How to Create a Healing Environment with Hospital Landscaping
When you step foot into a beautiful garden lush with thick green trees and exploding with vibrant flower blossoms, there is a natural inclination to take a deep breath, let it out, and let a feeling of peace flow over you. There’s just something comforting about being surrounded by nature and the loveliness with which it is imbued.
As it turns out, these feelings are more than just figments of your imagination. Study after study throughout the years has established that this is a direct correlation between nature and human happiness and health. In other words, the landscaping present around you can have a palpable effect on your emotional, mental, and physical wellbeing!
This is especially true of those who are presently patients. A thriving green space is not only an incentive to heal but also a contributor that healing. While plants are not a miracle cure-all for disease, a study conducted by the University of Derby and the Wildlife Trusts found that interacting with fauna and foliage significantly improves peoples’ happiness and health!
The sounds, smells, and even textures of nature can be therapeutic, making immersion in a natural environment incredibly beneficial. However, another study showed that even just gazing at a garden can sometimes speed up the healing process. Now, that’s powerful!
With such promising effects only a few plants away and so much positive research backing the power of plants, you may be ready to grab a shovel and some seeds, head outside, and start planting. While your intentions are right, a more organized approach can maximize the effectiveness of a therapeutic landscape.
With the help of an industry expert like Landcrafters, you can ensure your landscaping is perfect for your property. Check out our tips and tricks for happy, healthy, and beautiful hospital landscaping below!
Go for Green
A hospital environment that is green, lush, and vibrant excels in keeping patients motivated on their journey to healing. Whether it’s gorgeous plant life that’s visible from their windows or a beautiful area in which they can walk and sit, creating a green space is a fantastic idea.
In Florida, this means a lot of watering will be required. Implementing a strict watering schedule and systems that maximize the efficiency of said watering is key. You may even want to consider the ways in which the bountiful Florida rain can be harnessed to help the landscape flourish.
When designing a green space for a hospital, think about what the patients would most enjoy. Perhaps an area where they feel as though they can escape—a haven, of sorts. Shade trees, flowers, and shrubs of different sizes and heights can make a landscape feel layered, providing privacy and a healing atmosphere.
The More Life the Merrier
Plants are wonderful—trust us, they’re our life! However, the life they attract is pretty neat, too! That’s why we recommend planting trees, flowers, and other fauna that will beckon to wildlife. Florida plants are especially adept at attracting colorful fluttering creatures, such as bees, butterflies, hummingbirds, and more!
Seeing these free spirits flitting around can certainly lift the hearts of those confined to the hospital. Plants like Black-Eyed Susan, Bottlebrush, Butterfly Bush, Calico Flower, Cassia, Coral Bean, and Coral Honeysuckle tend to do a great job of drawing butterflies to an area. Birds, on the other hand, love American Beautyberry, Red Mulberry, and Holly, while hummingbirds tend to congregate around plants like Firebush and Shrimp Plant.
The Healing Power of Water
Throughout the ages, water has been representative of healing, and for good reason! Incorporating water features into your landscape design is a wonderful way to increase the feelings of tranquility that it possesses. The sight and sound of running water are one of the more peaceful experiences a hospitalized individual can have.
Be selective with your water features by choosing those that are easy to maintain and aren’t over-the-top. In other words, don’t invest in anything that may annoy visitors, such as features that drip, smell due to neglect, or otherwise interrupt the healing environment you are attempting to create.
The Senses Matter
For the hospital-bound, the senses are one of the only means of escape available. While a pretty garden is nice to look at (and will definitely be a positive addition to patients’ lives), you want your landscape to engage all of your visitors’ senses. You want them to barely be able to resist the urge to touch, smell, and hear everything nature has to offer. Then, you want to encourage them to give in to that urge!
Patients should feast their eyes, of course, but by indulging their other senses, the experience becomes more immersive and impactful. Consider the plants that have proven healing powers, like lavender, catnip sage, and rosemary. The therapeutic qualities of these plants just beg to be touched!
We encourage you to not stop there. Consider the sounds that accompany an idyllic nature experience. Soft chimes or pieces of ornamental glass can provide the perfect musical backdrop to a gentle breeze. Imagine the soft leaves brushing against your cheek as a butterfly gracefully ascends into the sky accompanied by the soft scent of lavender and the gentle tinkling of glass beads. If this sounds calming to you, the patients will appreciate it ten-fold.
Consider Your Walkways
Walkways are necessary, especially in a hospital environment where visitors and staff alike will be attempting to navigate efficiently to where they need to be. However, walkways can also muck up your beautiful, healing landscape, dampening the positive effects it offers and limiting the number of people who can enjoy it.
Keep in mind that, because you’re adding this garden to a hospital environment, it’s important to consider that you’ll be crafting it for people who either sick, in recovery, dealing with challenging health issues, or are plagued by other physical issues—you don’t want to make your walkways too narrow or challenging.
Ensure that they’re smooth, accessible, and that there’s plenty of space between the sidewalk and the plants. The last thing you want is your garden making an experience with nature more stressful, so ensure that the paths are wide for wheelchairs, have enough space for multiple visitors, and won’t be impeded by your choice of plants.
Whether your interested in a healing landscape for patients, yourself, or another business, Landcrafters has the experience and expertise to provide top-notch insight and professional service, no matter what the demands of your property may be. Feel free to reach out to us with any landscaping questions, for more therapeutic landscaping advice, or to discuss your unique landscaping needs.
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