Therapy/Healing Gardens

by John W. Olson on May 18, 2010

Therapy Garden at Metropolitan Hospital Courtyard in Wyoming, MI. Rendering and design completed in conjunction with HDR Planning.

I am in the process of designing a therapy garden, or healing garden, for a long-term care facility in Pueblo, CO. Therapy gardens are intriguing to design due to their complexities and many moving parts.  To properly design a therapy garden, you must consider the needs and desires of the end users. Careful attention must be paid to designing to all five senses (sight, smell, sound, taste and touch). For a rehabilitative therapy garden, like the one I am currently designing, touch is a primary sense. I am proposing multiple ground-plane surfaces for walking as well as multiple textures in the garden so that it is a place where the users feel free to touch the foliage and interact with the plant material. I am proposing a landscape palette that is rich with textures and varieties of plant material, yet within a narrow range of plant culture.  The image to the right is a therapy garden in Wyoming, MI that I had the opportunity to work on while I was with HDR Planning.

Please come back to the blog in a few weeks and I will update it with an entry showing the progress of the therapy garden in Pueblo.


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