If You Only Read Four

The amount of research about therapeutic landscapes can be overwhelming. Where does one start? How do you choose what to read, among all that’s available? It depends partly on what you’re looking for.

To help get you started, we’re creating some lists of recommended books and articles. We are still building this list, so please check back soon to see more recommendations. Or better yet, sign up for our newsletter so we can tell you about updates.

We always welcome feedback and suggestions – please contact us!

Where to Start

If you’re new to this field and don’t know where to begin, these four books are a good place to start. All four are fairly academic and offer serious scholarship about landscapes that faciliate health and well-being. The first two on the list also offer some excellent historical background on the subject.

Cooper Marcus, Clare and Marni Barnes, Eds. (1999). Healing Gardens: Therapeutic Benefits and Design Recommendations. New York: John Wiley & Sons, 1999.
Received the 2000 EDRA/Places “Place Research” Award; see Bressi, Todd in References.

Cooper Marcus, Clare, and Naomi A. Sachs. (2014). Therapeutic Landscapes: An Evidence-Based Approach to Designing Healing Gardens and Restorative Outdoor Spaces. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.

Gerlach-Spriggs, Nancy, Richard Enoch Kaufman and Sam Bass Warner, Jr. (1998). Restorative Gardens: The Healing Landscape. New Haven, CT and London: Yale University Press.

Tyson, Martha M. (1998 and 2008). The Healing Landscape: Therapeutic Outdoor Environments. Originally published by New York: McGraw-Hill; re-published 2008 by Madison, WI: Parallel Press.
Go to Martha Tyson’s website to order the book.

Design for seniors and people with dementia

This list has more than five books. Some are about design for seniors and active living; some are about design for seniors who are disabled or who have Alzheimers and other forms of dementia. We have put the titles first, but the list is in alphabetical order by author.

Re-creating Neighborhoods for Successful Aging edited by Pauline S. Abbott, Nancy Carman, Jack Carman, and Bob Scarfo.
Read a review of the book on the Therapeutic Landscapes Network Blog.

Elder Design: Designing and Furnishing a Home for Your Later Years by Rosemary Bakker

Designing for Alzheimer’s Disease by Elizabeth Brawley

Hospitable Design for Healthcare and Senior Communities by Albert Bush-Brown and Dianne Davis

Site Planning and Design for the Elderly by Diane Carstens

Building Type Basics for Senior Living by Bradford Perkins, J. David Hoglund, Douglas King and Eric Cohen

Access to Nature for Older Adults by Susan Rodiek & Access to Nature
This award-winning 3-DVD series features three DVDs, “The Value of Nature,” “Improving Outdoor Access” and “Safe and Usable Outdoor Spaces.” Visit the Access to Nature website (accesstonature.org) for more information and to order the DVDs. The Therapeutic Landscapes Network Blog reviewed the series in December of 2009. Click here to read the review.
Note: Access to Nature has kindly partnered with the Therapeutic, offering the DVDs at a discounted rate. Enter the code TLNA2N to receive a discount on your order.

The Role of the Outdoor in Residential Environments for Aging by Susan Rodiek and Benyamin Schwarz

Aging, Autonomy and Architecture by Benyamin Schwarz and Ruth Bent

Landscape Design for Elderly and Disabled People by Jane Stoneham and Peter Thoday

Developing Active Adult Retirement Communities, published by the Urban Land Institute

Accessible Gardening: Tips and Techniques for Seniors and the Disabled by Joann Woy

Books for inspiration

In December of 2010, the TLN Blog published the post Books for Inspiration with a Healing Garden Theme. These books will inspire you to create spaces that are truly nurturing to body and soul. For descriptions of each book and to link to the books to buy, read the full post.

Brunton, Laurie and Erin Fournier. Sanctuary: Gardening for the Soul

Dannenmaier, Molly. A Child’s Garden: 60 Ideas to Make Any Garden Come Alive for Children

Donaldson, Stephanie. Peaceful Gardens: Transform Your Garden into a Haven of Calm and Tranquillity

Jarman, Derek. Derek Jarman’s Garden

Minter, Sue. The Healing Garden: A Natural Haven for Body, Senses and Spirit and The Healing Garden: A Practical Guide for Physical & Emotional Well-Being.

Search, Gay. The Healing Garden: Gardening for the Mind, Body and Soul

Rawlings, Romy. Healing Gardens

Squire, David. The Healing Garden: Natural Healing for the Mind, Body and Soul

Streep, Peg. Spiritual Gardening: Creating Sacred Space Outdoors

Wood, Pamela. Gardens for the Soul: Designing Outdoor Spaces Using Ancient Symbols, Healing Plants and Feng Shui