Therapeutic Horticulture connects people with plants and nature for restorative benefits.
The Arboretum’s Therapeutic Horticulture program provides therapeutic and recreational opportunities for people of all abilities and life experiences. Participants experience life enriching activities that actively engage them with plants and nature for restorative benefits.
We offer outreach services to a variety of audiences at senior care facilities, hospitals, rehabilitation centers and other human service organizations. Participants complete hands-on plant and natural craft activities adapted toward their therapeutic goals, personal interests and abilities.
The Therapeutic Horticulture program is graciously supported by The Astrid and Pat Merriman Family Fund of Communities Foundation of Texas.
For additional information, please contact Susan Morgan at 214.515.6595 or email@example.com.
What Is Therapeutic Horticulture?
Therapeutic Horticulture is the professional use of nature and gardening activities to advance the health and well-being of participants. Direct interaction with nature and participation in horticultural projects provides countless benefits for participants. Projects such as creating floral arrangements or planting a raised bed help engage participants in hands-on therapeutic activity.
Research supports the advantages of these programs and their influence on physical health. Some benefits include lowered blood pressure and heart rate, improved fine and gross motor skills, and increased coordination. Therapeutic horticulture helps stimulate social interaction and has also been shown to have cognitive and psychosocial benefits including improved concentration and reduced stress and depression.
Garden Therapy On The Go Outreach Services
Garden Therapy on the Go is an outreach service that sends Arboretum staff and volunteer assistants to your location to present indoor and outdoor horticultural activities for your clients. Our activities are professionally directed and tailored to your clients’ interests, abilities and therapeutic goals.
Instructors bring the necessary supplies to complete a horticultural or nature craft activity. These 45-minute sessions are typically conducted in an indoor setting, but can be taken outdoors if feasible. Sessions are offered Monday through Friday, with limited weekend opportunities. Session fees start at $200 and are based on a group size of up to 15 participants. All crafts produced during the activity are for the participant's personal use or for the agency only.
Sample of Activities
- Aromatic Herbals: Stimulate the senses with dried aromatic flowers and herbs packed into an herbal sachet.
- Dig and Divide: Participants divide a variety of three large houseplants and transplant the divisions into a decorative mixed container.
- Elegant Ivy Topiary: Participants create their own rustic wire topiary frames for training ivy and other vining houseplants.
- Feeders for the Flock: Construct a pine cone bird feeder naturally edible for our feathered friends.
- Pressed Flower Artcards: Using pressed flowers and other natural materials, participants create their own artcards that can be used for a handwritten note to loved ones or can be displayed as artwork.
- Posey Pots: Give the gift of a festive floral arrangement made inside a miniature pot.
Seasonal Program Offerings
As part of our Garden Therapy on the Go services, the Arboretum’s Therapeutic Horticulture program presents an array of seasonal activities throughout the year. We provide all of the supplies necessary to complete the activity as well as the staff instructor and volunteer assistants to lead the session. Session fees range between $200-$225 and are based on a group size of up to 15 participants. Activities indicated as group projects are designed to be completed by participants working as part of a team. These activities do not produce individual products, but instead create approximately five to six group products.
Winter 2013-2014 Offerings
- Blooming Cactus: Though it isn’t the spiny southwestern cactus sometimes envisioned, Christmas cactus is a tropical cactus, minus the thorns, but full of attractive blooms during the holidays. Participants transplant a Christmas cactus into a candy-cane style container decorated with festive embellishments.
- Gourd Snowmen: ‘Tis the season! Participants transform a simple gourd into a wintry snowman complete with twig arms, scarf, and other natural elements.
- Fernleaf Prints: Using ferns and other pressed leaves and flowers, participants create nature-inspired paintings.
- Scented Topiary: Participants craft their own fragrant tabletop topiary with preserved moss “foliage,” sweet scented dried herbs, and a cinnamon stem. Then they “spice” it up with a drop or two of essential oil.
- Dried Fruit Ornaments: Celebrate the holiday season by adorning dried fruit with dried flowers and other elements. Optional: decorate a mini “twig tree” with the ornaments.
- Rose-Merry Swags: Participants prepare and bundle rosemary and other fragrant
stems to form an aromatic swag. These can be hung on a door or elsewhere for a truly
A la Carte Services
Our A la Carte services provide the option of tailoring activities to suit your programming needs. Arboretum staff works with you to determine your clients’ interests as well as programming goals and requirements. Our staff uses this information to develop and present a program proposal uniquely prepared just for you. These specially prepared programs can be delivered to your clients on a one-time or continual basis.
Examples of current and past programs
- Family-friendly special events for large groups of up to 175 people.
- Consultation on the design and construction for a raised planting bed and implementation of ongoing programming for its use by the residents at a continuing care community.
- A vocational training program in landscape horticulture for adults from refugee and low income backgrounds.