Published at Monday, April 01st, 2019 - 06:06:43 AM. Home Decoration. By Aili Otto.
Therapy gardens tend to be most successful when they have features that appeal to at least one of the senses all year round, Carman says. However, smell is one sense that varies quite a bit depending on the clients needs. Gardens with fragrant plants such as lilacs have been found to trigger sweet memories for those with dementia and brain injuries. “Smell is one of the last senses to go,” says Naomi Sachs, founding director of Cornell Universitys Therapeutic Landscapes Network. For that reason, one garden at the Marianjoy Integrative Pain Treatment Center at Northwestern Medicine outside Chicago has plants that stimulate the olfactory system, says Kyle Butzine, a staff physical therapist at the Wheaton, Ill., campus gardens. Among those are lavender, lemon verbena, and scented geraniums. Conversely, gardens for those undergoing chemotherapy usually are designed without scents since many cancer treatments make patients highly sensitive to smell and easily nauseated, Sachs says. Too much light can also be unsettling. “Those going through any kind of chemotherapy find it affects their eyes,” Delaney says. But the good news is that nature, even without bright sunlight and smells, can help lower blood pressure, reduce stress, balance circadian rhythms, and increase vitamin D absorption, according to Roger Ulrichs research into how seeing greenery can influence surgical recovery. “It also can be a positive distraction that takes peoples minds off their ills,” Carman says.
But paring down isnt for everyone. Many of the 400 amateur gardeners who open their colorful, quirky, original gardens in Buffalo, N.Y.s annual Garden Walk Buffalo weekend event each July disregard the simplicity mantra. Graphic designer Jim Charlier, who participates yearly, recently co-authored the book Buffalo-Style Gardens (St. Lynns Press, 2019) with garden writer Sally Cunningham. He designed his small garden for eating and entertaining, planted a collection of climbing plants to block neighboring homes, and built a green potting shed that mimics his 1897 green Dutch Colonial-style home to hold tools. The pedigree of a garden featured on the 25-year-old tour—the largest of its type in the country—definitely helps to sell homes, Charlier says.
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