Design and Design Elements for Healing Gardens

Education, research, and evaluations are necessary tools for balancing human needs with those of nature. SPROUT offers resources to inform and facilitate the design process with our clients.

A restorative environment is crafted by a careful arrangement of a variety of sensory, psychological and natural stimuli in an effort to trigger the following responses:

To bring the visitor to the moment by connecting to something outside the body (a sensory experience or connection with nature)
To bring the visitor to an awareness of an environment bigger than “the problem” to regain a sense of perspective and control (psychological stimuli)
What should be included in healing gardens to make them a truly healing environment?  This course looks at a variety of design concepts that are translated into the materials, plants and layouts that make a garden.

Clare Cooper Marcus provides a clarification on what a healing environment really is: “ The term “Healing Garden” refers to a variety of garden features that have in common a consistent tendency to foster restoration from stress and have other positive influences on patients, visitors and staff or caretakers.  To qualify as a “garden” the feature should contain prominent amounts of real nature…. To justify the label “healing” a garden should have therapeutic or beneficial effects on the great majority of its users.”

This class explores a variety of sensory, natural and psychological stimuli that can be included in healing gardens.  A star diagram looks at social, spiritual, cultural, educational and physical elements that help to regain balance and reduce stress.  Guidelines provided by Theresia Hazen, a well published Horticultural Therapist at the Legacy Center in Portland are illustrated by examples from around the country.

1 Hour

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