Social & Therapeutic Horticulture

Physical Health

Category: Children, cognitive health, mental health, physical health, therapeutic design

Title: Nature as a healer for autistic children (2019)


Summary: This paper focuses on investigating the potential health and well-being advantages of engaging children with autism in nature. Guidelines for a sensory garden are provided, along with exploration of cognitive, mental and physical benefits of connecting with nature. Practical design elements are examined, along with a sight plan to demonstrate these principles in practice.

Category: Older Adults, physical health, mental health

Title: Reduced stress and improved physical functional ability in elderly with mental health problems following a horticultural therapy program (2018)


Summary: This study investigates the effects of 10 horticultural therapy sessions on 14 older adults’ physical and mental health. Results found improved fitness and lower stress compared to the control group. The study design provides examples of self-reported fitness questionnaires.

Category: Physical Health

Title: Health Benefits of Urban Allotment Gardening: Improved Physical and Psychological Well-Being and Social Integration (2017)


Summary: 332 people were surveyed on their health and recreational gardening habits. Allotment gardeners reported better physical and mental health compared to non-gardeners. Notably, on average allotment gardeners reported visiting their site over 15 times a month for over an hour duration, but higher visitation or time spent did not result in greater health benefits.

Category: Physical Health, rehabilitation, qualitative,

Title: The Value of a Therapeutic Gardening Intervention for Post-Stroke Patients Engagement During Rehabilitation: An Exploratory Qualitative Study (2016)


Summary: Little research has examined the benefits of therapeutic gardening on stroke rehabilitation. This study analysed interviews and participant diaries to determine the effectiveness of 10 bi-weekly therapeutic horticulture sessions in conjunction with their normal rehabilitation programme. Participants reported a positive experience of nature in which they felt able to explore self-expression and spirituality. In relation to their recovery participants felt it boosted their feelings of control and acted as a bridge between hospital and returning to the real world.