There’s something soothing about working in a garden. The feeling of dirt in your hands and watching a plant flourish bring a sense of serenity and fulfillment.
The therapeutic practice of gardening has proven to have significant physical, social and cognitive benefits, and has been specialized in the field of horticultural therapy.
“Horticultural therapy is the process of connecting people and plants through vocational, social and therapeutic programs under the direction of a Horticultural Therapist,” says Laura DePrado, horticultural specialist and therapy practitioner with Final Touch Plantscaping LLC.
The seeds of horticultural therapy began to sprout in 1812 when Benjamin Rush, the “Father of Psychiatry,” signer of the Declaration of Independence and University of Pennsylvania professor, published his discovery that patients with mania who worked in gardens had better recovery rates than those who did not.
In New Jersey, the nationally ranked horticulture industry contributes to the success of this practice.