Garden Therapy For Vets, Treatment & Improving Mental Health

Garden Therapy For Vets

Garden Therapy For Vets is a program that aims to benefit veterans and military personnel through horticulture. The program provides therapeutic benefits of gardening to help veterans heal from the experiences they endured while in service. Veterans experience positive effects from interacting with plants in the greenhouse, such as relaxation, stress relief, and improved mental health.

Powerpacplus’s Summary

  • Garden Therapy For Vets is a program that uses horticulture to help veterans and military people.
  • Garden Therapy for Vets Comes in a Variety of Forms
  • How Can Garden Therapy Benefit Veterans?
  • Plants are used by horticultural therapists to assist patients reach their therapeutic aims.

Overview of Garden Therapy for Vets 

Garden therapy for vets can be a valuable source for veterans dealing with stress and PTSD. Gardening is a form of exercise that provides many benefits such as increasing physical activity, making a sense of purpose.

The VA has installed greenhouses in many VA medical centers across the country to provide veterans with an opportunity to participate in horticulture programs. These gardens allow patients to grow their own fruits and vegetables, giving them a sense of ownership over their plan.

This can get their motivation to stay on track with their treatment plan and boost patient morale. The program also provides military personnel with the opportunity to learn about gardening from experienced gardeners.

This helps them develop skills that can improve their quality of life, while also providing a way to reduce stress and tension associated with PTSD.

Garden therapy for vets is an effective treatment option that can help improve overall wellbeing and make meaningful sources for veterans struggling with health issues.

Types of Garden Therapy for Vets

Horticultural Therapy 

Horticultural therapy is a program that uses plants and gardening as an activity to help military veterans adjust to civilian life after their service.

Horticultural therapists are well-trained professionals who specialize in using plants and gardens for purposes. The Horticultural Therapy Association (HTA) is the leading organization that offers programs for veterans, such as gardening for veterans, horticultural therapy, and the creation of gardens.

MSU Extension also provides resources to help veterans learn more about horticultural therapy and how it can benefit them. Through these programs, veterans can gain new skills that can be used in their home environment or even in a professional setting.

Horticultural therapy can provide veterans with a sense of purpose and belonging, helping them to transition back into civilian life while also providing physical and mental health benefits.

Horticultural Therapy 

Animal-Assisted Therapy 

Animal-Assisted Therapy is a great way of helping veterans with their emotional wellbeing. Last year, the Michigan State University Extension and the Horticultural Therapy Association teamed up to create the Garden Project for Veterans Affairs.

Horticultural therapists work with veterans to design, plan and develop therapeutic gardens on VA campuses around the country. The project focuses on using plants as a form of therapy for veterans and helps them in their recovery process. The garden project also involves growing vegetables and herbs at home, or even in a community garden setting.

This year, the Garden Project was expanded to include a Paw Paw patch at a VA facility in Michigan. This garden provides veterans with an opportunity to grow healthy produce while also engaging in horticultural therapy activities.

The Garden Project is making great strides in providing effective therapeutic care to our veterans by connecting them to nature through gardening—which is something that has been proven to have positive effects on mental health.

Animal-Assisted Therapy 

How Garden Therapy Can Help Veterans?

Mental Health

Mental health from gardening are well-documented and the evidence is growing. Last year, the United States Department of Veterans Affairs began funding horticultural therapists in Paw Paw, Michigan, to develop a garden project at the local medical center.

In addition, the Horticultural Therapy Association teamed up with Michigan State University Extension and other local organizations to create a horticultural therapy program.

The program includes educational resources for veterans and their families as well as hands-on experiences in a therapeutic garden setting.

MSU Extension has also worked with local schools to create house plants for students with mental health issues.

The results have been positive: participants report feeling more relaxed and enjoying better mental health after participating in horticulture therapy.

Thus, it is clear that planting can provide meaningful mental health benefits to those who take part in it.

Physical Health 

Plant-based activities can provide physical health benefits.  Horticultural therapists use plants to help people achieve their therapeutic goals.

The Michigan State University Extension and the Garden Project at the MSU College of Human Medicine in Paw Paw have been partnering with horticultural therapists since last year.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recognizes horticultural therapy as a beneficial form of alternative therapy to reduce stress, improve mood, and increase physical activity.

At the Garden Project, horticultural therapists work with patients from the Sparrow Medical Center in Lansing, helping them learn how to grow and care for plants while providing a sense of accomplishment and connection to nature.

With access to a variety of houseplants, outdoor flower beds, and vegetable gardens, patients are able to get outside for some fresh air while also providing meaningful work for themselves.

Through the Horticultural Therapy Association and other organizations, you can find resources that explain how gardening can help improve your physical health.

Social Benefits from Garden Therapy For Vets

This is a volunteer program that allows veterans to experience the therapeutic benefits of growing plants. Through grants, volunteers are able to dedicate their time and resources to helping veterans find hope at the end of the day.

The program provides an opportunity for veterans to interact with other members of the population while learning lessons about growing plants and improving their post traumatic stress symptoms.

Volunteers provide veteran gardeners with a sense of community, confidence, and hope. At the end of the day, vets can bond over their shared experiences as they enjoy watching their plants grow. 

Which is a great way for volunteering to benefit our veteran population in more ways than one. It offers them an opportunity for growth and challenge which gives them something to look forward to at the end of each day. With this program, volunteers can help give veterans a sense of purpose and help them find hope in their lives again.


There are 5 types of sensory: tactile, auditory, visual, olfactory and gustatory.

  • Tactile is the sense of touch and includes family members hugging each other, feeling the construction materials when building something or even feeling the dirt during gardening.
  • Auditory is the sense of sound and can include listening to the birds chirping in nature or hearing a loved one’s voice on the phone.
  • Visual is seen through our eyes, such as looking at photographs or watching a movie.
  • Olfactory is the sense of smell which can include smelling food cooking in the kitchen or fragrant flowers blooming outdoors.
  • And lastly, gustatory is the sense of taste which can be enjoyed by eating delicious dishes or savoring a cup of tea.

Creating a sensory garden can be a rewarding experience for family members of all ages and backgrounds. It is an initiative to connect individuals with nature, as well as promotes mental, physical and emotional health benefits for those who have cancer or other illnesses.

The construction of the garden requires some time and effort but it is worth it in the end. It is important to tend to the dirt and readjust the components over time.

The sensory garden serves as a way to help reduce fatigue, stress, depression, anxiety, illness, disability and health issues; while also increasing self-esteem and participation in light activity.

Surrounding oneself with colors, greenery and smells can be very meditative and mentally calming.

By taking part in this initiative everyone involved will become more confident that they are making a positive contribution to their environment.

We are grateful for you taking the time to read this post, and we trust that it has been helpful. Should you have any queries or recommendations, please leave a comment here or visit for more information.

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