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Terms and Definitions

Care Farming / Farming for Health

Care farming is defined as the use of farms and agricultural landscapes as a base for promoting mental and physical health.


Children’s and School Gardening

Whether or not a child has a physical or mental disability, involvement with plants has become a very limited experience for most of America’s youth. Many arboreta and botanic gardens, Cooperative Extension, and other agencies and non-profit groups are beginning to address this population with its unique needs. Children with special needs, including youth-at-risk, have been targeted to participate in gardening programs.

Enabling Garden Design

It is a multi-use garden designed for children, the elderly, families, and community members with varying degrees of physical and cognitive abilities.  Both public and private gardens can be made significantly more useful to individuals with disabilities. This involves not only more appropriate designs, but also incorporation of tools, techniques, and plant material selected to enhance gardening for the more than 55 million Americans with disabilities.


Healing Landscapes

In the design of landscapes for hospitals, nursing homes, and hospices, the presence of plants is considered to be the healing element rather than part of a treatment program in which active participation with plant culture is integral to the therapy. These landscapes may be designed cooperatively with a horticultural therapist to serve the dual purpose of a healing landscape for some clients and a horticultural therapy garden for others. This field is becoming an increasingly recognized element in landscape design.

Horticultural Therapy

The profession of horticultural therapy is one of the treatment modalities (including art therapy, music therapy, and recreational therapy) that form the adjunctive therapy treatment approach. Horticultural therapy programs are found in psychiatric hospitals, physical rehabilitation facilities, educational centers for individuals with intellectual impairments, and similar treatment facilities. Professional horticultural therapists also work in vocational training programs, sheltered workshops, and prisons. In addition, arboretum and botanic gardens are employing Registered Horticultural Therapists to conduct educational outreach programs for professionals and clients in treatment facilities in their communities.

Human Issues in Horticulture (HIH)

HIH looks at the influences of plants on people in all aspects of their lives, regardless of special needs of the individuals. Other terms used to refer to this broad concept include socio-horticulture, people-plant interaction (PPI), and human dimensions in horticulture. HIH includes all of the above areas of concern, plus economic and marketing issues; physical and environmental amelioration by plants; food and nutrition; ethnobotany considerations as they apply to horticulture; and the role of horticulture in art, music, drama, and philosophy, as well as other issues.

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