Gardens are so much more than just a space in your yard dedicated to flowers or vegetables. Research shows that spending time in a garden can nourish our souls and boost our physical health, particularly for those undergoing medical treatment.
An article on alive.com, Healing Gardens, A Beautiful Way to Cultivate Wellness, sheds light on gardens across Canada that are being created specifically to promote healing.
“Connecting with the natural world through gardening brings about positive psychological and physical changes that improve quality of life,” says Patricia Fleming, the executive director of Earthwise Society, a BC-based environmental group. “Research points to the value of connecting to the natural world for healing and mental health. Gardening is ultimately a hopeful activity. A planted seed leads to the expectation and hope that one day it will provide beauty or food. This relates to a key concept of recovery, the phenomenon of hope.”
Studies show that there’s a definitive link between experiencing nature and better healing, as well as a reduction in the use of medication (and shorter hospital stays) for those who are undergoing treatment. In fact, time spent in nature can help lower the mental strain felt by family members and health care staff who care for those undergoing treatment.
That’s why it’s no surprise, then, that healing gardens are being integrated into health care facilities, including hospitals, hospices, seniors’ care homes, and rehabilitation centers. For a list of Canadian healing gardens, be sure to check out the full article on alive.com.
Creating your own healing garden
Kristin Crouch, a gardener with a degree in horticulture from the University of Guelph, offered this advice to folks looking to create their own healing garden:
- Add a sitting area to your garden
- Surround that area with brightly colored plants and flowers
- Plant hardy shrubs for year-round interest
- In the fall, plant perennials, such as Tulipa tarda
- Consider adding a bird bath or fountain, as the sound of water is soothing
Interested in learning more about how nature can impact your health?
We encourage you to check out How Nature Can Impact Your Health – A Naturopathic Perspective, where we interviewed several naturopathic doctors who offered their insight into the effects of nature (both good and bad) on our health.