The horticultural therapy program at Villa Fairmont Mental Health Rehabilitation Center (MHRC) in San Leandro, CA, was recently featured in Horticulture Magazine’s May/June 2020 issue.
The article, titled "A Supportive Nature," was submitted by Mary Purpura, MA, HTR. Mary designed and installed the facility’s gardens and implemented the horticultural therapy program.
Horticultural therapy is an evidence-based practice that is available at many of our programs. It is used to teach vocational skills, practice mindfulness, and it provides a concrete way to understand abstract concepts such as life, death, birth, and rejuvenation. Horticultural therapy can also benefit a client's emotional and physical wellbeing.
Mary highlights these concepts in the article, and she outlines the importance of providing choice within the context of horticultural therapy. Clients can choose the kinds of seeds they wish to grow. Clients can choose how much physical labor they are able to do and can contribute to the garden by potting plants, pruning plants, or preparing the garden bed. And when the weather gets too cold, Mary works with the group to plan the following season's garden.
“In the grand scheme of things, providing choice is a small offering, but in terms of therapeutic intervention, it punches above its weight class,” Mary wrote.
Keep up the amazing work, Mary!