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.
The garden covers an area of about 1,500 square meters and is composed of three major areas:
- The area where the preparation of the floricultural material takes place (on specially constructed tables, patients work with seeds and sprouts in pots);
- The wooden box area (garden beds built to facilitate arranging flowers, ideal for group therapy);
- The ground garden area (patients can arrange the resulting material in various arrangements).
And so, the patients can follow their work in stages, thus being responsible for the very first seed put into the pot labeled with their names, then replanting the first seedlings in larger pots until the final result to transplant them into one of the raised planters or the ground.
The plants used were chosen based on their role, so there are three distinct categories:
- Sensory plants (Sedum, Miscanthus, Salvia argentea);
- Aromatic plants (Mentha piperita, Ocimum basilicum, Thymus, Melissa);
- Plants that are relaxing by color and fragrance (Lavender, Jasmine, Impatiens, Dianthus, Euonymus, Clematis, Rudbeckia).
Over 3,000 plants (flowers and shrubs) were planted. On the working tables, we started the therapy with 100 envelopes of perennials and annual flower seeds and 150 bulbs.
Approximately 40 patients were drawn to this horticultural therapy with different tasks, for example: Watering flowers in the garden or pots, weeding, replanting seedlings, peeling dried flowers, putting seeds in pots, and arranging the garden beds.
The first therapeutic garden in Romania wants to be the leading horticultural therapy in Romania to support patients who are in the process of rediscovery and recovery.
Many thanks to Landscape engineer Nicsanu Marcela (center) for this post!