Digging deeper into the joys of having houseplants in your home, the Fast Company article I cited in my last posting told of another innovative company that is riding the biophilic wave: Horti:
“Instead of walking into a store and buying a plant that’s potted, repotting plants yourself creates a better connection to the plants,” says Puneet Sabharwal, Horti’s CEO and co-founder.
“It’s the same thing as having pets,” Sabharwal says. “The act of nurturing that adds so much value into your life.”
What he’s touching on is one of the tenants of horticultural therapy: creating positive therapeutic experiences through connecting people with the beauty of gardening. It is widely used within a broad range of rehabilitative, vocational, and community settings.
We see a huge opportunity to train the staff at senior living communities in the delivery of proven horticultural therapy programs for their residents. We believe that this is one way to enhance wellbeing in the spaces we design.
One Study looked into the evidence to support the use of therapeutic gardens for the Elderly:
“Preliminary studies have reported the benefits of horticultural therapy and garden settings in reduction of pain, improvement in attention, lessening of stress, modulation of agitation, lowering of as needed medications, anti psychotics and reduction of falls.”
Miami’s Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden offers a Plants and People program in horticultural therapy geared toward individuals living with Alzheimer’s as well as for children with Autism.
We view it as something akin to Universal Design: Everyone should be able to benefit from the connections of plants and people – without special or separate design.
So, here’s to all the folks at Horti and Fairchild who are actively helping to strengthen those vital connections between plants and people. Now, go consider how you can do the same in your realm!
Brad Smith Associates, Inc. is a mold-breaking exterior planning and design firm, landscape architects and planners in the business of Enhancing Wellbeing through the timeless design of sustainable outdoor spaces.
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