140 Middletown – Lincroft Road, Lincroft, New Jersey 07738 Hours: Monday-Tuesday 8-5, Wednesday 8-6, Thursday-Saturday 8-5, Sunday 9-4

                                                                  

Why I Garden: Therapy for the Mind and Body

Spending time in the garden isn't just an enjoyable hobby. It can also be used as an important type of therapy to help heal the mind and body of a person who has gone through emotional or physical trauma. A multitude of people can benefit from garden therapy, so it has quickly become available in hospitals, veteran's centers, and nursing homes. Some prisons and women's shelters are starting programs with it too. Because of this, the gardens used in therapy are called “rehabilitation gardens.” They have the following modifications that make them different than a regular garden in someone's backyard:

Wider Paths

People who are physically disabled need more space to move around in when they have to use supportive devices for mobility, such as a wheelchair or a walker. Wider paths made out of cement or crushed granite allow them the freedom to stroll through a garden without tripping or getting stuck in the mud. This reduces the chances of an injury or fall occurring, which makes the garden safer for them.

Raised Beds

Sometimes, people aren't able to stand for very long due to an illness or weakness in their limbs, which means that they can't easily access a garden that is on the ground. Normally, this would limit their chances of taking part in this type of therapy. However, garden beds can be modified to allow people the freedom to work with the plants while they stay seated. The trick is to build raised beds that are as tall as a wheelchair.

Seating Areas

People who are unable to physically work in a garden because of a disability can benefit from just spending time in one. Therefore, they need a seating area positioned with a good view of the most beautiful flowers, shrubs, and trees. Sometimes, a cement patio is also built nearby, so those who are wheelchair bound can enjoy it too.

Container Gardens

A person who is bedridden can benefit from the garden being brought inside to them. Perhaps, a few potted herbs and flowers in tiny containers can be set on a tray for them to work on. Then, they can prune, fertilize, and water them. Afterwards, the small container garden is set on a nearby window for the patient to be able to see the plants regularly.

Soothing Sights

The color and type of plants that are chosen for a rehabilitation garden are important because they contribute to how relaxing a person will perceive the garden to be. Usually, softly rounded bushes and trees are chosen, and the flowers are kept pale hues. A water feature or other ornamental statue may be added in the center of it if there is enough room. The mulch is also carefully picked out because it acts as a backdrop to everything else.

 

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