Recent News

Webinar: Gardening as Therapy for the Body and Mind

Hackensack Meridian Health Carrier Clinic will host a ready-for-summer webinar entitled “Gardening as Therapy for the Body and Mind” at 12:30 p.m. on Thursday, June 27, hosted by American Horticultural Therapy Association’s Laura DePrado, who is also a registered horticultural therapist at Carrier Clinic and owner of Final Touch Plantscaping, LLC, in Branchburg, and Lori Jenssen, executive director of the New Jersey Nursery and Landscape Association, headquartered in Bordentown.

“The therapeutic value of gardening and connecting to plants for health and well-being is well known,” DePrado said. “This hands-on webinar will explore those benefits and show participants how they can make the best use of their plants and the bounty of the harvest.”

“The New Jersey Nursery and Landscape Association is a co-sponsor of this fun and informative session so that we may further Garden State residents’ knowledge and interest in the beauty and value of our outdoor home spaces,” Jenssen said. “I hope the public will tune in.”

The webinar is FREE. Register online HERE .

Adult Day Center of Somerset County Celebrates Horticultural Therapy Week with Special Guests

American Horticultural Therapy Association Horticultural Therapist Laura DePrado, Final Touch Plantscaping leads a celebration of Horticultural Therapy Week with legislative leaders at the Adult Day Center of Somerset County.

Bridgewater, NJ, April 12, 2019 – The ADC celebrated Horticultural Therapy Week during its Horticultural Connections Workshop on March 19th. Special guests were: Constituent & Outreach Director Rachel Frisch and Dana Walter from Assemblyman Roy Freiman’s office (NJ District 16); Chief of Staff Crystal Pruitt from Assemblyman Andrew Zwicker’s office (NJ District 16); Dawn Higgins, Constituent Liaison from Senator Michael Doherty’s office (NJ District 23); Chief of Staff Dan Hirshberg, from Assemblyman John DiMaio’s office (District 23); Jack Otterbein, Otterbein Landscaping and President of New Jersey Nursery and Landscape Association; and Lori Jenssen, Executive Director, New Jersey Nursery and Landscape Association. All participated in activities presented by Laura DePrado of Final Touch Plantscaping LLC.


Horticultural Therapy Week Grows Awareness Of People-Plant Connection

New Jersey is the first state, and the only state in the nation to designate the third full week in March “Horticultural Therapy Week” through Senate Joint Resolution Number 12 signed by Governor Chris Christie in 2015. (Photo: ~Courtesy of Final Touch Plantscaping)

Horticulture Therapy Week is Next Week! – Laura Deprado’s latest article featured in talks about the “People-Plant Connection” and discusses the benefits and effectiveness of using Horticulture for therapy:

“Horticultural therapy provides an opportunity for people to experience meaningful contact with plants and the living soils that support life on earth. It has proven to be a time-tested activity with beneficial and therapeutic efficacy. It is widely used within a broad range of rehabilitative, vocational and community settings.”

You can view the full article here.

View and download the PDF

November’s garden offers cornucopia of plants for the senses

The November landscape is rich with materials for a cornucopia of projects in purposeful and meaningful activities in horticultural therapy.
(Photo: ~Courtesy of Laura DePrado)

Laura Deprado uses Gardening for Therapy to help people across New Jersey. Laura is a Horticultural Therapist, and her article “November’s garden offers a cornucopia of plants for the senses” was recently featured in

November is here. We watch the colorful leaves fall from trees into piles on the ground to be raked laboriously to the curb or bagged for pick up. What remains of the woodland landscape are silhouettes of trees and shrubs with a color of evergreen trees that offer a view of green comfort.  (more…)

Interview with Bert Baron of WCTC

Bert Baron of WCTC interviews New Jersey Horticultural Therapist – Laura DePrado from Final Touch Plantscaping for his in-studio podcast.

Listen here and learn why Horticultural Therapy is so beneficial! 

Benefits of Gardening for those in Recovery

Carrier Clinic in Belle Mead has deployed a mobile cart therapeutic gardening program fresh with seasonal plants to engage the five senses of sight, sounds, taste, touch and smell.
(Photo: ~Courtesy of Carrier Clinic)

Gardening while in recovery, offers evidenced-based benefits for behavioral health. Laura DePrado developed a program using a therapeutic mobile cart to promote wellness and recovery at Carrier Clinic in NJ.

People have long realized that plants and gardens, and the very acts of gardening and growing produce countless healthful benefits for human beings.  (more…)

TOP 25 Leading Brand Builders

September 24, Somerset County NJ, – Laura DePrado, Horticultural Therapist and President of Final Touch Plantscaping, LLC was just named by Leading Women Entrepreneurs NJ 2018 TOP 25 Leading Brand Builder. Congressman Leonard Lance was Guest Keynote at VIP Recognition Awards at Fiddlers Elbow Country Club in Bedminster September 21st We are Named in New Jersey Monthly Magazine October edition! (more…)

The Power of Plants: The Healing Properties of Horticultural Therapy

Horticultural Therapist Laura DePrado was interviewed for the September 2018 edition of House Method in the article “The Power of Plants: The Healing Properties of Horticultural Therapy”

Dr. Benjamin Rush, recognized as the Father of American Psychiatry, was the first person to document the positive effects of horticulture on individuals with mental illness. In 1768, he maintained that digging in the soil had a curative effect on the mentally ill, and in 1812, published findings that patients who worked in gardens had better recovery rates from mania compared to those who didn’t have the same gardening experience. Since then, there has developed a fascination with harnessing the power of people-plant interactions, especially in the field of horticultural therapy. (more…)

Sensory Garden

A sensory garden of plants with colors, textures, shapes, and fragrances in a native, sustainable garden that invites safe participation and horticultural therapy programs and activities. Presented by AHTA Registered Horticultural Therapist Laura DePrado.

As seasons change, it’s important to continue to connect with nature

With shorter days and changing temperatures upon us, we will spend less time connecting to nature and outdoor gardening activities. (Photo: ~Courtesy of Laura DePrado)

Horticultural Therapist, Laura Deprado and her article “Horticultural Therapy: As seasons change, it’s important to continue to connect with nature” was recently featured in

The end of summer is here. Blooming flowers are tired and looking like they have thrown in the trowel. Summer plants of annuals and perennials, withered, worn and fatigued, make way for the new harvest: A cornucopia of mums, pansies, and fall annuals and perennials taking to the field. 

We, the consumers, respond to the seasonal rhythms and cycles of plants, and plants in turn respond to our care. The cooler evenings are a reminder the harvest is here. We gather. We harvest. Our forefathers’ winter survival depended on the harvest for their survival. (more…)