Archive for the ‘About This Blog’ Category

Keep Calm and…

Monday, July 2nd, 2012

Keep calm and garden on: little over a month ago, I moved from the lush, verdant Hudson Valley in New York to the hot world of College Station, Texas (haven’t been here long enough to use any more adjectives than that). I’ll be starting the PhD program at Texas A&M University’s College of Architecture in the fall, focusing on (surprise!) access to nature and evidence-based design. TAMU’s Center for Health Systems and Design, founded by Roger Ulrich, is one of the best in the country. I’m excited, as well as daunted, by this new adventure.

In the meantime, I’m settling in and spending most of my time writing a book on therapeutic gardens in the healthcare setting with co-author Clare Cooper Marcus, to be published by John Wiley and Sons in 2013.

Many people, when I tell them about this new direction (which isn’t new, it’s just going deeper into what I already do) ask what will happen to the Therapeutic Landscapes Network. I can assure you, the TLN website, blog, and community will remain active. Blog posts may change shape, they may become more sporadic, they may include more voices from guest bloggers. This all remains to be seen. In the meantime, keep calm; the TLN is alive and well and we’re as committed and excited as ever to “connecting people with information…people…nature.”

Stay tuned for the next TLN Newsletter, available free to all TLN members. Click on this link to sign up:

Please join us on Linked In, Facebook, and Twitter to connect and share information, questions, and ideas with the thousands of fantastic people in our Network.

All the best,

Naomi Sachs
Founding Director, Therapeutic Landscapes Network

(Image courtesy of the Keep Calm Shop:


News from the TLN – A note from the Director

Monday, April 16th, 2012
Live oak, College Station, TX. Photo by Naomi Sachs

Live oak, College Station, TX. Photo by Naomi Sachs

I knew it had been a long time since the last TLN Blog post, but I didn’t realize until yesterday that it’s been almost a month. I think we are also overdue for our monthly TLN e-Newsletter (if you’d like to receive the free newsletter, sign up here).

The big news is that I have been accepted into the PhD program in the College of Architecture at Texas A&M University. I will be focusing on – you guessed it – therapeutic landscapes, in the Center for Health Systems & Design. The faculty there is unbelievable, the students are top-notch, and the scholarship that comes out of the Center is excellent. The big draw for me is that several Architecture professors focus on access to nature (see, for example, Susan Rodiek’s Access to Nature DVD series). So it’s a great fit, and I’m excited about pursuing the missing piece of my puzzle: Research on how nature – wild and designed – affects people’s health and well-being. Learning how to conduct original research, write about it, and teach others will, I hope, make a contribution to the growing field of evidence-based design (stay tuned for the next post which focuses on EBD) to not just advocate for therapeutic landscapes but to answer specific questions about how we can best design spaces that benefit even the most vulnerable populations.

The TLN website and community will remain active, but will probably undergo changes as I transition from full-time TLN Director and part-time landscape designer to full-time doctoral student. I am in conversation with our Advisory Board about how to make this happen. Support from TLN members who can donate funds and/or time will be essential (if you would like to donate now, please visit our Support page; no amount is too small…or too big). The conversations we’ve been having on Linked In and Facebook have become so dynamic, fulfilling the “connecting people with people” part of our mission and vision.

I will also be moving from my home of almost 7 years in the verdant Hudson Valley to College Station, in Central Texas. This will be quite the change of scenery. I was fortunate last week to see the Texas Bluebonnets and Indian paintbrush in full bloom together, a breathtaking sight. Above is an image of a noble Live Oak in one of College Station’s parks.

Thanks to all of you for putting the “N” in the TLN. Like a good, well-tended tree, this is truly a strong Network, getting stronger and more vibrant all the time. I look forward to continuing our work, in whatever way takes shape, in the years to come. In the meantime, stay tuned for more blog posts as I pack boxes and prepare to move!

– Naomi Sachs, ASLA, EDAC
Founding Director, Therapeutic Landscapes Network

Happy New Year, and Happy Anniversary, TLN Blog!

Sunday, January 1st, 2012
Ferns at Hiddenbrooke Park, Beacon, NY. Photo by Naomi Sachs

First-ever TLN Blog photo: Ferns at Hiddenbrooke Park, Beacon, NY. By Naomi Sachs

Wow, has it really been 4 years?

I started the Therapeutic Landscapes Network Blog on January 1st, 2008, as a way to share information, news, and ideas with others who are passionate about the connection between nature and health. It’s been incredibly rewarding (for me and, I hope, for you) and I look forward to bringing you more in 2012.

Here’s a link to our first post, as well as the second, “Healing Gardens = Happy Employees, too.”

So Happy Anniversary to us, and Happy New Year to all!

– Naomi Sachs
Founding Director, Therapeutic Landscapes Network


Blog Recovery, with Lessons Learned

Thursday, March 3rd, 2011

Nest. Photo by Naomi SachsAs many of you know by now, the TLN Blog was hacked into this past weekend and was down for over 24 hours. Why would some cyberpunk from Algeria target us, you may ask? He didn’t – we were one of hundreds of blogs that were hacked into and messed with. And why did he do it? Simple: Because he could. He was showing off. We’re not taking it personally, but it sure would be nice if he’d cough up the dough to pay for time spent recovering.

Here’s what I’ve learned this week, and if you do any sort of online work, please pay attention:

  1. If you have a blog, website, etc., set it to back up every day, preferably in more than one place (the TLN Blog was set for weekly backup, so we lost the three last posts, including two that took several hours to create. Thankfully, we did have enough content saved to rebuild them);
  2. Always back up text and images on your own hard drive (as a Word document, etc.) so that when some nasty punk comes along and wipes out your online work for no apparent reason, you have the original content;
  3. Have good tech support for when things go wrong (thank you, Randy Caruso!);
  4. Have enough money in the budget to pay for that tech support.

The silver lining is that people have been generous with verbal and financial support to help us keep smiling and to defray costs. Perhaps it took this sort of debacle to remind people that the Therapeutic Landscapes Network website and blog require a tremendous amount of time and energy to run. As Joni Mitchell said, “Don’t it always seem to go that you don’t know what you’ve got ’till it’s gone.” Donations to the Therapeutic Landscapes Network are always welcome. You can contribute online or with a check to P.O. Box 728, Beacon, NY, 12508.

Thank you!

Naomi Sachs, ASLA
Founder & Director, Therapeutic Landscapes Network


Use Us! Getting the Most from the Therapeutic Landscapes Network

Saturday, February 26th, 2011

Cuban Tree Snails. Photo by Henry Domke,

The Therapeutic Landscapes Network has a lot to offer – so much so that people sometimes don’t even know what-all we have or how to best find it. Here’s a guide. Don’t worry if you can’t take it in all at once. We’ve added it to the “About Us” section of this blog in the top right-hand column.

But first, let me point out that we are a small organization with a big mission. Just as with public radio and many other great resources, our website and blog would not be possible without the support of our Wonderful Sponsors, particularlyLandscape Forms and Scofield, as well as generous contributions from individuals. We welcome donations and more Wonderful Sponsors – if you like what we do, help us keep doing it. If you want to see more, help us build.

The TLN Website (
Our website provides a wealth of information about gardens and landscapes that promote health and well-being. We are always adding new information and images. Some of the pages are very much still works in progress, and most are rich with content. Think of our website as an online bibliography that doesn’t go out of date as soon as it goes to print!

Searching and Finding
The “search” tool is present in the upper right-hand corner of every website page. Use it to search for any keyword or phrase within the website (e.g., “Alzheimer’s,” “evidence-based design,” “Chicago, IL,” “sensory gardens.”).
If you just want to do searches within the TLN Blog, use the search function in the right-hand column under “Search This Blog.”

Still can’t find what you’re looking for, or don’t know where to look first? Check out our Site Map for a quick overview of what’s where.

Take some time to roam around the website and see what we have to offer; you might just stumble upon a gem or two that you weren’t even looking for but are glad to have found.

References – Resources, research, and references

  • References – Hundreds of books, articles from peer-reviewed journals and popular magazines, theses, conference presentations, and more. The Search function is useful for finding specific topics.
  • If You Only Read Five” – Recommended readings sorted into categories such as “Where to Start,” “Design for seniors and people with dementia,” and “Books for inspiration.”