Garden Therapy - Implement the Benefits of Therapeutic Horticulture

Published January 7, 2023 by Joyce
Snap peas in bloom
Rest and Restoration by way of photographing Snap Peas in Bloom

There are countless ways to bring the benefits of Therapeutic Horticulture to life. It is helpful to understand that humans deploy two types of attention.

Voluntary (or Directed) Attention is directed by thought and concentration, such as working at your job. It requires tuning out extraneous stimuli in the environment in order to focus on the task at hand.. It is very useful and can also lead to mental fatigue after a period of time. 

A freshly cut field surrounded by trees

 Involuntary attention is captured by what is happening in your environment. Studies show that it actually enhances subsequent voluntary attention.

Taking a few minutes to water the plants, stroll in the garden or look at photographs of natural settings is proven to lower the blood pressure, slow the heart rate and enhance subsequent voluntary attention when you return to it. 

To get the full benefits

 Choose an activity that 

  • Allows you to be completely immersed in it.
  • Allows an escape from the tiresome activity
  • Captures your attention without effort
  • That you want to be exposed to and enjoy

Some of the activities I choose are walking on a wooded trail, pulling weeds in my vegetable or flower gardens, tending houseplants, photographing insects, plants and landscapes.

What is your favorite form of garden therapy?


Ohly, Heather, et al. “Attention Restoration Theory: A Systematic Review of the Attention Restoration Potential of Exposure to Natural Environments.”

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