Two fantastic upcoming events at The Hort

March 17th, 2014

Sometimes I really wish I still lived in New York. April is one of those times, because the Horticultural Society of New York is putting on not one but two brilliant events that I would not miss if I didn’t live 2,000 miles away.

Event #1: Healing Nature Forum: Horticulture as Therapy

This event features a stellar line-up of speakers, including a keynote by Virginia Burt, Principal of Visionscapes Landscape Architects, Inc.

Visit the HSNY website for more details.

Horticultural Society of NY Healing Nature Forum

Event #2: The exhibition, By leaves or play of sunlight. John Cage: Artist and Naturalist

John Cage, The Hort

April 2 – May 16, 2014
Curated by Chris Murtha

Opening Reception:
Wednesday, April 2nd, 6:00pm to 8:00pm
The Horticultural Society of New York
148 West 37th Street, 13th Floor
New York, NY 10018

Presented with the John Cage Trust and the New York Mycological Society

This exhibition of plant-inspired artworks by John Cage (1912-1992) examines how he applied his chance operations to the natural world. Cage was already well established as a pioneering composer when he became fascinated with mushrooms in the 1950s, but he was so committed to this pursuit, he co-founded the present incarnation of the New York Mycological Society. Nature was central to Cage’s visual art practice; he found particular inspiration in the study of mushrooms and Thoreau’s journal sketches, and his materials included river rocks, smoke, and medicinal plants. The centerpiece of this exhibition is Mushroom Book (1972), a portfolio of lithographs created with mycologist Alexander H. Smith and artist Lois Long, whose botanical illustrations offer a stark contrast to Cage’s prints of overlapping handwritten texts. The show will also include prints that incorporate Thoreau’s drawings and selections from Edible Drawings (1990), a series of handmade papers made with ingredients from the artist’s macrobiotic diet.

Visit HSNY website to download the press release, which is written as a mesostic poem, a form that Cage used throughout his career, including in Mushroom Book.

 

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The Chicago Botanic Garden Healthcare Garden Design Certificate Program – Register now!

March 14th, 2014
Tulips at the Chicago Botanic Garden

Tulips at the Chicago Botanic Garden. Photo by Naomi Sachs

Registration is now open for the Chicago Botanic Garden Healthcare Garden Design Certificate Program, and for the seminar, “Gardens That Heal: A Prescription for Wellness.”

Eight-day professional development certificate
May 14 – 21, 2014
Wednesday – Wednesday
Early registration fee paid/postmarked by April 4, 2014: $2,995
Fee after April 4, 2014: $3,495

Gardens That Heal: A Prescription for Wellness
One-Day Seminar
May 14, 2014
Wednesday
9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Member fee $129
Nonmember fee $149, or $129 before April 4, 2014

Online registration is unavailable 24 hours prior to the class start date. You may still register by calling (847) 835-8261.

The eight-day Certificate Program includes case studies, group projects, field trips, lectures, and instruction from experts from healthcare garden-related professions. Working in multidisciplinary teams that reflect the real world of healthcare garden design, your learning will be reinforced through tours of healthcare facilities in greater Chicago.

The program begins with a special full-day seminar on “Gardens That Heal: A Prescription for Wellness,” designed as a starting point for those participating in the full program, and as an introduction for professionals not requiring full certification.

Program overview
Healthcare garden design is an emerging area of specialization in which several professions converge to create environments of care. In this professional development program, attendees will discover the many ways gardens provide verifiable health benefits for their patients, staff, and visitors. The multidisciplinary program introduces the latest research in healthcare garden design, demonstrating the benefits of healthcare gardens while providing participants with the expertise, knowledge, and tools to effectively design, manage, and evaluate such gardens. These garden environments of care maximize the effectiveness of clinical treatments for illness and disabilities, and create passive garden experiences that significantly reduce staff stress and absenteeism, improve patient health, increase client satisfaction, and strengthen the bottom line.

Who should participate?
Landscape architects, garden designers, architects, and interior designers; healthcare executives, program administrators, development and marketing directors, and consultants; nurses, therapists, extended care providers, and activity and recreation directors; graduate students in related fields.

Specific Content Elements

  • Types of healthcare gardens and their defining characteristics
  • Research, evidence-based design, and post-occupancy evaluation
  • Passive and active garden experiences for positive health outcomes
  • Characteristics of user groups (patients, family, visitors, and staff) and how they benefit
  • How to reduce staff stress and increase satisfaction, retention, and recruitment
  • Universal design, ADA, barrier-free design, regulations, codes, and specifications
  • Integration of gardens into new and existing healthcare campus landscapes
  • Connection of outdoor gardens to indoor spaces and therapeutic activities
  • Plant selection and use, equipment, materials, safety, security, and privacy
  • Construction and maintenance of new projects; performing renovations and redirecting uses of indoor and outdoor spaces, including rooftops
  • How to build winning healthcare garden design teams
  • How to succeed in the client-centered marketplace
  • Marketing, project proposals, and management; funding and resources

Visit the website for more information, including the list of stellar instructors.

Here are just a few of the many great comments the course has received over the years:

“Content was incredible. No repetition. Each speaker was valuable.”

“Course renewed my spirit!”

“Exceeded my expectations. Excellent management. Excellent location. Excellent instruction.”

“This program reminded me of my zeal for designing…”

Chicago Botanic Garden design charrette

Design charrette at the Chicago Botanic Garden. Photo by Naomi Sachs

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(Almost) Wordless Wednesday

March 12th, 2014

I know it’s hard to believe for many people in the U.S., but spring really is coming. One way to hasten its arrival is to cut a few branches from what will be a flowering shrub or tree. When you bring the branches inside and put them in water, you “fool” them into thinking that spring has arrived, and they bloom. Sometimes the sight of those blossoms is enough to give us hope for the not-too-distant future of warmth and rebirth.

Here’s an older post, “Forcing Spring,” on the subject that has links to some good how-to sites.

 

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The Enabling Garden at Bryn Mawr Rehab Hospital

March 9th, 2014
Bryn Mawr Rehab Hospital

A lily pond and lush plantings make this garden an excellent place for rehab work.

Horticultural Therapy is, in a nutshell, the use of plants, gardens, and other aspects of nature to improve people’s social, spiritual, physical, and emotional well-being. Check out the HT page on the TLN website, and the organizations American Horticultural Therapy Association and the Horticultural Therapy Institute for more information. The new book, Therapeutic Landscapes: An Evidence-Based Approach to Designing Healing Gardens and Restorative Outdoor Spaces also has a great chapter on HT, written by the inimitable Teresia Hazen at Legacy Health in Portland, OR.

Bryn Mawr Rehab Hospital

A horticultural therapist works with a client

The HT program at Bryn Mawr Rehab Hospital is well-established and respected in the field. Thanks to Pam Young, the Horticultural Therapist there, for this description of their program, and for the accompanying photos.

“The Enabling Garden was created as a therapeutic outdoor environment to enhance the horticultural therapy program at Bryn Mawr Rehab Hospital.  Bryn Mawr Rehab serves patients from a wide range of illnesses and injuries including those recovering from brain injury, stroke, spinal cord injury and other orthopedic and neurological conditions.

Bryn Mawr Rehab Hospital

With this beautiful greenhouse, clients can garden all year long.

Horticultural therapy is provided as a medium to achieve improvement in skills needed for maximum function, as well as to return to leisure and recreational interests and hobbies. The Enabling Garden is fully wheelchair accessible and features raised beds at varied heights to accommodate patients.  Pavement surfaces are also varied to provide patients the opportunity to practice negotiating different surfaces.  During the growing season, patients are actively engaged in the designing, planting, and maintenance of the beds and containers throughout the garden while addressing their therapy goals. The garden is open to the public and also enjoyed by family members, visitors and hospital staff.”

Here’s some more great information about HT and the HT program at Bryn Mawr Rehab from their website:

Horticultural Therapy is an innovative treatment modality that uses plants and plant-related activities to assist in the rehabilitation of people with disabilities. The Bryn Mawr Rehab Hospital Sydney Thayer III Horticultural Center is a state-of-the-art facility with cathedral ceilings, skylights and a greenhouse that creates a calm and therapeutic setting.

Horticultural Therapy is a change of pace from traditional therapies. Patients work on individual rehabilitation goals, while enjoying plant-related activities. As patient work with plants, they can improve mobility, balance, endurance, memory and socialization skills. Muscles can be strengthened and coordination can be improved. Horticultural therapy enables patients to nurture and care for plants while meeting clinical goals.

Horticultural Therapy can be done as a group or individual activity. Occupational, recreational, physical and speech/language therapists work together with registered horticultural therapists to coordinate activities that meet individual patient goals.

Activities in the greenhouse include starting seeds, watering or repotting plantings, working with fresh flowers, arranging, drying and pressing flowers and, when the weather permits, activities may move outdoors for garden work. The specially-designed greenhouse includes six-foot wide aisles and non-skid floors to accommodate wheelchairs.

 

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A healthy dose of color on a grey Saturday afternoon

March 8th, 2014

Hibiscus

Many of us across the U.S., and other parts of the world as well, are pretty tired of winter by now. Even in Central Texas, it’s been colder than usual, for a longer period of time than usual. I still don’t quite get the way that people here cover their lovely but tender plants with pretty much anything that’s available – black plastic bags, old bedsheets, large pieces of cardboard… So yards that are quite attractive in the spring, fall, and summer end up looking like dead lawns strewn with trash. Oh, well.

I was going through some photos from a trip to Florida a few years ago and happened upon this one of a giant, fearless Hibiscus flower. It said, “Post me today.”

So here you are. Tomorrow morning (Sunday) at 2:00 am, we “spring forward” an hour for Daylight Savings time. Even if there’s still snow on the ground and cold wind is howling through the gaps, the days are lengthening, and spring is approaching. I promise.

 

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