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.
Horticulture is not a new therapeutic tool—when injured WWII veterans were admitted to Veterans Administration hospitals, physicians used on-site gardens, donated and planted by garden clubs and horticultural businesses, specifically for rehabilitation therapies.