Winter plants a warm holiday welcome in horticultural therapy

(Photo: ~Courtesy of Laura DePrado)

The landscape is frozen in time as winter blankets trees, shrubs, perennials asleep until next spring. The garden is all but forgotten, but some plants are truly at their best this time of year with colorful foliage, and stems that make great materials for horticultural activities and learning in programs of horticultural therapy in the Garden State.

Horticultural therapy is the process of using plants as tools for rehabilitation of an individual or group through activities and projects that are guided by a horticultural therapist in purpose and meaning for the participants.

Horticultural therapists are providing services in settings such as rehabilitative centers, senior facilities, mental health centers, schools, residential facilities, addiction treatments, correctional facilities, Veterans hospitals and skilled nursing facilities and libraries in programs of special needs social hour for adults with disabilities. The focus is always on the population served using seasonally related plant materials.

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