Leyla Jo from Nardi Point and A Path Through the Garden, honors and seeks natural, alternative remedies for the daily challenges of life. Her clinical background and intuitive receptiveness creates a unique exploratory lifestyle that she shares in a quiet, thoughtful way.
In A Path Through the Garden, Leyla Jo encourages Hal to investigate and participate in nature as he works to regain his health. One of the activities planned is a visit to a nearby horticultural exhibition. The planned outing engages Hal and enlivens his interest in events apart from his recovery. She is pleasantly reminded that Hal uses plant life as terrain indicators in his role as archaeologist tipping him off to wetlands and other environments an archaeological dig may offer. Also at the exhibition, Leyla Jo meets a Horticultural Therapist who synchronistically provides useful seeds of therapeutic garden design which Leyla Jo enthusiastically embraces.
Never heard of a Horticultural Therapist? These therapists use gardens to provide verifiable health benefits for their clients and the public. Therapists are trained to effectively design, manage and evaluate gardens with an eye to employing gardens as healing landscapes. These landscapes become exterior therapeutic environments for senior communities, healthcare facilities including assisted living and Alzheimer residences, long-term care facilities and continuing care retirement communities. There is also focus on the anthropological uses of plants found within the garden design.
If you would like to discover more about such programs, the Chicago Botanic Garden offers a Healthcare Garden Design Professional Development Certificate Program in May 2014. http://www.chicagobotanic.org/
Leyla Jo will be there!
2 thoughts on “Therapeutic Gardens”
I love how you describe gardens as healing landscapes and use them as your palate for painting this story! What a wonderful way to show the beauty and healing power of plants to nurture us in good health, both physically and mentally. It reminds me of Sarah Orne Jewett’s, Country of the Pointed Firs and her character, Mrs. Todd, an apothecary and herbalist with stories to tell and jaunts into the countryside looking for the right plants. I haven’t had the privilege to read it yet, but know I will-it is just the sort of book that gets me thrilled to have some quiet time with a wonderful story.
I know you and I honor and enjoy the natural world and the power of spirit! Such beauty and such healing potential if we only make it a priority! Thanks for your thoughts!