How to create a therapeutic garden 

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Therapeutic gardens are peaceful spaces designed to promote physical, mental, and emotional well-being. Also known as healing or restorative gardens, these plant-based environments are utilised by a variety of healthcare services and institutions to treat chronic illnesses and disabilities of all varieties. 

Some types of therapeutic gardens include sensory experiences, educational opportunities, and wildlife observation. Other uses include teaching a vocation or selling produce to turn it into a self-sustaining project. 

This is known as social and therapeutic horticulture which allows gardeners to not only socialise and relax but improve their particular health needs and learn practical skills that will improve their independence. 

What are the benefits of therapeutic gardens? 

Stress reduction 

Studies show that plants and other greenery have all kinds of mental health benefits, including a reduction in stress and anxiety. Filling your garden with fragrant flowers and green plants transform your outdoor space into a haven for relaxation and calm. Not only will being around them decrease stress levels but caring for them will also boost your mood. 

Healing and rehabilitation 

Therapeutic gardens are very common in healthcare settings like care homes, rehabilitation centres, and hospitals. This is because research suggests that spending time outdoors and having access to well-designed green spaces can directly impact healing and recovery rates, as well as improve patient outcomes. 

Education and learning 

The transformative capabilities of therapeutic gardens mean that they play a large role in education and learning. These are spaces where individuals can expand their knowledge and understanding of plants, gardening techniques, and nature conservation. 

How to start designing your garden space? 

When it comes to designing your own healing garden, you need to do some planning to keep the intended users’ specific therapeutic goals in mind. Landscape architects, horticultural therapists, and healthcare professionals work together to design gardens that maximise therapeutic benefits and improve the overall well-being of those who interact with them. 

Some things to think about include:

Accessibility  – Due to the emphasis on healing and welfare, therapeutic gardens are frequently designed to meet universal accessibility standards. Think about any necessary facility or entry requirements to ensure everyone can enjoy it. 

Lighting – This is crucial for mood enhancement and safety. Consider energy efficiency and sustainability when incorporating lighting into a therapeutic garden. LED outdoor lighting is a versatile option that produces various light effects while offering a long lifespan and low energy consumption. 

Make it stimulating – Incorporating flower and water features, gentle sounds, and soothing colours to create stimulating yet gentle atmospheres. Integrate paths and movable garden furniture so big groups and individuals can take relaxing walks. 

Share your space – Nurturing the wildlife in your restorative garden introduces another level of therapy for users. Insects, birds, and other critters will help animate your space and increase feelings of natural relaxation. 

The post How to create a therapeutic garden  appeared first on Wellbeing Magazine.

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