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Horticulture (Gardening)

Horticultural therapy refers to the use of plants and related activities as tools to promote healing and rehabilitate people with special needs. The therapy aims to improve a person’s well-being physically and mentally. Known for its versatility, horticultural therapy can be conducted year round among a myriad of methods. While working outdoors in the soil and caring for plants is a key ingredient of this therapy, few activities are available for participants to work indoors when an outdoor garden isn’t accessible, for instance planting terrariums or using photographs to make a garden. Even though it’s winter, participants still can work on garden related crafts such as birdhouses and painting flower pots.

The practice of horticultural therapy has been proven over time with the documentation of therapeutic benefits of garden environments since ancient times. The positive effect of working in the garden had been documented by Dr. Benjamin Rush in the 19th century, as known as the “Father of American Psychiatry”. Today, horticultural therapy is widely used within a broad range of rehabilitative, vocational and community settings.

By employing techniques from horticultural therapy, participants are guided to learn new skills or regain those that are lost. For instance, to focus on physical rehabilitation, horticultural therapy can help strengthen muscles and improve coordination, balance and endurance. In terms of vocational settings, people can learn to work independently, problem solving skills and following directions through gardening activities. All of these skills can improve memory, cognitive abilities, task initiation, language skills and socialization.

Therapeutic gardens
A plant-dominated environment that is designed with the aim of facilitating interaction with the healing elements of nature. Interactions can be passive or active based on the garden design and users’ needs. These gardens are purposefully designed to address a variety of applications within healthcare, rehabilitative and other therapeutic settings. In addition, there are sub-types of therapeutic gardens such as healing gardens, enabling gardens, rehabilitation gardens and restorative gardens. Some basic features of a therapeutic garden often included wide and gently graded accessible entrances and paths, raised planting beds and containers, and a sensory-oriented plant selection focused on color, texture and fragrance.

                   

Do not have the space for a “traditional garden” ? Don’t worry !
You can enjoy some of the therapeutic benefits of gardening by substituting with any of the following :

– Make a small wooden box, like a sand box.
– Use cement blocks or bricks to make an area that fits your space for planting.
– Use window boxes, planters, hanging baskets, or any other container that holds soil.
– Construct a small greenhouse with greenhouse plastic or recycled windows.
– Choose plants that grow up, use stakes in your planter, and plant on your deck or balcony.

Gardening is motivational for the child and is great for emotional development. Children can learn about responsibility from planning a garden to watching the plants to grow. The process of gardening can lead to increased confidence, resilience and self-esteem. Besides that, with a meaningful family connection, parents can create lasting memories from sharing this gardening experience with their child and promoting communication skills at the same time.

Source(s) :
http://msue.anr.msu.edu/news/gardening_with_special_needs_the_benefits_of_horticultural_therapy
https://www.scmp.com/lifestyle/family-education/article/1566284/how-horticulture-therapy-can-teach-life-skills-those
https://www.ahta.org/what-is-horticultural-therapy
https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/health/9084308/Gardening-therapy-helps-children-grow.html
https://kidcompanions.com/benefits-of-gardening-for-children-with-autism-and-special-ed-needs/
https://chadwickarboretum.osu.edu/our-gardens/learning-gardens/horticultural-therapy-garden


园艺治疗

园艺治疗是指利用植物和相关活动作为促进愈合和恢复有特殊需要的人的工具。该治疗目的在于提高一个人的身心健康。以其多功能性而闻名,园艺治疗可以在无数种方法中全年进行。虽然在户外土壤中种植和照顾植物是这种疗法的关键要素,但是当无法在户外进行时,参与者也可以在室内进行相关的活动,例如种植玻璃容器或使用照片制作花园。这样一来,即使是天气不好,参与者仍然可以从事与花园相关的工艺,如鸟舍和绘画花盆。

自古以来就记录了园林环境的治疗效益,而随着时间的推移,园艺治疗的实践已被证明。在19世纪,被称为“美国精神病学之父”的本杰明·拉什博士记录了在花园工作的积极影响。如今,园艺治疗广泛应用于康复,职业和社区环境中。

通过采用园艺治疗的技术,参与者被引导学习新技能或重新获得失去的技能。例如,专注于身体康复,园艺治疗可以帮助加强肌肉,改善协调,平衡和耐力。在职业环境方面,人们可以学习独立工作,解决问题的能力,并通过园艺活动遵循指导。所有这些技能都可以提高记忆力,认知能力,任务启动,语言技能和社交能力。

疗愈花园

由植物主导的环境可以帮助促进与自然愈合元素的相互作用。根据花园设计和用户需求,这样的相互作用可以是被动的或主动的。这些花园专门设计用于解决医疗保健,康复和其他治疗环境中的各种应用。此外,还有各种疗愈性花园,如治愈花园,康复花园和修复花园。疗愈性花园的一些基本特征通常包括宽而轻度分级的入口和路径,凸起的种植床和容器,以及关注颜色,质地和香味的感官导向植物选择。

没有“传统花园”的空间?别担心!

您可以通过替换以下任何一项来享受园艺的一些治疗益处:

– 制作一个小木箱,就像沙箱一样。
– 使用水泥块或砖块制作适合您种植空间的区域。
– 使用窗框,花盆,吊篮或任何其他容纳土壤的容器。
– 用温室塑料或回收的窗户建造一个小温室。
– 选择长大的植物,在播种机中使用木桩,并在甲板或阳台上种植。

园艺对孩子来说是一种对情绪发展很有帮助的动机。孩子们可以从规划花园到观察植物生长,了解责任。园艺过程亦能增加/恢复信心和自尊心。除此之外,通过有意义的家庭联系,父母可以通过与孩子分享这种园艺体验并同时提升沟通技巧来创造持久的回忆。