Healing gardens are special gardens located in hospitals and other healthcare facilities such as aged care centres and hospices.
The trend towards incorporating healing gardens in hospitals has been driven by research regarding the effects that access to nature can have on patients and their healing process.
These studies have confirmed what parents have been telling their children for years – being out in nature is good for you. According to the research, access to nature can reduce symptoms including stress, depression, and even pain. It can also improve and promote wound healing, immune function, mood, and more.
While healing gardens are becoming increasingly popular in newly-built hospitals, it’s also possible to incorporate a healing garden in your hospital next time you undertake a refurbishment.
If you’re interested in incorporating a healing garden during your next hospital refurbishment, here are some of the basics you’ll need to consider.
Like every element in a hospital refurbishment, safety must be a primary concern. Any pathways you build should be sealed and even, with no tripping hazards. Railings should be provided for less mobile patients, along with plenty of seating.
It’s also imperative to create your healing garden with the local climate and seasons in mind. Covered seating and walkways can provide access to the garden during more inclement weather, while carefully-placed shaded areas are essential for the warmer months.
A well-designed healing garden should also be accessible for patients with limited mobility, disabilities, or other challenges. That may mean wider, wheelchair-friendly pathways, aids for visually-impaired patients, signs that incorporate both images and words, and other accessible features.
Planting in healing gardens can take many forms. You may opt to plant drought-resistant local flora, traditional garden favourites, or other plants that make sense for your location, organisation, and patients. Just be sure to avoid plants that produce common allergens, attract harmful bugs or bacteria, or that can be unsafe (such as rose bushes with thorns).
If you’re considering refurbishing your hospital, Premis Solutions can help.