Recently, an article in the SNHF magazine described the word “hortitherapy”, originally from England, which designates since the past thirty years, a practice that is becoming more capable over time to improve the lives of patients and their relatives, accompany them to the best, using a soothing environment such as garden, or a manual, artistic and creative support such as gardening activity.

If we look closer, this practice had a routine application in the past in our hospitals and asylums. These institutions have always had beautiful gardens including maintenance amounted mostly to patients, especially in asylums.

The goal is not to praise unduly this past to consider it as a blessed time – because there is no doubt that despite some constraints of profitability ever more draconian, considerable progress has been made at the reception and the relationship with patients – but to rather and simply note that in terms of green spaces, we have significantly decreased… !

The Architecture of the hospital has evolved, in first it had to find place for cars, construct buildings to receive some technologies becoming more and more sophisticated and specialized, re-fit out to minimize the risk of infection… Thus, concrete has invaded everything and gradually replaced trees, flower beds and vegetable gardens.

For twenty years, Americans and Japanese have conducted numerous studies which highlighted the positive impact that the plant could have on stress and anxiety of patients, just like the color green, singing birds or the murmur of a brook… The benefit is become quickly apparent because all these elements allowed to reduce the length of hospitalization.
So obvious that in Canada today, the construction of a hospital must include the creation of a garden in its technical specifications !

When will the awareness for France ?!


  1. Dear friends,

    I am responsible of the Fondacio Hotitherapy Ocupacional Center(fondacio.cl centro ocupacional hortiterapeutico de fondacio) from Santiago, Chile. I agree with you, gardens are a positive influence for the rehabilitation of patients in hospitals, even if only they may have a sensory stimalation and of course if they may experience the interaccion with plantas this will be beneficiusly in many ways.
    Here in Chile still we have gardens in the hospitals but no hortitherapy.

    My regards,

    Monica Espinoza

  2. Thank you very much Monica for your testimony. I am always happy to share with people who understand the importance of nature and the garden, and their healing power.

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