My colleague, Dak Kopec, asked me to write a piece on healing gardens for his forthcoming book, Environmental Psychology for Design, and he has graciously given permission to share it with you here on the TLN Blog. Dak is Director of Design for Human Health at Boston Architectural College and has written many books and other publications on the role of the environment in human health. Thank you, Dak!(more…)
September 11, 2016
May 29, 2015
This post might invite more invective or controversy than usual (which is usually none, so we’ll see), but it’s something important to discuss: Labyrinths are not always appropriate for healthcare gardens. When they are used, they need to be sited and designed to best benefit garden users. Clare Cooper Marcus and I discuss this issue in our book Therapeutic Landscapes: An Evidence-Based Approach to Designing Healing Gardens and Restorative Outdoor Spaces and some of the text below is excerpted from Chapter 6 (p. 78).
Please understand: I have nothing against labyrinths per se. In fact, in the right place and context, I think they are wonderful and I very much enjoy walking them. The TLN has a page on labyrinths. In our chapter on Gardens for Veterans and Active Duty Personnel, we discuss how labyrinths are used in the therapeutic process (p. 210-211).
First, what is a labyrinth?
The classical labyrinth consists of a continuous path that winds in circles into a center and out again. This basic form dates from antiquity and is intended for contemplative walking. A labyrinth is sometimes erroneously referred to as a maze, which consists of a complex system of pathways between tall hedges, with the purpose of getting people lost. The aim of a maze is playful diversion, whereas the aim of the labyrinth was, and is, to offer the user a walking path of quiet reflection. See this earlier TLN Blog post for more on the distinction between labyrinths and mazes.
August 22, 2014
I first met Joan Vorderbruggen at the Environmental Design Research Association (EDRA) meeting in 2013 in Providence, RI. She presented an expanded version of this lovely post, and I was very moved. Sometimes we researchers and designers get so bogged down in trying to analyze and quantify everything that we forget the more human and – dare I say it? – even the spiritual dimension. Joan’s and Lisa’s words, along with images from Joan’s garden, get to the heart of it. Many thanks to both of them for sharing here.
The healing garden down the street
By Joan Vorderbruggen and Lisa Overby-Blosser
The spring of 2012 held little hope for my neighbor, Lisa, wife and mother of four teenagers. Lisa had just been diagnosed with stage four breast cancer and was given a year or less to live. Asking me if she could spend time in my backyard garden, she felt time in a peaceful setting would help her deal with the upcoming chemotherapy, radiation, surgery, and other stresses.
Over that summer, Lisa spent a great deal of time walking the 5-house distance to my yard, sometimes barely able to put one foot in front of the other. Still, she persevered, settling in to journal, sketch, and just be in the moment. While I encouraged her to come and go as she pleased, I was happy that at times, she would join me on my deck and, without any prompting, speak of how the garden and natural world supported her during that time. I asked if I could share her words with others.
Lisa’s words (italicized) fit neatly within the framework of Stephen Kellert’s Biophillic Design Elements (below). According to Kellert, these elements stem from an intuitive human-nature connection, where people feel that spending time in nature can help them heal mentally, physically and spiritually. The Biophilia hypothesis assertion is that because humans evolved with nature, they feel comforted by nature (Kellert and Wilson, The Biophilia Hypothesis, 1993).
The idea of prospect is primarily about being able to control your view, to scan the horizon and understand where you are in relationship to your surroundings.
In the garden you have control – of where you sit, where you look, what you choose to focus on – whether it’s a wide view or something really small… There are so many choices available to you. The fact that you can make a choice of something can be healing.
Refuge allows us to feel safe, sheltered and protected. In my garden, Lisa chose to sit under a grapevine trellis. She speaks more in metaphor of her feelings of refuge.
The garden is always welcoming; no plants fall over or trees drop their leaves in disgust or empathy when I took my hat off exposing my baldness…. The garden accepts where your body and emotions are at that moment in time.
July 25, 2014
George Washington University graduate students Julie Melear, Janet Conroy, and Mary Sper’s landscape design for HARVEST HOME, a Wounded Warrior home built for a veteran, has won the Gold Award in outdoor design from the Association for Professional Landscape Design (APLD). The house was designed and built by college students competing in the U.S. Department of Energy’s Solar Decathlon, which challenges collegiate teams to design solar powered houses that are cost effective, energy efficient, and attractive.
July 10, 2014
Landscape engineer Nicsanu Marcela recently posted a photo on our TLN Facebook page with an image of raised flower beds and this caption: “First therapeutic garden in Romania!” That was pretty exciting. I emailed her to ask whether she’d like to do a guest blog post, and she agreed. Here is her post:
The first therapeutic garden in Romania opened its doors in June 2014, at Mocrea Psychiatric Hospital in Arad County. This first garden opened the way for horticultural therapy, a healing method used in almost some psychiatric hospitals in Western Europe and the USA.
June 27, 2014
2013 was a momentous year for landscape architecture in healthcare design: It was the first year that Healthcare Design and Environments for Aging held the Landscape Architecture for Healthcare Communities Awards.
The projects were chosen by two different panels of jurors – one for Acute Care (Healthcare Design) and one for Senior Living (Environments for Aging and Long-Term Living). Acute Care and Senior Living project award winners were featured in the December digital issues of Healthcare Design and EFA magazines. Acute Care award winners were also featured in the May/June 2014 print edition and will be honored in November at HEALTHCARE DESIGN14 in San Diego, CA. Senior Living project winners were honored at the Environments for Aging conference in May.
And here’s more good news: They’re doing it again! Submission are due for both categories on July 14, 2014 so get busy with your applications.
This is a terrific opportunity for landscape architects and healthcare facilities with successful therapeutic landscapes to showcase their work, and for everyone else to see the best examples of how it should be done. (more…)
January 24, 2014
Earlybird registration for Legacy Health’s annual Gardens in Health Care conference ends February first!
The Gardens in Healthcare conference: Therapeutic Landscapes: An Evidence-Based Approach to Designing Healing Gardens and Restorative Outdoor Spaces
When: Fri, April 4, 2014, 8:00 AM – 4:30 PM
Where: Lorenzen Conference Center, Legacy Emanuel Medical Center, Portland, OR
Featuring the new book: Therapeutic Landscapes: An Evidence-Based Approach to Designing Healing Gardens and Restorative Outdoor Spaces, John Wiley & Sons, 2014.
Marni Barnes, LCSW, ASLA, APATH
Clare Cooper Marcus, M.A., MCP, Hon. ASLA
Teresia Hazen MEd, HTR, QMHP
Duncan R. Neilson, Jr., M.D.
Naomi Sachs, ASLA, EDAC
September 30, 2013
October 17 forum on evidenced-based design
What distinguishes a garden from a healing garden? The main difference is the way in which a healing or therapeutic garden caters to its targeted users such as cancer, rehabilitation, psychiatric, or eldercare patients.
At an upcoming forum at Union Hospital in Lynn, Mass., designers, researchers, and healthcare providers will gather to discuss landscapes in healthcare settings that promote health and well-being. “Therapeutic Landscape Collaborations: Successful Evidence-Based Design” will take place October 17, 9 am -12:30 pm, at the North Shore Medical Center’s Union Hospital.
This presentation pairs healthcare providers, researchers and designers that focus on creating healing spaces and restorative landscapes to promote health and well-being. The experts include physicians, therapists, designers, architects and landscape architects whom will demonstrate down to the cellular level why gardens heal, and explore how different aspects to a healing garden can promote healing in different user groups. Examples of healing gardens will be shown and participants will tour the Dr. Harvey Zarren Healing Garden at the site as a case study. The program is sponsored jointly by The Landscape Institute and The Underground in cooperation with the North Shore Medical Centers Plant Operations Department.
Panelists include Harvey Zarren, M.D., F.A.C.C; Christine Wojnar, Feng Shui Institute of American; Elizabeth Ericson, FAIA, LEED AP; Deborah Gaw, Owner, Garden Scapes Landscape Design; Lisa Bailey, ASLA, Bayleaf Studio; David Jay, ASLA, LEED AP, O+M Weinmayer/Jay Associates; and Anna Pelosi, Lead HRO, NSMC Inpatient Psychiatry Services and Manager of Patient and Family Relations Department.
To learn more about the October 17 forum and to register, send an email to email@example.com or visit http://the-bac.edu/news-and-events/events/therapeutic-landscape-collaborations-2013.
To learn more about the Harvey Zarren Healing Garden, visit the NSMC website – you can link from there to a nice photo gallery.
Boston Children’s Hospital’s Prouty Garden under threat of demolition. Guest post by Clare Cooper Marcus
September 17, 2013
The Prouty Garden at Boston Children’s Hospital has, for generations of patients, family members, and staff, served as a much-loved retreat from the clinical atmosphere inside. The garden was created in 1956, sponsored by Mrs. Olive Prouty whose two children had died in the hospital. Now it is under threat of demolition as the hospital looks for space to expand on its very urban site.
A petition to save the garden has already garnered over 6,500 signatures, but they need more! Please sign and help spread the word. Newspaper articles and radio reports (see, for example, WBUR and The Boston Globe) have taken up the story to plead for the retention of this irreplaceable green oasis.
A Scientific American article last year called the Prouty Garden “one of the most successful hospital gardens in the country.” Though though constructed long before our research-based knowledge of the critical issues in hospital garden design – it is almost perfect as a restorative space in healthcare. (more…)
September 11, 2013
I don’t usually make titles all in bold, but this is such an exciting opportunity, I wanted to grab your attention.
Landscape Architecture projects will be featured in a special digital magazine that will reach more than 80,000 readers.
Highlights of this program include:
- An ideal audience: Projects will be seen by Architects, Designers, Administrators, C-Suite Executives within healthcare communities, and more.
- Recognition for exceptional landscape architecture and design within 3 categories: Acute Care, Senior Living and Behavioral Healthcare.
- A low entry fee: Cost to enter is only $350 per project.
- Expert Panelists: A jury of industry experts will choose one winner and runner-up within each of the 3 categories to be published in the digital magazine.
Award winners and runners-up will receive:
- A 2-page spread, at no cost, featured in the digital magazine.
- A prestigious award engraved with the firm and facility names; and
- Editorial coverage in 2014.
All other firms with accepted projects will have the option to include their project in the digital magazine for a nominal fee.
As the Director of the Therapeutic Landscapes Network, I can’t tell you how excited I am about this program. Oh, wait, I just did.
Applications are due SOON – 9/20/13 so pull your material together and submit it!