Developing gardens using
evidence-based design guidelines.
Our gardens are developed from evidence-based design guidelines. These guidelines are the works of key leaders in the field of therapeutic horticulture.
Provide opportunities to regain control: choices of where to sit, ambulate and look; who and what to interact with; what to manipulate, including seating that can be moved around, plants and water that can be touched, birds that can be fed.
Go beyond ADA requirements to consider those who are learning to navigate crutches, wheeled mobility devices and new prosthetics.
3. INTENTIONALLY DESIGNED PHYSICAL CHALLENGE:
Include a range of outdoor physical challenges to be incorporated into the rehabilitation therapies of health care professionals.
4. PHYSICAL AND EMOTIONAL SAFETY AND SECURITY:
Add precautions against physical harm of others or self given the higher risk of accidents with individuals who have severe injuries as well as cognitive and emotional challenges.
5. BALANCE OF PROSPECT/REFUGE:
Provide for a space or a choice of spaces that offers privacy and some degree of enclosure, but does not provoke feelings of claustrophobia.
6. PREVENTION OF UV EXPOSURE AND VISUAL DISTRESS:
Provide a range of shaded spaces for individuals and groups. Medications cause increased sensitivity to ultraviolet rays. Color of paving and other surfaces should minimize glare and strong contrast of color. Individuals experiencing issues with depth perception see contrasting colors as changes in the ground plane, which can make people uneasy to walk or prone to falls.
Advancing the design of healing gardens for veterans and their families.
EVIDENCE-BASED DESIGN GUIDELINES.
7. ATTENTION TO POSITIVE/NEGATIVE SENSORY STIMULI:
Provide sensory engagement, such as through plants that are pleasant or interesting to touch, smell and taste. Prevent against sounds that may be irritating.
8. ITEMS OF FAMILIARITY/HOMELIKE ENVIRONMENT:
Create a sense of comfort by developing familiar, homelike environments. Individuals who experienced serious trauma should not be challenged with cutting-edge design features.
9. PLACES FOR GATHERING, PLACES TO BE ALONE:
Provide opportunities for solitude and one-on-one and group connection. For gatherings, consider large areas such as a covered pavilion that can be used for group therapy, events, and ceremonies.
10. PLACES FOR RITUAL AND REFLECTION:
Consider fireside and memorial areas, reflecting pools or symbolic water features, and the like.
11. AREAS FOR SERVICE DOGS:
Provide space for people to exercise and interact with their animals. A relatively high percentage of veterans are accompanied by dogs for physical and/or emotional support.
12. PLACES FOR CHILDREN:
Set aside areas for children to play. These areas are important for family connections; however, the loud, staccato sounds of children can be distressing.
13. SMOKING AREAS
Consider smoking areas. Although controversial, smoking activity and smoking privileges have therapeutic qualities.
Clare Cooper Marcus, Naomi A. Sachs (2014). Therapeutic Landscapes. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.