Journal of Therapeutic Horticulture 23.1 - 2013


Psychological and Biological Response to Three Landscapes in Japan: A Pilot Study
Seiko Goto, Naveed Kamal, Helene Puzio, Eijiro Fujii, and Karl Herrup

In this study, the mood, aesthetic preference, and heart rate of observers who viewed three different landscape spaces - a tea garden, a French garden, and a few acres of a campus forest - were compared. Thirteen subjects ranging in age from 17 to 52 participated in the study. Mood was assessed using the POMS/Profile of Mood States before and after viewing the spaces. Cardiac output was assessed using a portable fingertip pulse monitor before and during the viewing. It was found that the tea garden evoked greater responses in all outcome measures. The results indicate that exposure to the tea garden had a soothing effect on the mood of the viewers and, after a delay, lowered their pulse rate. The fundamental design principles and applications of a tea garden are also discussed.

The Effect of a Reflective Garden Walking Program
Ruth McCaffrey, DNP, FNP-BC, GNP-BC FAAN, Susan B Raddock Distinguished Professor

The purpose of this study was to determine the effect of a reflective garden walking program on personal growth initiative and quality of life in adults. 100 adults were recruited and placed in five different garden walking groups. The Personal Growth Initiative Scale and the Quality of Life Scale were used prior to beginning the program and at the end of the six week program to determine changes in personal growth initiative and quality of life in participants. Paired t-tests measured changes in the mean scores on both scales from the pre-intervention to post-intervention measurements. Statistically significant changes occurred in both scales indicating that participants had a higher level of personal growth initiative and quality of life at the end of the six week reflective garden walking program.

Gardens and Therapeutic Horticulture in an Acute Healthcare Setting: Opportunities Provided by the Blooming Backyard Project at Prince of Wales Hospital, Sydney
Julieanne Hilbers and Anna Satharasinghe

This paper describes the Blooming Backyard project undertaken in a courtyard adjoining the spinal injury rehabilitation and general rehabilitation wards at the Prince of Wales Hospital, a public teaching hospital for adults in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. Two phases are examined: 1) establishing a garden and 2) piloting a therapeutic horticulture program for patients with spinal cord injuries. The ongoing sustainability of the garden and therapeutic horticulture program is also discussed.

The Portland Memory Garden: A Therapeutic Resource on Public Land
Patty Cassidy, MA, HTR

In 1999, the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) made a commitment to renew or create parks throughout the United States as a way to celebrate its centennial anniversary. Adopting the theme “100 Parks, 100 Cities,” ASLA chose Portland, Oregon as a city to create a demonstration garden that would be open to all but especially designed for older adults and those living with Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia. The Portland Memory Garden was one of ten of the 100 parks designated to be a memory garden but holds the distinction of being one of only two memory gardens in the U.S. built on public land.

In addition to the Oregon chapter of ASLA, representatives from Legacy Health, the local Alzheimer’s Association, Center of Design for an Aging Society, Portland State University’s Institute on Aging/School of Studies and Planning, and Portland Bureau of Parks and Recreation formed the design team partnership.  

The Portland Memory Garden’s inception and creation demonstrated how public, private, professional, and educational partners worked together to conceive of and build a unique community resource for the city. A fertile blending of skills and expertise on the team, together with the enthusiastic participation of community leaders and neighborhoods, created a special public garden that can be a model for other communities to emulate.