Three Requirements for a 'Healing Garden'

Robert Ulrich was in the hospital with a badly broken leg.

Forced to lie flat on his back, Ulrich, an environmental psychologist, stared for hours at a too-bright ceiling light surrounded by acoustic ceiling tile.

 “I much I wished I had an attractive image on the ceiling,” Ulrich recalls.

Coleus - Jan Johnsen

Now the director of the Center for Health Systems & Design at Texas A&M University, Ulrich produced groundbreaking research that found that viewing natural scenes in a hospital aids stress recovery by evoking positive feelings, reducing negative emotions and blocking or reducing stressful thoughts.

When test subjects viewed gardens as opposed to urban scenes, they exhibited lower alpha rates which are associated with being wakefully relaxed.

Garden by Jan Johnsen

 Ulrich also found that surgical patients who had views of nature from their hospital beds had shorter post-operative stays, fewer negative comments from nurses, took less pain medication and experienced fewer minor post-operative complications than those with a view of a brick wall!

Healing begins in a garden.  

All hospitals should have healing landscapes for patients to visit.

Landscape by Johnsen Landscapes & Pools

But what should a healing landscape contain?

In the United Kingdom, Maggie Keswick,  a well-known English garden writer, was dying of breast cancer. Her wish was for her partner, noted landscape designer, Charles Jencks, to set up a series of cancer centers which provided a sanctuary away from clinical hospital environments.

Thereafter, a number of MAGGIE gardens were established in Scotland, Keswick’s country of birth.

A recent Maggie garden was developed by English designer, Dan Pearson, at Charing Cross Hospital, London. It was widely heralded but the photos show a rather uninspiring outdoor space...

so what does a healing garden need to be, specifically? Bridget Rosewell wrote about the Pearson garden in the great website, Thinkin Gardens:

"Looking round rather wild eyed and frankly astonished, I reflected on what was wrong here.  I concluded that there were three things lacking.  They are green, seating and a place to cry

Garden -  Johnsen Landscapes & Pools

Greenery carries huge symbolism of hope and in a winter garden gives structure and density.  It is no accident that so many successful gardens have yew hedges [this is in England]. 

 Seats give the opportunity to meditate, to doze and to absorb the reality of growth and renewal. 

A place to cry is denied by the busyness of hospitals and the necessity of treatment.  But recovery requires it and it in turn requires privacy and hidden corners."

I must admit I never thought about the 'place to cry' and hidden corners but you know it makes sense....

A great post about healing gardens is from University of Minnesota (click here) 


  1. It sure does make sense. Loved reading this post. xo

  2. Very interesting. I hope some of the hospitals and cancer centers would follow suit and take this advice.

    1. Hi Susan, If they think it will attract more patients they I want to urge everyone to ask their hospital for a healing garden.....

  3. Remember the movie Avatar?

    Where all those blue people were connected by an

    They were able to communicate with plants and

    Well, that is not just a fantasy.

    It turns out that kind of “energy” is real.

    Deepak Chopra wrote about a study, where scientists
    saw monkeys dipping potatoes in saltwater before
    eating it.

    Then they saw the rest of the tribe doing it.

    Pretty logical so far right?

    But get this: Monkeys in different parts of the WORLD
    started dipping potatoes in salt water.

    There was no way they could have communicated
    with each other.

    The only explanation was that they communicated
    through an invisible, “intelligent energy.”

    The Japanese call this energy “Ki”.

    It stands for “Life Force”

    In fact, a man named Mikao Usui developed a
    SYSTEM of healing called Reiki.

    And this system of healing uses this intelligent energy
    to heal people.

    It is one of the most ancient, profound and
    POWERFUL healing arts in the world.

    Reiki masters can HEAL just by touching someone
    with their hands.

    They can also heal people REMOTELY using their

    It’s amazing.

    It USED to take YEARS and THOUSANDS of dollars
    to become a Reiki master.

    But this guy named Owen Coleman discovered how
    to attain these healing powers rapidly.

    Even in as little as 48 hours.

    According to him he already had this power, but
    don’t realize it. And that’s we don’t have to spend too
    much time learning it.

    We just need to recognize it and release it.

    [Check out his presentation on Reiki here.]

    Alright, till next time.

    Yours Truly,
    Mr Ana

    P.S. - Owen is offering a special training that
    won't be around forever.

    He's planning on releasing his training methods on
    a large scale.

    But for now, it is invitation only.

    So, if I were you, I'd take advantage of that as well.

    Look forward to hearing from you!

    [Click here now Miracle results in days....]


Post a Comment

Hi there! I would love to hear from you....

Popular Posts of all Time

Angelface Blue and Dark Violet Angelonia - a Flower that Keeps Giving

'Purple Smoke' - The best Baptisia

Getting in the 'Flow' by Gardening

No-Fail Tips for Turning Hydrangeas Blue!

Repurposed and Recycled - Creative Ideas for Garden Design

Planting Design for Dry Gardens by Olivier Filippi

The Magnificent Purslane - Edible Landscaping at its best!

My one day Class Wednesday April 16 in NY - Jan Johnsen

The Tradition of Hanami - Cherry Blossom Viewing in Japan