I recently reviewed a scientific study on the effects of landscape on wellness. Since the horticultural study was published, there have been a number of books written describing the health benefits of “therapy gardens.”
The data indicated that while looking at a pleasant landscape, negative feelings and thoughts – previously induced by negative stress exposure – are replaced by positive feelings. Furthermore, physical indicators were measurable. Lower physiological excitation, lower pulse rates, and lower emotional provocation resulted in healthier outcomes linked to decreased stress.
Shell Point Retirement Community’s landscaping team has purposefully designed a walkway garden for therapy and wellness, located in the space next to The Rehabilitation Center at The Larsen Pavilion. The selected plants are positioned to induce feelings of calm and relaxation, and the slope of the walkway has been specifically calculated to smoothly transition among different walking inclines and surfaces – from cement to brick pavers to wooden boards.
This wellness garden gives many an opportunity to walk in a safe, therapeutic, green environment. I cannot think of a more positive benefit from a garden.