of Horticulture Therapy
Horticulture therapy has been going on probably
longer than any kind of therapy that we know of. You might find that
hard to believe , such as I did, because you may have never heard
of Horticulture Therapy before. The truth is that it has been going on
since the beginning of time but has never been dubbed 'horticulture therapy'
before. Just think about it... when someone is depressed or
has been ill we send them what, to make them feel better? How
about a flower or plant arrangement.
The history of Horticulture Therapy
is very brief and yet the idea has been around since the beginning of time.
The American Horticulture Therapy Association gives the definition of horticulture
therapy as: 'A process utilizing plants and horticultural activities
to improve social, educational, psychological, and physical adjustment
of persons thus improving their body, mind, and spirit.'
The first dated incidence of 'horticulture
therapy' was around 1600. This happened when poor people couldn't
pay their hospital bills so they had to work in the gardens to pay it off.
It was noticed that these patients as well as those who had a view
of the gardens recovered quicker than than other patients without any contact
with the gardens. Also, after WW I and II some of the injured servicemen
participated in what is now dubbed 'horticulture therapy.' They worked
in gardens to improve functioning of injured limbs, increase mental function,
and also learn skills. Horticulture therapy has come a long way to
what it has become today.