As anybody who has spent time in the outdoors knows quite well, being around nature has a way of making us feel better both emotionally and physically.
Not a new concept. The idea of incorporating as much “green space” as possible into our urban world actually began with Leonardo da Vinci’s design of the “Ideal City.” After the black plague wiped out nearly a third of the population in Milan, the famous Italian architect incorporated elements of design that went beyond mere function. He recognized the health benefits of having adequate outdoor space and how the aesthetics of vegetation could be very healing.
Since then, many people have embraced da Vinci’s approach and have done whatever they could to bring as much green into their world as possible. In addition to being an inviting gathering place for family and friends, these spaces can also foster a sense of community and increase our connection with nature—even when we are surrounded by vast amounts of glass and concrete.
While just about any garden can be therapeutic, some are expressly designed with healing in mind. Appropriately named “healing gardens,” these spaces provide a real physical and emotional benefit to the people who spend time in them. Some people use healing gardens to build up their strength after a stroke or long illness, either by walking through the garden or working in the area tending to the plants. In addition to being good for the body, a healing garden is also good for the mind and soul, providing a sense of tranquility and peace, as well as providing a quiet spot for meditation. A healing garden can provide hard-working people with a welcome change of scenery and a destination point during stressful days.
Because of their restorative properties, healing gardens are often found at hospitals or other healthcare facilities. To be sure the garden provides needed refuge and healing, they must be carefully designed. The architects at Terrain Planting and Design can assist with planning interior or exterior spaces that promote healing and wellness. We collaborate with architects, engineers, designers and psychologists to create the most therapeutic and beautiful healing gardens possible, and we are also happy to help with presentations to board members and others who may need to approve funding for the space.