Abstracts from the
Journal of Therapeutic Horticulture
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- Airhart, D. L., T. Willis, and P. Westrick. 1987. Horticultural
Training for Adolescent Special Education Students. Journal of Therapeutic
Horticultural therapy uses plants and plant-related activities as treatment
for persons with mental or physical disabilities, or for rehabilitation
training for individuals with developmental disabilities to qualify them
for transitional employment. The purpose of this paper is to describe a
horticultural training program which was designed to improve behavioral
and prevocational skills of adolescent students unable to attend regular
high schools. Prior appraisal by the job developer of a client's adaptability
to the program was required to provide realistic expectations of progress.
A clear statement of the training objectives was combined with a detailed
task analysis of the activities suggested for each client. Demonstrations
and short, direct instructional cues were used to initiate job skill sequences.
A structured work routine similar to a sheltered workshop was followed
to instill confidence and avoid confusion in clients. Experienced clients
were allowed to assist new clients to increase camaraderie and build confidence.
Parents were encouraged to cooperate at home with a token remuneration
for successful completion of work tasks. Many clients requested to return
to the program. For them, an improved self-image and degree of self-sufficiency
was a worthy achievement. Continued job skill development was encouraged
to increase clients' employability.
- Autry, A. J. 1986. Nonverbal Aspects of Horticultural
Therapy. Journal of Therapeutic Horticulture 1:3-8.
A comparison of representative source documents relating to horticultural
therapy and to nonverbal behavior and communication reveals that there
are seven significant variables common to both disciplines. These variables,
which have been found to exist in a variety of tasks common in a horticultural
therapy program, are hypothesized to bring about constructive change in
the behavior of a client, through nonverbal interaction with the horticultural
therapist and/or with the environment.
- Azar, J. A. and T. Conroy. 1989. The Development of an
Empirical Instrument Designed to Measure the Effects of Horticultural Therapy.
Journal of Therapeutic Horticulture 4:21-28.
The objective of the project was to devise a rating scale that measures
the effects of a horticultural therapy program. Items were written that
addressed cognitive, emotional, social and psychological factors. The horticultural
therapy staff rated patients assigned to their therapy groups with the
questionnaire on two separate occasions. A series of item analyses were
conducted in order to refine the instrument and to evaluate its psychometric
properties. Based on 103 ratings of 43 participants, it was found that
the rating scale had strong internal consistency (r=.947). The construct
validity of the instrument was supported by a factor analysis. The items
clustered around the following factors: basic work skills, community skills,
communication skills, organizational skills and the ability to deal with
authority. Future studies are discussed that aim to improve the psychometric
soundness of the rating scale.
- Barnes, M. 1996. Designing for Emotional Restoration:
Understanding Environmental Cues. Journal of Therapeutic Horticulture.
The sights, sounds, and smells that surround us have a tremendous impact
on our emotions. The appearance of a rainbow gives rise to a smile on the
lips, memories are triggered by fragrances, cleansing and releasing is
assisted by a stiff breeze or a plunge into a cool lake. Horticultural
therapists and designers of healing outdoor spaces can dramatically increase
the degree of therapeutic benefit derived from our environment by attending
to this "passive" impact of our surroundings. To do this effectively,
the process of emotional restoration and the relationship between our environment
and our feelings need to be understood. This reseach elucidates the connection
between emotional restoration and and the environmental settings specifically
chosen by individuals to assist their healing process. The resulting conclusions
have significant implications for the design of outdoor therapeutic spaces.
- Beckwith, M.E. and S.D. Gilster. 1996. The Paradise Garden:
A Model for Designing for those with Dementia and Altzheimer's Disease.
Journal of Therapeutic Horticulture. 8:45-52.
Guidelines to confirming the effectiveness of a proposed exterior space
and associated elements are revealed in two ways: first, through current
and recent research into the response to the natural setting, and second,
through historic precedents that have seeped into our psyches through
culture and tradition. The repetition of garden elements over time confirms
the preference for them. Based on the review of these bodies of information,
an application of the concepts is presented in the form of three gardens
designed for a specialized Altzheimer's facility in the suburb of a midwestern
- Benson, R. 1996. What's a Nice Guy Like Me Doing in a
Place Like This? A Landscape Architect and Recovering Alcoholic's Thoughts
on Designing Therapeutic Landscapes. Journal of Therapeutic Horticulture.
Addiction treatment facilities are cloitered environments that preserve
anonymity and confidentiality where patients tske the first steps in their
return to normalcy. Emphasis is placed, not on regaining control of out-of-control
lives, but on uncovering and exploring the roots of present predicaments.
Taking "ownership" of one's life and actions, and accepting responsibility
for their results. An integral part of this process is focused, often excrutiating
attention on patients' physical, mental, and emotional condition in sequestered,
nonjudgemental settings where they can examine their motives and zero in
on the real causes fo their addiction problems. Patients are from all ages
and all walks of life.
This is the author's perspective on the necessary qualities of landscape
design in such a setting.
- Betrabet, G. 1996. The Garden as a Restorative Environment:
A Theoretical Perspective. Journal of Therapeutic Horticulture. 8:15-20.
In this paper, existing conceptualizations of restorative environments-places
for restoration-from the fields of healthcare and environmental psychology
will be presented. Also, the common aspects of restorative environments
that were implicit in an analysis of literature in the fields of tourism,
landscape architecture, and horticultural therapy will be presented. From
these different yet similar conceptualizations, a composite picture of
a restorative environment will be presented. It will be shown that the
common aspects of restorative experiencees from different fields exist
in different dimensions in different examples of garden and gardening experiences.
By bringing the common aspects together in a profile, this paper will show
the complexity as well as the dynamic nature of restorative experiences
and restorative environments. In conclusion, it is hoped that this step
in understanding the multidimensionality of restorative experiences in
restorative environments will lead to a deeper exploration of ways to improve
- Bunn, D. E. 1986. Group Cohesiveness is Enhanced as Children
Engage in Plant Stimulated Discovery Activities. Journal of Therapeutic
Horticultural activities are seldom offered to Columbus, Ohio area preschool
children. An assessment of area preschools indicated an absence of science
related activities for the four and five year old child. The premise of
this study proposes that 1) there can be an active relationship between
the child and living plants; 2) that children can learn principles of horticulture
in a group setting; and 3) that group cohesiveness is facilitated by participation
in a horticultural activity program (Shoemaker, 1982).
- Chambers, N.K., S. Johansson, and D.M. Walcavage. 1996.
Classroom? Playground? Garden? or Clinic? Journal of Therapeutic
The goal of treatment at Rusk Institute is to help patients achieve their
highest level of independence-physically, socially, emotionally, and vocationally.
This is achieved through an integrated team approach, with the patient
and family sharing the work with physicians, nurses, teachers, therapists,
and other team members.
Because active, creative play is central to normal child development, an
effective pediatric rehabilitation program must include play and leisure
activities. Particular attention must be paid to how a disability might
subvert or distort any aspect of normal child development and compensatory
steps must be taken so that a disability's effects on the developmental
process are minimized.
Recognizing the importance of play activities, Rusk built an adapted playground
in 1970. This playground, the first of its kind, was strategically designed
to develop physical, cognitive, emotional, and social abilities of the
- Cornille, T. A., G. E. Rohrer, S. G. Phillips, and J. G.
Mosier. 1987. Horticultural Therapy in Substance Abuse Treatment.
Journal of Therapeutic Horticulture 2:3-8.
Most horticultural therapy programs in the United States serve clients
who are either in long-term residential programs or who are living independently
in the community. This ome gardens were analyzed in five geoclimatic locations.
The uses and types of plants found were catalogued and qualitative descriptions
were made of 309 species found growing in home gardens. Sixty-four percent
of these species were ornamentals, 25% were food plants, 10% were medicinal,
and the remainder were grown for household, seasoning, or other uses. This
research found that the complexities of Honduran home garden systems make
a stable and reliable food production system. Traditional research orid
- Dobbs, G. and D. Relf. 1991. Enclave Employment of Individuals
wiht Disabilities in a University Grounds Maintenance Department: A Case
Report. Journal of Therapeutic Horticulture. 6:38-48.
In 1986, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia
Tech) contracted with the New River Valley Workshop, Inc. (NRVWS) for a
pilot project to determine the effectiveness of "enclave placement"
in it's landscape maintenance program. An enclave of five developmentally
disabled adults and one work supervisor was employed to assist Virginia
Tech's Grounds Department by working as a crew in litter removal, weeding,
raking leaves and shoveling snow.
The members of the enclave were enthusiatic, dedicated and had low absenteeism,
thereby setting a standard for salaried employees. The enclave's participation
in the Virginia Tech grounds maintenance program enabled many of the salaried
employees to dedicate their time to more complex or skilled tasks.
The pilot project led to a contract that has been effective for five (since
1986) years, documenting that developmentally disabled adults can function
together as a team and, at the same time, be an integral part of a large
grounds maintenance program.
- Doutt, K. M., D. L. Airhart, and T. W. Willis. 1989. Horticultural
Therapy Activities for Exceptional Children. Journal of Therapeutic
The Tennessee Technological University offers an enrichment program (consisting
of a summer session and three Saturdays) in which gifted children and children
with learning disabilities are grouped together for activities. Horticulture
is one of the few enrichment activities adaptable to both groups. Children
are allowed to engage in the same activities when commonalities exist.
This program included two types of activities referred to as Type I (general
exploratory activities including demonstrations, speakers, films, slides,
field trips, and other visual learning activities) and Type II (hands-on
group activities to develop general skill and practical knowledge). Type
I activities, introduced first, included introduction to plant anatomy
using a rubber tree, tuberous roots, bulbs, and foliar embryos; examination
of vascular tissue of plants; repotting and pruning demonstrations; and
discussion of the earth's atmospheric cycles. Type II reinforcement activities
followed, including examination of plant structures on individual root
bound plants; propagating new plants from cuttings; transplanting; making
an air layer; and making a terrarium. Positive results noted included the
integration of gifted students and students with learning disabilities
in a united learning experience and provision of an opportunity for university
level horticulture therapy and special education students to interact with
students with exceptionalities. (Contains 8 references). (BRM)
- Doxon, L. E. and R. H. Mattson. 1989. An Examination
of Plant Density, Diversity, and Use in Honduran Home Gardens. Journal
of Therapeutic Horticulture 4:39-49.
This research study was conducted in Honduras with the assistance of the
faculty and staff at the Pan American School of Agriculture. Seventy-five
Honduran home gardens were analyzed in five geoclimatic locations. The
uses and types of plants found were catalogued and qualitative descriptions
were made of 309 species found growing in home gardens. Sixty-four percent
of these species were ornamentals, 25% were food plants, 10% were medicinal,
and the remainder were grown for household, seasoning, or other uses. This
research found that the complexities of Honduran home garden systems make
a stable and reliable food production system. Traditional research oriented
toward food production in developing countries has centered on commercially
produced agronomic crops. It is hoped that the information presented through
this paper will lead researchers to consider small diverse gardens as a
viable tool in development efforts.
- Durham, R.A. and N.G. Kenline. 1996. The Walter and Alice
Borgeest Garden at Friends Hospital. Journal of Therapeutic Horticulture.
Friends Hospital, in Philadelphia, Pa., was the first nonprofit psychiatric
hospital in America. Founded by Quakers in 1813, its mission statement
has never changed. Horticulture has always been a part of the hospital,
with the passive use of horticulture available in the hospital's 100 acres
of mature woods, landscaped lawns, and nationally known 20,000 azaleas.
In the active use of horticulture as therapy, Friends is known and recognized
for its pioneering leadership.
- Ebel, S. 1991. Designing Stage-specific Horticultural
Therapy Interventions for Patients with Alzheimer's Disease. Journal
of Therapeutic Horticulture 6:3-9.
Determining the most effective strategies and intervention for presenting
horticultural activities to cognitively impaired patients remains a challenge.
A behavioral approach begins with the assessment of the person's remaining
abilities. Both cognitive strengths and cognitive deficits must be addressed
in an effort to present truly therapeutic activities. Further research
is needed in the area of designing horticultural therapy interventions
for the Alzheimer's patients that are stage-specific.
- Eberbach, C. 1987. Gardens From a Child's View - An Interpretation
of Children's Art-work. Journal of Therapeutic Horticulture 2:9-16.
What are gardens from a child's view? What would children like gardens
to be? What garden features and elements are important to children? Since
the eventual sucess of any design rests on how sensitively landscape features
intermingle with user behavior and preference, answers to these questions
may influence how childrens gardens are designed. Over the years, numerous
books have outlined children's gardening activities (Huckaby and Skelsey,
1973; MacLatchie, 1977; Ocone, 1983). Public gardens and school systems
have historically offered supervised, structured children's gardening programs
(Bailey, 1909; Clapp, 1901; Gager, 1914; Greene, 1910; Sullivan, 1938).
These gardens typically involved rows of small, rectangular plots linked
together by a series of pathways and a central communal area. Although
well informed about how to garden with children, we know little
about children's perception and use of garden space.
- Eckerling, M. 1996. Guidelines for Designing Healing
Gardens. Journal of Therapeutic Horticulture. 8:21-25.
For this paper, a healing garden is defined as a garden in a healing setting
designed to make people feel better. The ideas for what should be in the
garden are taken from historic precedent, clinical studies, literature,
interviews with designers, and existing guidelines, as well as personal
experience. The prime consideration for designing the space is the emotional
state, or how the person would feel while in the space. For a healing garden
to be successful, the person in the garden should feel less stressed, more
comfortable, safe, and even invigorated. This is the goal of these guidelines.
- Elkins, A. 1990. A Vocational Training Curriculum and
Financial Study of a Model Floral Shop Training Program for Special-Needs
Youths. Journal of Therapeutic Horticulture 5:3-9.
This paper describes a retail floral design program developed at a residential
youth care facility in the midwestern United States. Further, it describes
ideas for individuals and/or organizations to implement a rehabilitative,
vocational horticulture program for special-needs youths.
- Epstein, S. G. and D. S. Greenberger. 1990. Nurturing
Plants, Children, and Older Individuals: Intergenerational Horticultural
Therapy. Journal of Therapeutic Horticulture 5:16-19.
The development of an intergenerational program in horticultural therapy
seemed to be a natural approach for the establishment of a positive experience.
We observed that the joining together of younger children and physically
and cognitively impaired elderly is mutually beneficial. Children who are
exposed to older individuals learned not to fear them, and the presence
of children seemed to revitalize those individuals who were older.
- Flagler, J. 1993. Correctional Youth and the Green Industry.
Journal of Therapeutic Horticulture. 7:49-55.
The New Jersey Department of Corrections in conjunction with Rutgers University-Cook
College have developed a specilized youth correctional training program.
Objectives for participants are to gain horticultural skills and potentially
become employed in florist shops, garden centers, nurseries, golf courses,
parks, and interior plantscaping businesses. Structured training modules
allow youth to gain knowledge, responsibility, and achievement through
hands-on experience. Students and instructors regularly gauge program effectiveness,
academic, and socio-emotional progress. Career counseling and internships
will help steer program graduates toward job placement.
- Gallagher, M. J. and R. H. Mattson. 1986. Evaluation
of Arthritis Using the Horticulture Hand Capacities Test. Journal of
Therapeutic Horticulture 1:31-36.
The hand performances of elderly arthritic and nonarthritic people were
compared using the Horticultural Hand Capacities Test (HHCT) and the Physical
Capacities Evaluation of Hand Skill Test (PCE). Each horticultural task
on the HHCT was highly correlated with a similar task on the PCE. The HHCT
is useful in diagnosing arthritic hand disabilities and is economically
feasible in individualized physical rehabilitation programs.
- Gassaway, B. M. 1990. Conducting Horticultural Therapy
Research: A Methodological Essay. Journal of Therapeutic Horticulture
Research is different things to different people. For many horticultural
therapists whose days are long and whose clients are demanding, research
is a task that can be put off because no one insists that they do it. But
research inspires other therapists to put extra effort into planning their
intervention and measuring the impact that they are having on their clients;
research is more than extra work and extra time -- it helps them measure
the degree to which their efforts are worthwhile.
- Haas, K.L. and R. McCartney. 1996. The Therapeuic Quality
of Plants. Journal of Therapeutic Horticulture. 8:61-67.
A fundamental question in the discussion of therapeutic landscapes is it
the accessible structure, the location or setting of the garden, the techniques
of gardening in them, or the abundance of plants? This paper will explore
the interactive qualities that plants add to therapeutic spaces and their
role in "therapeutic landscapes," rather than structures, techniques,
or actual gardens.
- Hassan, B. N. and R. H. Mattson. 1993. Family Income
and Experience Influence Community Garden Success. Journal of Therapeutic
Demographic and horticultural data obtained from five years of community
garden records were analyzed to compare family gardening characteristics.
Experienced gardeners rented more space and paid more plot rental than
new gardeners. Plot abandonment was more frequent with low income than
medium to high income families. With low income gardeners, both the new
and experienced gardeners abandoned plots at similar high frequencies.
- Hoffman, E. and D. Castro-Blanco. 1988. Horticultural
Therapy with a Four-Year-Old Boy: A Case Report. Journal of Therapeutic
Horticultural therapy was conducted with a 4-year-old boy diagnosed as
having speech-language impairment and exhibiting a variety of behavioral
problems and depressed affect, enrolled in a special preschool program.
Horticultural therapy was initiated after 15 sessions of traditional play
therapy had yielded limited results. Over the course of 30 horticultural
therapy sessions, the child showed marked improvement in his in-class behavior.
Gains were also demonstrated in his improved affect and capacity to exhibit
empathy and nurturance. Clinical implications are briefly discussed.
- Houseman, D. 1986. Developing Links Between Horticultural
Therapy and Aging. Journal of Therapeutic Horticulture 1:9-14.
Many older adults enjoy working with plants, and there is a wide spectrum
of horticulture therapy activities that can address the needs of a growing
number of senior citizens. These range from specific techniques in a clinical
setting to facilitating outdoor community garden efforts.
A variety of factors challenge horticultural therapy professionals to link
with the aging network, from senior center directors to professional gerontologists,
to develop policies, skills and practices which promote well-being for
older Americans. Some of these factors are discussed.
- Kamp, D. 1996. Design Considerations for the Development
of Therapeutic Gardens. Journal of Therapeutic Horticulture. 8:6-10.
The following recommendations explore criteria, environments, and elements
that advance the therapeutic qualities of gardens. These recommendations
intend to outline design qualities that enhance and enrich the experience
of nature, rather than provide a definitive design checklist. The recommendations
start with a first look, then build on a series of design principles: site
analysis, diversity in site design, accessibility and ease of use, diversity
of plant material, and quality of maintenance.
- Kavanaugh, J. S. and T.A. Musiak. 1993. Selecting Design
Services for Therapeutic Landscapes. Journal of Therapeutic Horticulture
Knowing the site design services offered by landscape architects helps
decision makers select proper choices. Aspects of site design services
discussed in this paper are consultation, master planning, site planning,
construction documents, construction administration, project management,
and post-construction administration. Each gives focus to information contributing
to therapeutic landscapes.
- Labrecque, C. and L. Tremblay. 1996. The Evolutive Prosthetic
Garden. Journal of Therapeutic Horticulture. 8:56-60.
The conception of the Evolutive Garden was the result of such a team effort.
It is the result of merging the experiences of two disciplines: geriatric
nursing and landscape architecture. The project was created in a truely
interdisciplinary way that has made possible the emergence of many of the
principles presented here.
- Lewis, J. F. and R. H. Mattson. 1988. Gardening May Reduce
Blood Pressure of Elderly People: Activity Suggestions and Models for Intervention.
Journal of Therapeutic Horticulture 3:25-38.
Activity questionnaires and blood pressure records were compared for 53
people aged 45 to 99 from two nursing homes and two senior centers. Participants
were most often involved in activities requiring clerical and social skills.
Participants' frequency of and preference for horticultural, social, and
other activities differed by location. Contrasts between preference and
frequency scores were greatest for horticultural activities. Participants'
systolic and diastolic blood pressures were related to their blood pressure
medication, frequency of activity, age and diet.
- Martin-Yates, T. 1990. A Comparison of the Effects of
Horticultural Therapy and Pet Therapy on Self-Esteem and Well-Being of
Adults with Visual Disabilities. Journal of Therapeutic Horticulture
This study examined the effects of horticultural therapy and pet therapy
on the self-esteem of adults with visual disabilities in a vocational training
facility. Fifteen participants were randomly assigned to one of three groups:
horticultural therapy (HT), pet therapy (PT), or control. Before and after
the treatment period, all participants were verbally administered the Rosenberg
Self-Esteem Scale, the Diggory Self-Evaluation Questionnaire, and a scale
developed by the author. The HT and PT groups met in one-hour sessions
weekly for a six-week period. Working with plants was the focus of the
HT sessions, whereas interacting with pets was the focus of the PT sessions.
The hypothesis that horticultural therapy and pet therapy improved self-esteem
was not supported.
- Mattson, R. H., L. E. Doxon, and S. Moore. 1986. Apple
Picking Productivity of Developmentally Disabled Adults. Journal of
Therapeutic Horticulture 1:25-30.
Productivity records were compared for 30 developmentally disabled adults
who picked apples over a 3-week period in a commercial-sized orchard. Four
adults demonstrated sufficient work skills to be advanced from prevocational
to work readiness training. Seven adults, with more than 67% attendance,
picked at 40% of norm and earned $3.36/hour, as compared to earning $1.13/hour
in prevocational work activities at an adult training center.
- Mattson, R.H., J. Merkle, L. Parrett, and T. Waliczek. 1993.
Proposed Horticultural Therapy Standards of Practice. Journal of
Therapeutic Horticulture. 7:41-48.
Professional horticultural therapists are committed to providing comprehensive
activity, educational, and rehabilitative services for persons who require
various therapeutic, protective, and/or supervised environments and milieus.
As members of the American Horticultural Therapy Association (AHTA), they
are dedicated to advancing the general welfare of people through education,
research, public service, and application of a code of ethics. These proposed
Standards of Practice are the author's opinions regarding the profession's
statement of conditions and performances essential for quality horticultural
therapy services. As an overriding principle, the professional horticultural
therapist is expected to exercise sound judgement and decision making,
assume horticultural therapy program and community leadership, and exemplify
an administrative philosophy in congruence with the mission and goals of
- Messer, E.R. 1996. The Primary Colors of Nature: The
Essentials of Therapeutic Landscapes. Journal of therapeutic Horticulture.
Therapeutic landscapes exist as places to stimulate the senses, the body,
and the mind and to encourage imagination and exploration. This experience
can be much more significant when we consider the various forms of the
landscape and the natural phenomena that affect it, such as light, temperature,
air movement, and sound.
In understanding the relationship between nature and human functioning,
therapeutic landscape design can go beyond accessible gardening to incorporate
and magnify qualities of the surrounding environment which evoke positive
- Moore, R.C. 1996. Compact Nature: The Role of PLaying
and Learning Gardens on Children's Lives. Journal of Therapeutic Horticulture.
To feel that they live in the biosphere, children must, in fact literally
live in it, intimately, daily, and in a way that is developmentally appropriate.
Especially urban children need to live in a designed landscape; that is
to say, in some form of specialized, secure gardenesque space, where they
can explore and experience natural materials and phenomena each day of
their lives and where they can work eith teachers, therapists, and facilitators
in educational or developmental activities, including the arts and culture.
- Neuberger, K. R. 1988. Some Conceptual Ideas in Horticultural
Therapy Drawn from Practice. Journal of Therapeutic Horticulture 3:9-14.
By approaching horticulture as ergo- or work therapy, patientscan benefit
from nature and plant related activities by using these experiences to
become more familiar with their own nature. Horticultural therapists bring
patients in contact with their own ability towards growth and change through
a lively interaction with plants.
- O'Neil, C. 1996. The Healing Gardens of Makahikilua:
The Landscape as a Healer. Journal of Therapeutic Horticulture. 8:92-96.
The Gardens of Makahikilua will be the first landscape of its kind to be
realized. As such, it has the opporitunity, within an institutional framework,
to become a significant prototype of a comprehensive, ecological landscape,
incorporating the essential elements of food production, solar energy,
rare aesthetics, and deep healing environments: that is, the landscape
- Parsons, A. B. and P. D. Relf. 1989. The Need for Organized
Information of Horticulture Projects Which Involve the Disabled Population
in Developing Countries. Journal of Therapeutic Horticulture 4:3-9.
A need exists for a central database containing information on horticultural
therapy projects in developing countries. The lifestyles in many developing
areas are primarily agricultural, and intensive cultural practices are
dependent upon horticultural crops. The term "horticultural therapy"
applies to practices used by disabled persons. To facilitate further research,
a listing of projects has been compiled and is offered for cooperative
use and refinement.
- Pitt-Nairn, E. J., P. D. Relf, and A. R. McDaniel. 1990.
A Study Design to Investigate Factors Affecting Preferences of Clients
for Hand Tools. Journal of Therapeutic Horticulture 5:41-46.
The horticultural hand tool serves as an extension of the hand. The design
of the tool should be matched both to the prescribed task and to the hand
that is to use the tool. Special tools or modifications may allow people
with physical limitations to carry on normal gardening activities. Studies
focusing on tool improvements that allow people with physical disabilities
to participate in gardening activities are required to improve the choice
and design of tools.
- Relf, D. and M. DeHart-Bennett. 1990. Characteristics
of Horticultural Businesses Hiring Persons with Mental Retardation.
Journal of Therapeutic Horticulture 5:10-15.
The horticulture industry offers numerous semiskilled job opportunities
for individuals with mental disabilities. A mail survey of 557 private,
ornamental horticultural businesses within the state of Virginia documented
the employment of persons with mental disabilities in the industry. Responses
revealed several characteristics of businesses that may employ persons
with mental retardation.
- Ringle, W. 1996. Growing Citizens: The Role of Gardens
in a Women's Prison. Journal of Therapeutic Horticulture. 8:36-44.
Growing Citizens investigates the garden's potetial as a linear
space of movement as well as a boundary. This linear space functions as
a nursery and test gardens for vocational training some inmates receive
in horticulture. The nursery is a metaphor for a prison as a place of disparate
and temporary associations and one of sheltered growth prior transplanting.
The design of this linear space explores the role of nature in making time
and of self-development in a world where time is what seperates a woman
from her family and home.
- Salamy, V.M. 1996. Stress Management through Garden Design.
Journal of Therqapeutic Horticulture. 8:32-35.
Research on stress indicates that stressful stimuli is detrimental to one's
health. Several theories have determinded that reduced stress can lead
to enhanced immunity and health (Ader, Felton and Cohen, 1991, Benson,
1992, Kiecolt-Glaser and Glaser, 1993, Lazarus, 1966, Selye, 1976). A garden,
if designed properly, is capable of reducing stress. Such a garden becomes:
1) an aphrodisiac that provides sensual pleasure through stimulation, diversity,
and interest, 2) a haven that creates a bond with nature conducive to a
personal and spiritual introspection, and 3) an environment that requires
and active as well as passive interaction between the senses and natural
stimuli. The garden is, therefore, recommended as one means of stress reduction.
The following guidelines are based on my research for a thesis on "Healing
Gardens." They reflect an analysis, synthesis, and interpretation
of several theories relating to stress, nature, health, and design. They
incorporate my views and conclusions in regard to these theories and healing
- Scarfone, S.C. 1996. Design of Outdoor Environments for
Wellness in the Role of Landscape Architechture. Journal of Therapeutic
At present, many architectual design guidelines for the design for wellness
of health care facilities have been researched and documented. However,
at present, landscape architectural supportive design for wellness for
the ill and elderly have not been fully addressed. This paper is intended
to provide an overview of the theory and the considerations for the design
of outdoor environments for wellness and to illustrate the progress made
by researchers and landscape architects.
- Schleien, S., J. Rynders, T. Musonen, L. Heyne and S. Kaase.
1991. Teaching Horticulture Skils to Adults with Autism: A Replicated
Case Study. Journal of Therapeutic Horticulture. 6:21-37.
Systematic instruction in Horticulture skills as a means to enhance the
employment potential of adults with developmental disabilities has been
addressed in the literature; the acquisition of horticulture skills to
meet lifelong leisure needs has not been addressed. In this study, three
adults with autism were taught three lifelong horticulture skills in a
greenhouse environment: planting seeds, transplanting seedlings, and repotting
plants. Maintenance and generalization of two of the skills, planting seeds
and transplanting seedlings, were conducted in an adjacent farm environment,.
Using an A-B case study design, instruction was provided via an environmental
analysis inventory, an error correction procedure, and a continuous social
reinforcement strategy. Significant increases in skill acquisition occured
across all three participants. The potential of horticulture activities
to meet lifelong leisure needs of individuals with developmental disabilities
- Schwebel, A.I. 1993. Psychological Priciples Applied
in Horticultural Therapy. Journal of Therapeutic Horticulture. 7:3-12
Four cases are presented in which horticultural therapists help clients
who are facing problems that call for substantial psychological adjustment.
In their work, the horticultural therapists make effective use of several
psychological concepts, theories, and techniques. These are described in
the paper and include the application of behavioral and humanistic principles,
the fostering of a psychological sense of ownership, and the creation of
positive, realistic expectations in clients.
- Smith, R. 1986. Understanding and Overcoming Burnout.
Journal of Therapeutic Horticulture 1:15-24.
As service providers horticultural therapists and instructors should be
aware of occupational stressors and burnout and their impact on client
management, service provision, worker satisfaction and health. Burnout
is not simply an individual's inability to cope with a difficult work situation.
It is a complex problem caused by societal, organizational, professional
and individual factors. Intervention strategies need to occur at all levels
to overcome the causes rather than merely managing the stress symptoms.
It is not for the individual alone to overcome burnout, but is an industrial
issue to be addressed by organizations and professional associations.
- Sneh, N. and J. Tristan. 1991. Plant Material Arrangement
in Therapy. Journal of Therapeutic Horticulture. 6:16-20.
An innovative method of therapy is described in which flower and plant
material arrangements are used as a form of communication between client
and therapist. A theme arrangement allows for the expression of personal
subject matter in a unique and creative way. Open discussion and thoughtful
interpretation can then lead to problem resolution and/or reinforce desired
- Stober, P.L. and R.H. Mattson. 1993. A Survey of Horticultural
Therapy Professional Issues. Journal of Therapeutic Horticulture. 7:23-40.
The Horticultural Therapy Professional Information (HTPI) questionnaire
was sent to a sample of 214 Kansas State University (KSU) graduates and
204 non-KSU graduates who were American Horticultural Therapy Association
(AHTA) members randomly chosen from the AHTA 1990 Annual Membership
Directory. Forty-nine percent responded by providing information on
demographics and job characteristics. Results indicated that academic training
and AHTA registration significantly increased salary base. Respondents
indicated the need for additional professional training and development
of a certification test.
- Tristan, J.T. and L. Nguyen-Hong-Nhiem. 1989. Horticultural
Therapy and Asian Refugee Resettlement. Journal of Therapeutic Horticulture
Horticultural Therapy was used to ease the acculturation difficulties of
Asian refugees experiencing adjustment problems. The strong bond between
the individual and an environment of familiar plants was used as a focal
point for therapy. Direct involvement with tropical plant groups in a variety
of activities was emphasized with a twofold goal: the reduction of anxiety/culture
shock and the acquisition of basic work skills. Asian perspectives, therapy
factors, specific activities, and the results otained by the training methodology
- Tyson, M. M. 1987. Memories of Grandma's backyard.
Journal of Therapeutic Horticulture 2:29-35.
Today's landscape architect faces a new challenge and exciting opportunity
in designing environments that enhance the quality of life for the elderly
in long-term care facilities in this country. The recent wave of public
awareness and positive attitude towards aging has developed into concern
for quality long-term care facilities. One response to this concern for
quality care has resulted in the introduction of horticultural therapy
to geriatric health-care facilities. This produces a need for specialized
environments designed to encourage use of outdoor yards and to facilitate
horticultural therapy activities. Designs that respond to an understanding
of the aging process and are committed to the continued quality of life
for older people are needed much more today than ever before (Carstens,
1985). The physical environment of long-term care facilities has a powerful
influence on resident behavior and attitude toward daily living (Regnier,
1985). A sensitively designed outdoor environment is essential to complete
a truly holistic philosophy of care. Residents of nursing homes need the
opportunity to enjoy the crispness of the fresh morning air, the smell
of roses in bloom and dried falling leaves, the warmth of the sun, the
sound of birds chirping and the antics of squirrels scampering across the
lawn. How sad it is that many facilities encourage residents to "sit"
their life away, when there can be so much more.
- Williams, P. N. and R. H. Mattson. 1988. Horticultural
Activities and Demographic Factors Influence Children's Self-Esteem.
Journal of Therapeutic Horticulture 3:39-54.
A five month study of children who participated in a supervised gardening
program at a mid-western community garden revealed differences in self
esteem, horticultural knowledge, and quality index of gardens. The demographic
factors used in this study were age, gender, and number of children per
family participating. Children gardening without other siblings had higher
self-esteem, gained more horticultural knowledge, and had better appearing
gardens than children gardening with other siblings.
- Williams, S. 1989. Evaluation of a Horticultural Therapy
Program in a Short Term Psychiatric Ward. Journal of Therapeutic Horticulture
A process evaluation of a horticultural therapy program in a psychiatric
ward of a university hospital was conducted. The study documented the extent
to which patients selected to participate in the group met the criteria
of the target population. The majority of the participants met the indications
for placement within the group. Participation in the horticulture group
was seen to foster both social interaction and cooperative activities.
Over 75% of the participants perceived the group to be both enjoyable and
relaxing. More than half of the patients assumed the responsibility of
watering and caring for their plants. The majority of the patients involved
in the group perceived the program as beneficial and felt satisfaction
in what they had accomplished.
- Zandstra, P.J. 1988. A Systematic Approach to Horticultural
Therapy. Journal of Therapeutic Horticulture 3:15-24.
To enhance the credibility and quality of horticultural therapy programs,
it is essential that horticultural therapists document the effectiveness
of their work (Zandstra, 1987). The systematic approach to horticultural
therapy described here was designed to provide the therapist with a model
to follow in the therapeutic process. This systems approach adapted from
Systematic Counseling, Stewart, et. al. (1978) provides a process for assessing
client needs, establishing goals and objectives to meet those needs, and
for objectively evaluating the outcome of therapy. Although the systems
approach has been designed for use with individuals, it can also be used
with groups of clients by establishing goals, designing learning objectives,
and creating horticultural objectives that are applicable to the whole
- Zandstra, P.J. 1987. Evaluating the Effectiveness of
Your Horticultural Therapy Program Journal of Therapeutic Horticulture
Professional horticultural therapists are responsible for evaluating their
programs to see if they are having the desired effect. A formal evaluation
is also of interest to clients, administrators, funding sources, and others
who must discriminate between the effectiveness of various health care
services. To gather information for a formal report, programs with individualized
goals and objectives must be evaluated on the collective results of the
success or failure of each individual program. Programs with standardized
goals and objectives rely on the pre and post test results to determine
if their program is working. Evaluation methods for programs with generalized
goals and objectives are the most difficult to evaluate and rely on a non-experimental
approach, quasi-experimental approach, or classic experimental design.
Once the information is collected, a formal program evaluation must be
clearly written with recommendations for change. This report must be put
into the hands of influential people to help secure funding, improve programs,
and ultimately benefit the client.
- Zhou, W. and D. Relf. 1991. Horticulture for Special
Populations in China. Journal of Therapeutic Horticulture VI:10-15.
In China, there are more than 50 million individuals with disabilities
and 89 million people over 60 years of age. Despite the belief that these
individuals should share the same quality of life as all people, before
1988 there were no gardens specifically designed and built for people with
disabilities or older individuals. In addition, there are no hospitals,
rehabilitation facilities, or other institutions focusing on therapy and
rehabilitation through horticulture. However, according to the editorial
board of Disability in China (1990), horticultural therapy has been recognized
as a new course of study and application in China.
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