Gardens have always held a special place in the human heart. They are places of beauty, serenity, and rejuvenation. But why do some gardens earn the title of “healing gardens,” and what makes them different from other green spaces? At Landscape Solutions, we believe that all gardens and natural environments have the potential to promote well-being. However, healing gardens are uniquely designed to provide specific therapeutic benefits for individuals, particularly in healthcare settings. In this blog, we’ll explore the concept of healing gardens, the health benefits they offer, and how Landscape Solutions can create outdoor spaces that contribute to mental and physical well-being.
Why Healing Gardens?
The term “healing gardens” is most commonly associated with green spaces within hospitals and healthcare facilities. These gardens are purposefully designed to enhance health outcomes and well-being. While all-natural environments have inherent benefits, healing gardens are intentionally crafted to provide a place of refuge and promote healing in patients, families, and staff.
Healing gardens differ somewhat from therapeutic landscapes, which cater to the specific needs of a particular patient population and engage them actively. Healing gardens, on the other hand, aim for a more passive involvement, seeking to provide benefits to a diverse population with varying needs.
The Health Benefits of Nature
Nature has a profound impact on human well-being. Here are some of the key health benefits that viewing nature can offer:
- Distraction: Nature serves as a powerful distraction. Our innate connection with nature means we find natural scenes engrossing and soothing, allowing us to shift our focus away from pain and discomfort.
- Stress and Anxiety Reduction: Nature has a remarkable ability to reduce stress and anxiety. It provides a respite from the constant effort to filter out competing stimuli in our busy lives. The inherent engrossment we experience in nature reduces mental fatigue and refreshes our minds.
- Psychological Comfort: Plants offer psychological comfort. They remind us of the enduring patterns in life, with their steady and progressive growth, providing a sense of continuity and stability.
Numerous studies have consistently shown that viewing plants, flowers, water, and other elements of nature can significantly reduce patient anxiety, even in high-stress healthcare environments.
Important Features of Healing Gardens
To maximize the therapeutic benefits of a healing garden, certain key features are essential:
- Real Nature: The most critical feature in a healing garden is real, living nature. Green vegetation, flowers, and perhaps a calm water element are fundamental. Sculptures and man-made structures, while visually appealing, do not offer the same healing benefits as the presence of nature.
- Avoid Abstract Art and Sculpture: Abstract art and sculpture should be avoided, as ill individuals may interpret them negatively. For example, some patients perceived abstract sculptures as threatening, leading to unnecessary anxiety.
- Serene Location: Healing gardens should be situated away from city noises or loud mechanical sounds, such as air conditioning units, which can disrupt the sense of tranquility. Additionally, outdoor smoking areas should be far from the garden to maintain clean air and a peaceful atmosphere.
The Benefits of Gardening
Engaging in gardening offers all the benefits of simply viewing a garden but with the added advantage of physical activity. Gardening is not only an enjoyable and therapeutic activity; it also enhances self-esteem. Plants respond positively to care, providing a sense of accomplishment regardless of who tends to them. This can be especially meaningful for elderly individuals or patients who lack familial support.
Gardening can also foster a sense of community and connection. Remarkable examples from New York and Philadelphia demonstrate how gardening initiatives can transcend social challenges, promoting neighborly bonds, reducing vandalism, and enhancing cleanliness in public housing communities.
Creating Healing Gardens with Landscape Solutions
At Landscape Solutions, we understand the profound impact that well-designed outdoor spaces can have on mental and physical well-being. Our expertise lies in crafting healing gardens that are tailored to the unique needs and objectives of healthcare facilities as well as residential clients seeking the therapeutic benefits of nature.
If you are interested in creating a healing garden that promotes wellness and relaxation, or if you have any other landscaping needs, please contact us at (615) 852-5009 or visit our website. Let’s work together to design outdoor spaces contribute to your mental and physical well-being. Your journey to a healing garden begins with Landscape Solutions.