What is the difference between a therapeutic garden and a regular garden?
Therapeutic gardens are spaces specifically developed to enhance interaction with nature and maximise health benefits and well-being. Therapeutic garden is an umbrella term that describes different styles of gardens designed to meet the mental and physical health needs of groups or individuals. Some examples of therapeutic gardens are: healing gardens, sensory gardens, edible gardens, and gardens designed for the needs of people living with dementia or autism spectrum disorder. The difference between a therapeutic garden and a regular one lies in the design for accessibility and maximisation of health benefits.
What are the benefits of a therapeutic garden?
Many studies have shown that therapeutic gardens of all types can provide the following benefits:
- Improvement in overall sense of well-being and hopefulness.
- Psychological comfort.
- Improved air quality, leading to fewer respiratory symptoms.
- Faster healing.
- Reduced levels of pain and decreased need for pain medication.
- Fewer post-surgical complications.
- Decreased stress and anxiety.
- Lower blood pressure.
- Increased productivity and focus.
Therapeutic gardens are also designed to suit the specific needs of the people using it. A therapeutic garden designed for a person living with dementia, for example, will have an additional focus on planning and layout for ease of movement and to minimise the potential for disorientation. A garden designed for a child with Autism Spectrum Disorder will have an emphasis on sensory elements and motor skill development.
How do you create a therapeutic garden?
The best course of action is to call a professional. Here at Therapeutic Gardens Australia we will collaborate with you to provide a bespoke garden to fulfil your needs. Our teams of professionals will provide the highest quality results, ensuring safety compliance to Australian standards and offering warranty on their work. If you are interested in creating a therapeutic garden, contact us to book a complimentary one-hour consultation.
If you would like to DIY, below are some things to consider when designing your garden:
- Have a master plan – plan your garden!
- Always use a professional for construction work.
- Set the garden in motion: include a fire pit, water features and sculptures.
- Select the right plants for the ultimate sensory experience: consider touch, taste, smell, sound, visual appeal, and safety.
- Consider allergies and sensitivities when selecting plants and materials.
- Ensure the areas are accessible and inclusive for all visitors.
- Consider passive design features such as trees that can reduce heat in your home and save money.
- Check for services. If unsure, call Dial Before You Dig.
What do you do?
TGA collaborates with Australia’s leading garden designers, landscapers, horticulturists and health experts to maximise health outcomes and create solutions to otherwise complex problems.
We take an evidenced-based, person-centred approach to creating therapeutic gardens that are purpose built to enhance interaction with nature and maximise health benefits and well-being.
We provide bespoke outdoor environments to meet the physical and psychological needs of individuals and groups, specialising in those with special needs.
I don’t have any special needs. Why do I need a therapeutic garden?
According to The Australian Network on Disability:
- Over 4 million people in Australia have some form of disability – that’s 1 in 5 people.
- The likelihood of living with disability increases with age: 2 in 5 people with disability are 65 years or older.
- In each year, approximately 1 in 5 Australians will experience a mental illness.
While you may not have any special needs now, everyone gets stressed sometimes, and statistically you or someone you know may need a therapeutic garden at some point. Having a professional help you to create your garden can ensure that your parents or grandparents will be able to admire it when they visit, and the kids and grandkids will be safe, and all of your friends will be able to enter and enjoy your amazing outdoor space when they come for a BBQ – or just to come relax in your garden! Furthermore, adding a therapeutic garden to your home will not only improve your quality of life, but it can also add value to your home, providing a high-value return on investment.
These are just a few examples of the questions that came up. If you are interested in creating a therapeutic garden in your yard, you can contact us via our website or Facebook page. Alternatively, you can follow our blog and make use of our available resources.