Restorative gardens for the sick, which were a vital part of the healing process from the Middle Ages to the early twentieth century, provided ordered and beautiful settings in which patients could begin to heal, both physically and mentally. In this engaging book, a landscape architect, a physician, and a historian examine the history and role of restorative gardens to show why it is important to again integrate nature into the institutional -- and largely factorylike -- settings of modern health care facilities.
In this unique book, Nancy Gerlach-Spriggs, Dr. Richard Enoch Kaufman, and Sam Bass Warner, Jr., unfold their argument by presenting file history of restorative gardens and studies of six American health care centers that cherish the role of their gardens in the therapeutic process. These institutions are examined in detail: community hospitals in Wausau, Wisconsin, and Monterey, California; a full-care mental institution in Philadelphia; a nursing home in Queens; a facility for rehabilitative medicine in New York City; and a hospice in Houston. In their comprehensive review the authors suggest that contemporary scientific understanding clearly recognizes the beneficial physiological effects of garden environments on patients well-being.