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Therapeutic Gardening for Life and Health

by Dorlista Rose Reed on 11/23/13

This website is designed to create some energy in our local communities for Therapeutic Gardening.  The Grow Your Own Zone, Therapeutic Gardening Collective wants to credit Thrive, of the United Kingdom, for its creative inspiration.

The emotional benefits of gardening may be attributed to the sense of the natural rhythm of life that plants and gardens provide.  It can divert your thoughts about yourself and your situation.  In the garden you can create and control your environment.  Social and Therapeutic gardening is the process of using gardening, plants, and horticulture to help each other flourish and develop.

Horticultural therapy is one of the very few healing processes in which mind, body and spirit are being restored simultaneously.  

Horticultural therapy is a healing element, which can be used to help those whose lives have been disrupted by illness, injury, social and economic problems, psychological and development disorders, as well as the aging process.

What is Social and Therapeutic Horticulture?

Gardening is a wonderfully flexible medium that can transform lives and Thrive sees first how gardening can help everyone, regardless of age or disability. The benefits of a sustained and active interest in gardening include: 

  •   Better physical health through exercise and learning how to use or strengthen muscles to improve mobility
  •   Improved mental health through a sense of purpose and achievement
  •   The opportunity to connect with others – reducing feelings of isolation or exclusion
  •   Acquiring new skills to improve the chances of finding employment
  •   Just feeling better for being outside, in touch with nature and the ‘great outdoors’

Social and therapeutic horticulture is the formal name given to the process of gardening, plants and horticulture to help people develop.

The Grow Your Own Zone, Therapeutic Gardening Collective is designed to provide the supplies, services and resources to help you grow your own indoor or outdoor, organic therapeutic garden.

Then God said, “I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food.

Genesis 1:29

New International Version

Plants will respond to anyone providing care. Studies show that success with plants can lead to successes in other aspects of our lives.  This is important for people whose disabilities or limitations might hinder their accomplishments in other pursuits.

For centuries the Native Americans have always shown reverence to the connection between man and nature.  Hopefully, what is finally happening is our modern society is finally opening its collective eyes to alternative healing techniques. 

In our world of high technology medicine, which definitely has a important role in our health care, we are amazed when we are now finding a therapy so pure and basic as horticultural therapy, to be so beneficial.

Website Dedication: To Ms. Bernadette Lopes, my muse, who nurtured this idea when it was only germinating in my mind, watering it with creative inspiration, until it was planted in the fertile soil of possibility, and it grew. 

Thank you Bernie!

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Dorlista Rose Reed is the founder of the Grow Your Own Zone. She was former Consultant to the Alameda County Para transit Coordinating Council. She was past director of the Berkeley Community Partnership, an Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention Collaborative. She was also staff to the City of Berkeley Commission on Disability, and supervised disability program staff. She now holds a License to Sell Nursery Stock, and Authorization to Sell Seed, from the California Department of Food and Agriculture.

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