NYT Article by Anne Raver on the TKF Foundation

Rob Cardillo for The New York Times
The New York Times published a lovely article last week about the TKF Foundation, whose book I mentioned in a recent posting (Open Spaces Sacred Places, 10/1/08). Anne Raver (“Public Spaces Meant to Heal” – click here to read the article) paints a portrait of the TKF Foundation and several of their 120 projects. Since Tom and Kitty Stoner started TKF 12 years ago, the Foundation has funded about $7 million in projects for community gardens, healthcare facilities, prison gardens, and other public places, primarily in Baltimore, Washington, and Annapolis. TKF’s mission is “to provide the opportunity for a deeper human experience by supporting the creation of public greenspace that offers a temporary place of sanctuary, encourages reflection, provides solace, and engenders peace.” 

The images in the article and in this posting are from the Amazing Port Street Sacred Commons in east Baltimore, which is one of the many projects in TKF’s new book, Open Spaces Sacred Places. I’ve received my copy, so stay tuned for a more thorough review of this beautiful and inspiring book.

Rob Cardillo for The New York Times

Open Spaces Sacred Places – New Book from TKF Foundation

So I’m looking on my own blog (this one) and one of the Google ads – “Open Spaces Sacred Places” – catches my eye. I’m not supposed to click on my own Google ads but this one I couldn’t resist, and low and behold, it’s a new book published by the TKF Foundation. This nonprofit’s mission is “to provide the opportunity for a deeper human experience by supporting the creation of public greenspaces that offer a temporary place of sanctuary, encourage reflection, provide solace, and engender peace.” The book is called Open Spaces Sacred Places, by Tom Stoner and Carolyn Rapp, and you can order it from the TKF website. I don’t have a copy yet, but am looking forward to getting my hands on one and reviewing it for this blog. Or if anyone else out there has read it and would like to write a guest review, I’m all for that, too. 

I come across information for this blog and for the Therapeutic Landscapes Database in all sorts of ways. I’m thrilled when people send me stuff, which happens often. But there’s also a lot of internet surfing, following one winding river and taking its many tributaries and just seeing where you end up. Today, I ended up with the TKF’s new book. They’ve been listed on the TLD links page for years now, and I’m glad to see they’re still doing great work.

New Article from InformeDesign’s Newsletter

Quan Yin Statue at the Huntington Garden’s 
Photo by Naomi Sachs

A new article from InformeDesign‘s latest issue of Implications, by Jeff Rosenfeld, Ph.D., “Senior Housing Globalized,” discusses changes, trends, and recent developments in senior housing in China, Japan, India, and elsewhere in the Pacific Rim. 

The article includes some great images and discussion of outdoor spaces in senior housing, a useful bibliography, and even a list of related research summaries. 

Wrote a Thesis? Part II

Back in March, I put a call out to graduates requesting theses that I could list on the TLD References page. I’ve gotten a few responses, and have found a couple of my own in my travels as well. These, as well as some of the abstracts, can be found in alphabetical order on the TLD References page, along with previously-listed theses. Additions to this list are always welcome! 

Hebert, Bonnie B. (2003). “Design Guidelines of a Therapeutic Garden for Autistic Children.” Master of Landscape Architecture Thesis for Louisiana State University and Agricultural and Mechanical College.
Click here or on the title above to link to a pdf of the thesis.

Kovary, Myra M. (1999). “Healing Landscapes: Design Guidelines for Mental Health Facilities.” Master of Landscape Architecture Thesis, Cornell University.
A similar version of Kovary’s thesis was published with the same title as Chapter 12 of Shoemaker, Candice A. (Ed.) (2002). Interaction by Design: Bringing People and Plants Together for Health and Well-Being. Ames, Iowa: Iowa State Press.
If you’d like an electronic copy of this thesis, contact the author: 

Lindemuth, Amy (2006). “SOU Courtyard Garden: Designing a Therapeutic Environment for Corrections Staff and Mentally Ill Offenders.” Master of Landscape Architecture Thesis, University of Washington 2006. 
This is a design thesis and includes design of a real site at a prison in WA state with literature and historical review. 

Roets, Susan (2006). “Healthcare and Landscape Architecture: Investigation and Design at an Assisted Living Home to Promote Healthy Aging.” Master of Landscape Architecture Thesis, SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, Syracuse, NY. 
Click here or on the title above to link to a pdf of the thesis.

Sadler, Charles King (2007). “Design Guidelines for Effective Hospice Gardens Using Japanese Garden Principles.” Master of Landscape Architecture Thesis, SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, Syracuse, NY. 
Click here or on the title above to link to a pdf of the thesis.

Vapaa, Annalisa Gartman (2002). “Healing Gardens: Creating Places for Restoration, Meditation, and Sanctuary. What are the defining characteristics that make a healing garden?” Master of Landscape Architecture Thesis for Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.
Click here or on the title above to link to a pdf of the thesis..

Psst! Wanna buy a book?

If you’re looking for good books on Landscapes for Health, I’ve just added a new feature to the Therapeutic Landscapes Database that allows you to link directly to to buy recommended books. I’ll be adding more books to more pages (like books on labyrinths and attracting wildlife to the Plants and  Related pages), so check back again soon.

Highest on my Recommended Reading list is Healing Gardens: Therapeutic Benefits and Design Recommendations, edited by Clare Cooper Marcus and Marni Barnes (Wiley, 1999), and not just because I wrote the chapter on psychiatric hospitals. 

Healing Gardens is, in my opinion, the most comprehensive book in this field. In addition to chapters on specific populations/types of facilities such as children’s hospitals (by Robin Moore), nursing homes (by Deborah McBride), Alzheimer’s treatment facilities (by John Zeisel and Martha Tyson), hospices (by Clare Marcus), and psychiatric hospitals (Naomi Sachs) – and each one of these chapters has historical background, literature review, case studies, and design recommendations – Marcus and Barnes also include an excellent introductory chapter; a chapter by Roger Ulrich on theory and research; and a chapter called “Getting It Done,” which I always direct people to if they’re thinking about building a healing garden at their facility. Lots of good information on fundraising and other nuts and bolts aspects. You can see a couple excerpts of it here, as well as write up by Todd Bressi and comments by jury members when the book won an award (EDRA/Places Awards for Design, Planning, and Research) in 2000.

One caveat: I recommend this book highly to designers, health and human services practitioners, and students. It’s an excellent resource, like a textbook. However, as Henry Domke pointed out in his review of the book on his Healthcare Fine Art Blog, it’s rich in information, somewhat poor in pictures. If you are a home gardener who wants beautiful photos and text that will inspire you for your own garden, this is not your book. For that, I would recommend the following five books, all of which I have and refer to again and again: 

1. The Healing Garden, by Sue Minter
2. Healing Gardens, by Romy Rawlings
3. Gardens for the Soul, by Pamela Woods
4. The Healing Garden, by David Squire
5. The Healing Garden, by Gay Search

Happy shopping, happy reading.

Hot Off the Press: Journal of Therapeutic Horticulture 07-08

Once again, The Journal of Therapeutic Horticulture, published by AHTA, has come out with an excellent publication chock-full of good information (they don’t have an online version yet, but that’s in the works for the future). Kudos to Editor-in-Chief Elizabeth R. Messer Diehl for all of her hard and good work. I’ve been more involved with the American Horticultural Therapy Association (AHTA) since joining the editorial review board last year, and I have to say, I think all landscape architects interested in designing Landscapes for Health should also be members of AHTA. They’ve really got their act together, and as with the Center for Health Design and the Environmental Research Design Association (EDRA), there is a lot of crossover for designers. 
Here are some of the articles in this year’s Journal of Therapeutic Horticulture:
“Effect of Horticultural Therapy on Preventing the Decline of Mental Abilities of Patients with Alzheimer’s Type Dementia,” by Sonia J. D’Andrea, Mitchell Batavia, and Nicole Sasson
“Affordances of Ward and Garden in the Restorative Process of Hospitalized Children,” by Ismail Said and Mohd Sarofil Abu Bakar
“The Psychosocial Benefits of Exposure to Natural Settings in Long-Term Care: An Evaluation of the Wellness Garden Program at Glacier Hills Retirement Community,” by Suzanne Perry Slavens
“The Use of Therapeutic Horticulture in Cancer Support,” by Sheila B. Taft
“Development of Assessment Standards and a Computerized Assessment Tool for Use in Prevocational Horticulture Training Programs for Head-Injured Individuals,” by P.N. Williams, C. Kissel Bales, T.M. Waliczek, and J.M. Zajicek
AHTA Annual Conference Abstracts: “Harvesting Best Practices in Horticultural Therapy.”
While some of these articles are more specific to Hort Therapy, many are also useful to designers in helping to answer questions about what types of spaces are most appropriate for the populations that we serve.  

Information needed, and a favorite children’s and rooftop garden

I got a request recently from someone who is looking for examples of children’s hospital gardens with rooftop conservatories (in other words, an enclosed space on a rooftop at a children’s hospital). I’ve found many examples of children’s gardens, rooftop gardens, and conservatories, but so far haven’t found all three in one. Anyone out there know of an example? If so, please share by posting a comment! 

In the meantime, here’s an image of one of my favorite children’s gardens that is also one of my favorite rooftop hospital gardens, the Olson Family Garden at the Children’s Hospital, St. Louis, MO (got the image from the Waymarking website:

Landscape Architecture Magazine did a nice article on the garden in 2002, which you can read online:

Also, here’s a video clip about it:  

I visited this garden a few years ago during the ASLA annual meeting with Roger Ulrich, Virginia Burt, Jack Carman, and other colleagues and we were all so impressed. While we were there, a nurse led a small child–who was recovering from severe burns–around the garden. We were moved to see this young patient, wrapped in bandages, maneuvering about the garden, touching the fountains, looking at the flowers, and generally interacting with the world despite the pain. For me, it was one of those “ah-hah” moments when what you do moves beyond the realm of the theoretical and academic. Yes, gardens really are important, especially in hospitals, and they really do make a difference in people’s lives.

I’ll be in Maine for a week starting Monday, with limited internet access, so this is my last post until next week. When I return, I hope to see lots of comments in response to this blog post!

I Demand Satisfaction! The Role of Nature in Job Satisfaction

Photo by Naomi Sachs

Not the dueling kind, but the kind that involves psychological well-being.

The next time you need a reason for investing in a garden, or windows that look out onto an interesting view, or even some indoor plants, you can cite this new study which has linked job satisfaction to views of live plants or windows:

Individuals working in spaces with live interior plants or window views have significantly higher levels of job satisfaction than people who work in spaces without live plants or windows: “Findings indicated that individuals who worked in offices with plants and windows reported that they felt better about their job and the work they performed. This study also provided evidence that those employees who worked in offices that had plants or windows reported higher overall quality-of-life scores.” Live plants in an office, even without the window views, lead to more positive psychological states.”

Andrea Dravigne, Tina Waliczek, R. Lineberger, and J. Zajicek. 2008. “The Effect of Live Plants and Window Views of Green Spaces on Employee Perceptions of Job Satisfaction.” HortScience, vol. 43, p. 279.

I found this study listed on Research Design Connections, an excellent resource for anyone in the design and healthcare fields.

This is the view out my office door, so I have no excuses for not loving my work!

Herbarium: Healing Garden and Horticultural Therapy in Santiago, Chile

One of the coolest things about running the Therapeutic Landscapes Database and Blog is hearing from people all over the world. Marie Arana-Urioste, HTR, emailed me recently from Santiago, Chile with information about the Herbarium, “a non profit organization and a therapeutic garden dedicated to Horticultural Therapy for all in need. We are the first (and only at the moment) HT Certificate dictated in Spanish and in Latin America. We work with people with disabilities using the garden and gardening as a tool. The Herbarium (since 1989) is  also a Herb Nursery, we grow organically.” Most of their website has been translated into English (and I’m linking directly to the English-translated site), but If you speak Spanish, click on the Spanish flag at the bottom of the menu. Sounds like a great model; if anyone out there knows of comparable places elsewhere in the world (including the U.S.), I’d love to list more.

Monday in the Park

What a day for a site visit! Stopped by Hope Lodge to see Henry Domke’s beautiful photographs installed, and to check out their terrace, visible from all inside public spaces, where they plan to install a healing garden. More research than ever now about the importance of views of nature – real and in images – for people’s well-being. I haven’t blogged about the new HERD (Health Environments Research & Design Journal) issue yet, but Henry has, in his awesome Healthcare Fine Art blog, where you can find all kinds of good information on Evidence-Based Design (EBD).

New York City was sweltering in the high 90s, but these alliums at Madison Square Garden looked as cool and perky as ever. I was amazed at how many people chose to be outside (in the shade, or playing under the fountain if you were lucky enough to be a kid in the playground) on such a brutal day. The park was packed. Just goes to show, especially in NYC where access to nature is limited, people will take it whenever they can.