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Southern California Regional Reports

Plants for a Therapeutic Garden

The aromatic, textured, and butterfly-attracting qualities of ‘Munstead’ lavender make it the perfect choice for a therapeutic garden. Photo: Michelle Gervais

Gardens provide us with sanctuaries from the outside world and its stresses. A garden is a healing space, as the simple act of being in a garden makes us feel better. Reducing stress and anxiety improves mental and physical health. Taking the healing properties of gardens one step further, a therapeutic garden is a garden with the purpose of providing healing and comfort in a specific space to specific people. Therapeutic gardens can run the gamut from hospital gardens to gardens at senior living facilities to school gardens that help children with special needs. How lucky we are in Southern California that we can enjoy our gardens year-round. Therefore, we have a huge spectrum of plants to choose from for a therapeutic garden. To narrow the field, you would first determine the needs of the people it would be serving. Some important characteristics I would look for would be scent, texture, and…

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