What is Therapeutic Gardening?
The American Horticultural Therapy Association (AHTA) defines a therapeutic garden as “a plant-dominated environment purposefully designed to facilitate interaction with the healing elements of nature.
Horticultural therapy is differentiated from therapeutic gardening by the presence of a trained professional carrying out a plan of care with measurable goals. Defined by the American Horticultural Therapy Association, horticultural therapy is “the engagement of a person in gardening and plant-based activities, facilitated by a trained therapist, to achieve specific therapeutic treatment goals” (2017). Horticultural therapy is practiced by a variety of professionals and is also in the process of developing its own professional standards; those who complete these standards are known as Registered Horticultural Therapists.
Table 1: Benefits, Settings, and Professionals Involved with Therapeutic Gardening.