Hope in Bloom: The Healing Powers of Gardening
It's National Horticultural Therapy Week so we thought we would share a bit about the healing benefits of gardening, which was our topic on landscapechat today. Horticultural therapy and gardening is good for the mind, body and soul with many positive effects.
According to Dr. Roger Ulrich, Professor of Architecture at Texas A&M University and behavioral scientist, who conducts research on the effects of healthcare facilities on medical outcomes, there is scientific evidence to support the therapeutic and healing benefits a garden can provide
Citing from his 2002 paper, Health Benefits of Gardens in Hospitals, Ulrich presented case study findings where he claimed there was considerable evidence to support the restorative effects gardens have on our minds and body, elevating positive feelings and reducing negative emotions such as fear, anger and sadness. The value they provide to patients recovering from a medical treatment or illness can be seen firsthand from organizations such as the one-of-a-kind, Hope In Bloom.
Hope In Bloom is an all-volunteer program dedicated to planting and maintaining gardens for breast cancer patients undergoing treatment. Roberta Dehman Hershon, founded the Massachusetts-based, non-profit organization, after losing her close friend, Beverly, to breast cancer in 2005. Beverly had a tremendous love for flowers and took great pride in her garden. Roberta knew how much Bev's garden meant to her and that she did not have the energy to take care of it while she was having chemo. Roberta stepped in to maintain the garden and fill the house with fresh cut flowers, which were a great comfort and lifted both their spirits.
Hope in Bloom first reached out to Corona in 2009 to ask the company to donate pruners for their volunteers to use. After researching the organization and learning how its recipients credit much of their garden's therapeutic benefits to their recovery, we were pleased to provide them with the tools. Recently, Roberta sent us some pictures of the volunteers using the tools and added; "Through Corona's generosity, Hope in Bloom was able to equip volunteers with pruners. The tools help them effectively deadhead and shape recipients' existing plants to make their gardens even more beautiful." The program also gained national recognition when the NBC Nightly News aired this touching Making A Difference segment in 2012.
As one of the Corona Cares program organizers, I find the program is a unique opportunity to learn about and help organizations such as Hope In Bloom, who tirelessly give of themselves by helping others. It's a great example of how when people work together, we truly can make a difference in the world, one person at a time.
Thanks to Roberta Dehman Hershon and the Hope In Bloom volunteers for their hard work, ongoing dedication and for bringing the healing benefits of gardens to those in need. Visit the Hope In Bloom website to see their gardens, meet some of their recipients, or be inspired to reach out and help someone going through a difficult time. Tax-deductible donations to fund plants and materials to plant the gardens can also be made online.
How does gardening help your well-being? Please share it with us!