Horticultural Therapy

The American Horticultural Therapy Association (AHTA) describes horticultural therapy as a method that uses plants, gardening activities, and the natural world in professional therapy and rehabilitation programs.

  “Everyone on earth has an aesthetic response to nature!”

Horticultural therapy is the practice of promoting restorative and therapeutic health benefits using plants and nature. Betty Ford Alpine Gardens offers programs facilitated by a professional horticultural therapist registered with the American Horticultural Therapy Association to achieve the goals and needs of all participants. Horticultural therapy programs help participants experience how nature provides benefits that advance one’s health and fitness including:  stress reduction, healing and recovery, attention and concentration, problem solving, imagination, creativity and personality development.  These programs also highlight the metaphor of life in the changing seasons (the hope of spring), patience, ‘budding and growth’, and the joy of harvest.  To learn more about horticultural therapy, visit the American Horticultural Therapy Association website at ahta.org.

Betty Ford Alpine Gardens 2015 Horticultural Therapy Program Options: Terrarium Workshop:  Create a terrarium to take home with tiny plants, mosses and favorite small objects. Aromatherapy:  Scent is a powerful way to engage in memories and feelings.  Make your own bath salts, hand salve and dream pillows in this program using essential oils and dried herbs and flowers. Herb Gardens:  Plant a pot of herbs and learn their uses to spice up cooking, create flavored oils, and create homemade teas and potpourris. Succulent/Dish Gardens:  Plant a dish of wonderful, easy care succulent plants to enjoy outdoors this summer. Grass Heads:  A “chia pet” with a face and hair that you can cut!  This is a fun program for children. Cold Process Soap Making:  In this program, participants learn every step used to make lovely bars of soap.  Everyone will take home the basic recipe, tools and materials list, and a bar of soap. Worms in the Garden:  A sensory and very tactile program that teaches how worms benefit soil and plants followed by a worm release into the garden.   Programs must be scheduled in advance by scrolling down to the Horticultural Therapy Program Request Form below.   *Supplemental materials fee may be required.   Quote by Stephen Kellert, author on the subject of biophilia, PROGRAM REQUEST FORM