The little-known medical history of hospital gardens has been the topic for a unique installation at the Chelsea Fringe Festival, 18 May-5 June 2015. ‘Taking a Turn’ has been developed by gardening therapist and garden designer, Rebecca Smith, to explore the mental health history of hospital gardens over more than 200 years.
At Holt Wood we are working towards sustainable cultivation and harvest of medicinal trees and shrubs. Our project is based on a two acre site in North Devon, UK which was previously a conifer plantation.
The Woodland Trust are calling for a Charter for Trees, Woods and People. Their campaign for 2016 will start with the value to nature (Spring), then to health, mental wellbeing and fitness (Summer) and then to the economy and livelihoods (Autumn). The trust’s campaign will be a series of incremental messages, backed up with studies, reports and expert articles, increasing people’s understanding that trees are hugely valuable.
Michael Connors, Director of Services at Penny Brohn and member of the LGHN management board shares the presentation he gave at the LGHN seminar in 2015. Michael discussed the role of the garden within the therapeutic program at Penny Brohn. He emphasized how an understanding of Ecopsychology (including mindfulness, eco-therapy and nature and soul) is integrated within the service provision at Penny Brohn. The garden, which is sustained by a strong volunteer team, provides a symbolic meta model for a ‘journey of transformation’ (the Hero’s Journey).
Conversations about healing trees by Colin Porter
Having been trained at Kew in the 1980’s form of scientific rationality, the more left-field ideas of natural harmony or sustainability found at places like Findhorn or the Centre for Alernative Technology in North Wales should have passed me by. The majority of people I worked with seemed to be reassured by reasoned argument and, as far as I was concerned, scientific rationality provided a reliable platform for the day job. But our day jobs were only part of the story.
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