American Horticultural Therapy Association

Get Dirty, Get Healthier With Horticultural Therapy

I do a lot of thinking on my quiet canyon bench. It's much nicer than a traditional therapist's office. Photo: Jim Mumford horticultural therapy
Many people develop a love of gardening and nature as they grow up through older relatives as they care for their flowers, plants, or fruit and vegetable gardens. I spent many family summers enjoying the outdoors and learning about nature in a way that seems a little old-fashioned today. So many of my relatives have a love for nature. My father, Bob, became a much admired – and published! – nature photographer after retiring from the United States Navy. Mom Sandy is an avid backyard gardener and refuses to throw a struggling plant away, and rarely prunes. My daughter, Allie, loves nature – for her, it’s all about animals.… Read More

Helping homeless San Diegans one plant at a time

Alpha Project residents show off their new orchids from Good Earth Plant Company.
Several months ago at a Citizens Coordinate for Century 3 (C3) panel discussion on the homelessness problem in San Diego, one of the panel members really energized me. Her name is Amy Gonyeau, and she is Chief Operating Officer with the Alpha Project. For those who aren’t familiar with it (like me I’m embarrassed to say), Alpha Project is a nonprofit human services organization that serves over 4,000 homeless men, women, and children each day with a variety of services like affordable housing, residential substance abuse treatment, transportation, mental health counseling, employment training, and also emergency services. I started my career in the plant industry with a flower kiosk on the corner of 6th and B streets in downtown San Diego.… Read More

Dr. Nature Prescribes Gardening for Good Health

Monday, June 6 is National Gardening Exercise Day. Get a little dirty and celebrate.
Have you seen all the fitness wristbands on the market? It seems like they can measure nearly anything! Of course you have to be doing something to measure in the first place. We are told that sitting is the new smoking, and if we work behind a desk at all we’ve got to get up and move frequently. The goal is to walk 10,000 steps in a day or get the equivalent amount of exercise. Sure, it sounds easy but it means you need to get in a minimum of five miles of walking per day. If you walk at a brisk pace this can be an hour and 15 minutes or more.… Read More