Horticulture, from the Latin hortus, enclosed garden
Therapy, derived from the Greek therapevo, to attend to, to take care of
You are a Horti-what?
-An Horticultural Therapist.
What is an Horticultural Therapist? Sounds like agriculture. Is that like a farmer?
-Not quite, but you’re warm. I work with plants and with people. A Horticultural Therapist relies on gardening, plants and Nature activities to help people who are ill or who have had an accident help get better. Maybe they can’t use their arm, or their legs are weak or they can’t talk or their body hurts…or they are bored or anxious or depressed or lonely.
I don’t get it.
-Well, by working with plants and flowers and learning about them and having fun or being creative, at the very same time people are practicing new ways of using their arm, or practicing saying words that they have forgotten, or can sit up longer in bed or stand longer in the exercise room even when it hurts because they are busy with something that they enjoy and that relaxes them. If we are working as a group they can share all sorts of things with the other participants. Maybe how they feel, or something they know….
-Plus they get to meet someone new like me their fun therapist, be creative, go outside, learn about something beautiful or interesting, do some imaginary travel by going to the place where the plant is originally from. Its all a little bit like getting their mind off of being in the hospital or feeling down, or thinking about what they can’t do anymore and encouraging them to discover what they can do differently…and sometimes talking about it. Usually we work as a group. But we can also just work alone.
What sorts of things do you do together?
-Plant plants, make things for the garden, learn about insects, use plant products to create all sorts of other products, make art with nature…share stories
Can normal people try it? What about kids?
-We are all a part of Nature. Nature is for everyone.