horticultural videos

How Does Horticultural Therapy Work?
The influence of the interaction of plants and people in an atmosphere as calming and relaxing as a garden or greenhouse has a positive effect on all participants. When the mind and body are less stressed, physical activities are easier to perform. In a group setting many people are enjoying the social benefits of pleasant conversation and some much needed laughter and making new friends.

Also being with a group of people who is also experiencing similar difficulties as one can be encouraging when seeing how others cope and adjust. A disabled or elderly person who feels isolated from the mainstream of life can greatly benefit from the mental stimulation of a group setting.

For those who desire to participate as an individual, horticultural therapy can give an opportunity to have quiet reflecting time. Individuals can also occupy their thoughts with the task at hand such as planting a seedling, while releasing their mind if even for a brief moment, of an ever-present physical or emotional problem.

The physical activities of horticultural therapy programs help stimulate muscle tone and strengthen muscle groups using gentle steady movements. Improvements in coordination and controlling hand and finger movements in stroke victims and those with brain injuries are accomplished with techniques while transplanting, re-potting or propagating plants.

A sense of feeling they have accomplished something, and knowing they are responsible to care and nurture a living plant is very rewarding to many individuals. Knowing that the byproduct of their therapy sessions can be an economic value to support our programs at The Growing Center gives participants a feeling of contributing and being a valuable part of our community and very much needed.

Improving memory by talking about past childhood memories and encouraging conversations about happy events of family and friends. Counting pots and keeping track of our short-term goals. Learning the names of plants and flowers and recalling the names of plants they planted in their own gardens in the past.

As we browse the greenhouses we stimulate the senses. We closely observe the scents, textures, colors and sounds. We hear the water at the pond and observe the koi and goldfish and the feel of the moist air and air movement of the greenhouse. We feel the warm earth of the garden and smell the earthy ground. We listen to the birds outdoors and the sounds in the field. We feel the sun on our face or the cool shade. We touch and feel the different leaves and compare them to each other.

The Growing Center Inc.
1908 Hoffmansville Road • Frederick, PA 19435
(610) 754-7727 • Fax (610) 754-8728