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What is HT?

What is horticultural therapy?

"Most hospitals have manicured shrubs and grounds. The difference here is the gardens are part of the therapeutic space, where there are patients out in them."
Dr. George Brown, CEO of Legacy Health

 "When Treatment Involves Dirty Fingernails"  in the Wall Street Journal

Horticultural therapy and therapeutic horticulture may sound like the same concept, but they're actually quite different.

Horticultural therapy (HT)

HT is the treatment of a patient by a trained professional, using plant material and gardens to meet clinical goals.

At Legacy, HT takes many forms:

  • Patients at the Rehabilitation Institute of Oregon may receive HT as part of their individualized programs.
  • The Randall Children's Hospital conducts weekly Pediatric Nature Stations as part of the therapeutic program for kids and their families.
  • Burn Concern, the support group for Oregon Burn Center patients, past patients and their families, includes HT sessions.
  • Legacy Cancer Institute outpatients take part in the Cancer Garden Club, Stenzel Garden Tours, and Neighborhood Walks. 

Therapeutic horticulture

Therapeutic horticulture refers to the benefits that anyone can experience from engagement with nature. For example:

  • A soothing walk in a hospital healing garden by a family member
  • A patient using the garden to read, nap or just sit quietly
  • Home gardeners puttering with their vegetables
  • Garden clubs providing both therapeutic and social benefits
  • "Stopping to smell the roses"

For more information