Capitol Hill Garden Club In Washington, D.C., Since 1952

Horticulture Therapy at February 12 Meeting

February 15, 2019 4:56 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

Jan Lane, registered horticultural therapist, spent over 30 years in Government Relations.  After retirement, she bagan the Master Gardener program in Virginia.  Her AHA moment came when she was kneeling on a muddy ground picking blue berries.  She loved it and did not want to training to end.  After some investigation into the field of horticulture, she decided to become a Registered Horticultural Therapist. She wanted to work with others and help them learn the joy of working with nature.


She connects with her clients through gardening and working with the products of gardening. At Melwood, she worked with a group of women with intellectual disabilities. They would make sachets of scented geraniums. They planted the geraniums and tended the garden all spring and summer.  In the fall they harvested the plants.  Some were rooted, to become plants for next spring.  The rest were stripped of their leaves. The leaves were to be dried for the sachet packets.


One woman, who is blind and deaf, was part of the group, but no one interacted with her prior to this project.  As this client took the lead in turning the leaves to ensure they dried properly, Ms. Lane noticed that the rest of the group seemed to acknowledge her hard work and began interacting more with her.


Ms. Lane went on to show a variety of hospital gardens that create outdoor space for patients and their families to enjoy "green therapy" while convalescing.--Susan Thompson, Program Chairman



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