Gardens and Landscapes Promote Health and Well-Being.

photo-horticulture_therapyNature is a tonic. We feel good spending time in nature because it can relieve stress and even sharpen our mental skills. We know gardening makes us happy! But now, there is scientific evidence to prove it.

Heidi Heiland continues to explore the connection between nature and health. Now that she has earned her certificate of completion from the Horticultural Therapy Institute and Colorado State University, she is developing programs with goals including:

  • Horticultural experiences that are life affirming
  • Wellness programs to assist with processing life’s journey

Horticultural Therapy practices from Heidi’s Lifestyle Gardens are in alignment with our core mission:

  • To enhance the lifestyles of our clients by creating an experiential environment
  • To provide a culture of growth and opportunity for our team of horticulturalists
  • To connect with our community through therapeutic and cooperative events

Services we offer include:

  • Horticultural Therapy programming
  • Accessible Landscape Design
  • Group sessions
  • Individual sessions
  • Healing events for business – team building exercises

Horticultural Therapy: The parallel between ancient wisdom and modern science

Horticultural Therapy (HT) uses plants, gardens, and other aspects of nature to improve people’s social, spiritual, physical and emotional well-being. HT is both a time-proven practice and an emerging profession. The curative effects of spending time in a peaceful garden have been documented for centuries. Today, Horticultural Therapists are trained to professionally conduct garden-related activities designed to achieve specific treatment goals with measurable outcomes. Participants who can benefit include everyone from children, to the elderly, to those who may be developmentally delayed, or those suffering from a traumatic brain injury. Goals address social, spiritual, physical and emotional well-being, as well as enhancing general health and wellness. Examples of detailed goals include:

  • Increase mobility
  • Improve fine and gross motor skills
  • Stimulate memory
  • Expand concentration
  • Decrease isolation
  • Help overcome a sense of loss
Gene Rothert of Chicago Botanic Gardens in his Enabling Garden

Outcomes include increasing learning abilities, gaining confidence, learning patience, reducing stress, providing a distraction from pain, and providing meaningful work in a way that is life affirming.

Gene Rothert of Chicago Botanic Gardens in his Enabling Garden

Gene Rothert of Chicago Botanic Gardens in his Enabling Garden

Tips for Accessible and Appealing Gardens:

Color, fragrance, and texture are all stimulating and therapeutic. Some tips:

  • Position your plants so that they are easily accessible.
  • Plants or flowers with your favorite scent are best enjoyed when they are closest to you.
  • Consider raised beds or containers for their portability.
  • Herbs can be a lasting fragrance throughout the growing season. Thyme, sage or oregano are all lasting choices.

Adaptive Garden Tools:

Adapting garden tools to specific abilities is an easy way to remove any barriers that may get in the way of gardening for anyone. Some of your favorite tools can be easily modified for your needs. Or you can purchase adaptive tools from a variety of resources. More information about these tools and places to purchase them include:

photo-horticulture_therapy3Heidi’s Lifestyle Gardens is a proud member of the American Horticultural Therapy Association. For more information, visit: http://www.ahta.org/content.cfm?id=history

For more information about Horticultural Therapy at Heidi’s Lifestyle Gardens, call 763.475.4960 or write Heidi at: info@bloomonmn.com