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History 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.

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