Photo of oak leaves in spring by Henry Domke
The most recent ASLA Healthcare and Therapeutic Design* newsletter has just been published, and as usual, it’s full of all sorts of good information.
The newsletter gets a mention in this week’s LANDOnline, especially Nancy Gerlach-Spriggs and Vince Healy’s piece, “The Therapeutic Garden: A Definition.” It’s a good article, and brings up a lot of the issues that we often discuss here at the Therapeutic Landscapes Network. Defining terms like Therapeutic Gardens and Landscapes, Restorative Landscapes, Healing Gardens and so on is a challenge, and Nancy and Vince do a thoughtful investigation.**
Other articles in the newsletter include:
- Letter from the Chair, Susan Erickson
- Persistence of Memory: Scent Gardens for Therapeutic Life Review in Communities for the Elderly, by Wendy Meyer (a pdf of Meyer’s thesis on this subject can be found at the end of the article, as well as on the TLN References page, under Meyer, Wendy).
- Bloedel Reserve [as a restorative landscape], by Sally Schaumann
- Returning Home: The Veterans Garden Project, by Steve Mitrione
- Book Review of Recreating Neighborhoods for Successful Aging, by Sally Shute
- And a call for papers from Elizabeth Messer-Diehl, Editor-in-Chief of AHTA’s Journal of Therapeutic Horticulture.
Whether you read the full newsletter or just the articles that speak to you, it’s an excellent contribution to this field. Many thanks and congratulations to all who made it happen!
* The American Society of Landscape Architects has several Professional Practice Networks, one of which is Healthcare and Therapeutic Design.
**I take slight issue with the assertion that only landscape architects are able design Therapeutic Gardens. I believe that landscape designers, with the proper training, are just as capable. I’d much rather have a well-trained, committed LD be on the team of designing a healthcare facility’s outdoor environment than an LA who has no expertise in this particular area. In the interest of full disclosure, I should add that though I have an MLA (Master of Landscape Architecture), I have not yet attained certification as a landscape architect, so for now I practice as a landscape designer.