical health and produces homegrown nutritious products, but its therapeutic benefits go beyond that.

From relaxation and stress relief to formal therapist-led programs, mental and emotional well-being receive welcome improvements along the garden path. 1.Gardening has always been recognized as a form of therapy. At one end, there are professional horticultural therapists who work in the Enabling Garden at the Chicago Botanical Garden; at the other, gardeners simply escape street noises or spend time in the company of crops. Next, a master gardener at the Chicago Botanical Garden talks about gardening as therapy.

Horticultural therapy is a form of psychotherapy that uses gardening to help people with mental health problems. Plants can be used for children, adults, and seniors who have experienced trauma or loss, such as bereavement, divorce, separation, illness, or injury. Staff also noted that gardeners needed less attention from staff, were more alert, and were more social, and took greater responsibility for their actions and choices. In the urban prison of Wandsworth, a collaboration with The Conservation Foundation has seen the introduction of green areas in the prison and the excavation of an exercise yard to make way for an orchard where produce can be grown.

Shade cooling and evaporating water from leaves can reduce the need for air conditioning in buildings, and cooling also reduces the formation of some pollutants, such as ozone. Rest assured that if you don't want to dedicate yourself to gardening or adding indoor plants to your home, you may be able to reap some benefits similar to those of horticultural therapy with essential oils. Surveys of the general population have yielded similar results35, and a large majority believe that gardens are beneficial to health. A recent Mintel survey for the charity Thrive, 34, which enables social and therapeutic horticulture, showed that among people with disabilities, a quarter mentioned gardening as a hobby.

Working in the garden restores dexterity and strength, and the aerobic exercise involved can easily consume the same amount of calories as would be spent in a gym. In 1915, the National Federation of Garden Clubs began as a coordinating national organization for local clubs. Patients recovering from myocardial infarction or stroke find that exercising in a garden, using paretic limb restriction therapy, for example45 is more effective, enjoyable and sustainable than therapy in formal exercise settings. In the barn garden, Tom Stuart-Smith told me that every spring, when the bulbs of summer fawn lilies and snowflakes are in bloom and the meadow is full of daffodils, he walks around the garden with a notebook, to make plans about where to add things in the fall.

He's involved in some form of gardening, and in the past six months, which included an unusually prolonged period of warm, dry weather, the British have been able to do more gardening than ever before. This form of therapy is related to the concept of “biophilia”, which is the idea that people are genetically connected to nature and plant life. Just like in outdoor gardens, seeing the green plants indoors can lift your spirits and a sense of well-being. Gardening has been a comfort to many, Sue Stuart-Smith suggested to me, because it invokes the prospect of some kind of future, however uncertain and unpredictable it may be.