Horticultural therapy

Horticultural Therapy (HT) uses plants, gardens, and other aspects of nature to improve people’s social, spiritual, physical and emotional well-being.

Here are some good organizations to start with:

American Horticulture Therapy Association

Canadian Horticultural Therapy Association

City Farm

City Farmer “Urban Agricultural Notes” by City Farmer, Canada’s Office of Urban Agriculture, with a large section on horticultural therapy

Gardening Leave
A UK charity founded by Anna Baker Cresswell for ex-Servicemen and women with PTSD and other mental health issues. The goal is to combat stress through horticultural therapy activities – growing fruit and vegetables – in a walled garden setting, where people feel safe and protected. The program has been developed in accordance with plans by Combat Stress (Ex-Services Mental Welfare Society). Gardening Leave commissioned an evaluation of their project, which you can link to on their website. The title of the report is “An Evaluation of the Gardening Leave Project for Ex-Military Personnel with PTSD and Other Combat Related Mental Health Problems,” by Jacqueline Atkinson, Professor of Mental Health Policy at Glasgow University June 2009.

Farming for Health

Garden Partners
Garden Partners provides on-going resources and support to sustain gardening programs for elders, at-risk children, and veterans. Partnering with Garden Partners ensures your program will be comprehensive, sustainable, and supported by the community. The hands-on process of caring for a garden — no matter how small — helps people reclaim their joy of life.

German Association for Horticulture and Therapy GGuT
Good links, including international
Konrad Neuberger – Psychotherapy HPG: Articles for download

Horticultural Therapy Institute
“The Horticultural Therapy Institute is a proven leader in adult education in the field of horticultural therapy. By offering a series of AHTA accredited courses, the Institute teaches students to use gardening activities in health care and human service programs as well as gardening programs. With recognized curriculum, the Institute offers a full HT certificate program, customized workshops, in-service training for health care professionals, program development, seminars, lectures and continuing education. Academic credit and continuing education units are also available for all classes through partner, Colorado State University. Students can take one class, or the full certificate program. With the unique format, students don’t need to live where the classes are held. The classes are offered in a four and five-day intensive format to accommodate those who must travel to attend.”

Human Issues in Horticulture – Horticulture Therapy

KinderGarden Horticultural therapy (and other horticultural information) for children

Michigan Horticultural Therapy Association
The Michigan Horticultural Therapy Association promotes and encourages state and regional interest in the development of horticulture and related activities as a therapeutic and rehabilitative medium.

The Sensory Trust
A charity promoting communication between disability groups and environmental organisations.

“Using gardening to change lives.” Thrive is a small national charity, founded in 1978, that uses gardening to change the lives of disabled people. Our activities are varied but focus on championing the benefits of gardening to individuals and organizations, as well as teaching techniques and practical applications so that anyone with a disability can take part and enjoy gardening. A research programme underpins Thrive’s work to provide evidence and improve understanding. Gardening can help individuals accomplish many things. It can help rebuild a person’s strength after an accident or illness, and can provide a purposeful activity for someone coping with a difficult period in their life.

“Supporting health through horticulture.”
Trellis (The Scottish Therapeutic Gardening network) is the national Scottish charity that supports, promotes, and develops the use of
horticulture to improve health, well-being and life opportunities for
all. Trellis represents over 170 projects across Scotland that use
gardening and associated activities to improve the physical, social
and emotional health of individuals and communities. Trellis brings people from projects together at their annual conference in March and holds regular networking meetings throughout the country to share good practice and inpiration and also run training in a range of topics for network members. Trellis is also developing the research base in therapeutic horticulture. The organization was pivotal to creating a doctorate in therapeutic horticulture at the University of Stirling.

Urban Meadows
Chicago’s Nonprofit Florist: “Assisting the mentally ill in their recovery journey.”