Healing Gardens
Types of Healing Gardens

Healing Garden Sculpture

Children & Discovery
Gardens

  • Design entrances with bright colors that are child-friendly and pleasant.
  • Provide separate, age-appropriate areas for the range of children served.
  • Create wide pathways that are spacious for staff, parents and children to easily explore the garden.
  • Create a variety of hands-on activities for children to interact with nature.
  • Provide opportunities for hands-on interaction in planting and harvesting.
  • Children’s Facilities Gardens
  • Design entrances with bright colors that are child-friendly and pleasant.
  • Provide separate age-appropriate areas for the range of children served.
  • Create wide pathways that are spacious for staff, parents and children to easily explore the garden.
  • Create a variety of hands-on activities for children to interact with nature.
  • Provide opportunities for children to plant and harvest.

 

Spirit

Spirit – Matthew Placzek

Nursing Home Gardens

  • Use warm and high saturation tones such as red, orange and yellow that are easier for the elderly to see.
  • Use plants with a variety of leaf textures, forms, and smells that stimulate the senses and memory.
  • Create multiple walking routes to better suit the residents’ needs to maneuver around the garden areas.
  • Install handrails.
  • Design smooth transitions between indoor and outdoor areas.
  • Use fences, walls and sunscreens to shield environment from harsh sunlight and natural conditions that may be disturbing to the garden.
  • Control the amount of direct light that enters the garden by using dense canopies to minimize glare.
  • The color of chairs and tables should contrast with floor material so they are distinguishable by people with sight impairments.
  • Provide seating with back support and arm rests.

 

Serenity – Matthew Placzek

 

Memory Gardens

  • Avoid creating paths that do not loop and cut to abrupt ends; this may cause frustration for residents who experience dementia.
  • Ensure that plants are not poisonous and are healthy for the residents.
  • Use plants the help accelerate and spark memory and conversation as well as activity; plants such as Areca Palm (Dypsis lutescens), Peppermint, English Ivy, Gardenia, and Golden Pothos. Each of these plants has specific care that needs to be applied to each.
  • A large gazebo, wired for sound (music is especially soothing) and for fans on hot summer days can be a popular setting for staff-led programs.
  • Create textures and apply colors that are calming for the environment of those at the stage of recovery.
  • Provide seating with back supports and arm rests.
  • Present a landmark such as a sculpture encircled by a bed of flowers or a water feature to help orient users of the space.

 

Acrylic Monarch Butterflies in the light
Tranquility – Matthew Placzek

Hospice Gardens

  • Provide a change in space between indoor and open air spaces to permit change in open-air light.
  • Provide some calming common sounds in the enclosure. Hearing is usually the last sense that people experience before their death.
  • Provide calm places to sit and ponder.
  • Urge individuals to touch things in the arrangement by using plants and structures with an assortment of surfaces.
  • Offer a perspective from the windows of patients who can’t go outside.
  • Focus on designing with materials that enhance, instead of wear out with age.

 

Leaves Water Feature SculptureLeaves Water Feature – Matthew Placzek

Sensory/Fragrant Gardens
For The Visually Impaired

  • Use vivid colors and striking materials as reference focuses for people with poor sight.
  • Use complex colors for holders, pathways, wall, entryway locks, steps, and different items that patients may struggle to find or perceive.
  • Decrease clutter by appropriately spacing seating and décor.
  • Install rails to help familiarize visitors with various areas.

 

Enrapture vessel SculptureEnraptured – Matthew Placzek

Meditation Gardens

  • Provide a simple, uncluttered space of exploration.
  • Provide seating that is convenient and comfortable for long periods of time.
  • Avoid clashing colors. Instead, choose cool colors (violet, blue, green) in the plantings for the overall design for the garden.

 

Bergan Mercy Healing GardenBergan Mercy Fountain – Matthew Placzek