two thousand years in two paragraphs
That nature nurtures well-being any gardener will know, and has been known intuitively for centuries. Gardens of ancient nobility and walled gardens of Mesopotamian settlements brought city dwellers back into contact with nature. From the Middle Ages many hospitals and monasteries created courtyard gardens and grounds to aid recuperation. In the Victorian era hospital courtyards were named ‘airing courts’ for treating tuberculosis with fresh air and sunlight; extensive gardened landscapes offered physical rehabilitation for improving muscular and bone strength; and provided mental stimulation for patients in asylums.
This continued into the mid-twentieth century where the development of gardening therapy – also called horticultural therapy — took root as a tool within the profession of occupational therapy. In the last three decades scientific and social research has turned its attention to gardening therapy. There has been a consistent and growing body of literature describing wide ranging benefits of gardening therapy for many conditions.
“A garden is a delight to the eye, and a solace to the soul: it soothes angry passions and produces that pleasure which is a foretaste of Paradise”.
Sa’Di, 1184 — 1291