Hill, C.O. and P.D. Relf. 1982. Gardening as an outdoor activity in geriatric institutions. Activities, Adaptation & Aging 3(1):47-54.
Administrators of geriatric institutions, including activity directors, have the responsibility for selecting and providing appropriate activity programs fro the residents of their institutions. Goals of these programs are generally to improve and enhance, or at least maintain, residents’ morale, social interaction, cooperation, self-confidence, and physical functioning. An outdoor gardening program involves a diversity of horticultural activities which make such a program appealing to a wide variety of people. Programs might involve vegetable, fruit, or flower gardening. Generally, gardens are planted in good soil where plenty of sunlight is available. One can also garden in containers and raised beds. "Spin off" activities include dry flower arrangements, cut, fresh flower arranging, food preservation, herbal potpourri production, and a number of other activities. Gardening involves exercise and the exercise can be taken at one’s own pace. It is not competitive or overly vigorous. It also provides an opportunity to enjoy the out-of-doors environment including fresh air, warm sunshine, and the beauty of a natural surrounding. Gardening is a low-cost activity and volunteers are often recruited from local garden clubs, 4-H groups, or similar groups.