Green Fingers and Smiling Eyes: Its Horticultural Therapy Week in the Garden State

Horticultural therapy programs offer cognitive, social and physical benefits with year-round application indoors and outdoors

Collette has a traumatic brain injury. She created a terrarium, a garden in a jar, at her own pace in horticultural therapy session in a rehabilitative setting.

Paul is new to adult day care. During his first month he was sad, and felt socially isolated, so he didn’t speak. But then he participated in a horticultural therapy activity. He engaged with the plant material and project at hand. He started singing, and connecting to people

Lillian is deaf, blind and in a wheel chair sitting in the corner while a horticultural therapy session was taking place around a large table with 20 elders in long-term care. Everyone was engaged in creative expression with assorted herbs. Then I brought her two herbs, one at a time. First, she smelled the basil leaves. She pushed my hand away as she did not like the smell of basil. I placed sage under her nose. She cupped the leaves in both hands, excited by the smell.  She motioned to give her more. I placed another fuzzy, soft leaf in her hand. She smiled with joy through her frail body.

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