Thomas Erskine’s horticultural garden project displays the potential of horticultural therapy. Erskine started this project as a small community garden, but it has since expanded into a place of resources and therapy for people with all different needs – homeless, those who are aging, suffering from depression, or have limited vocabularies or expressive abilities. Erskine says that horticultural therapy – much less formal and regulated – provides unique benefits to its patients. Gardening, which is such a physical and meditative activity, has helped all of his patients, and has helped him, too, just as much.

Key Takeaways:

  • Thomas Erskine’s horticultural therapy garden provides therapy for those with physical and mental disabilities.
  • Horticultural therapy is very different than other kinds of therapy, and uses nature and hands-on work to help people.
  • These kinds of projects, Erskine says, require skill, innovation, and love of the natural world.

“Erskine now works in woodland therapy or, as he describes it, “wild horticultural therapy”, which includes hands-on making, working with natural materials using hand tools. He’s also in negotiations with his local council to develop an accessible forest therapeutic project in Amber Valley, Derbyshire.”

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