Among those of us who care deeply for and about people with developmental disabilities, I hope to hear emerge a new voice, ours, rising together for the benefit of all, harmonizing with reason, respect and hope, and transcending divisions, giving birth to a new era of creative cooperation.

Toward this potential, DD EXCHANGE is for conversation, civil sounding off, sharing of stories, experience, information, resources, and inspiration, giving and receiving support, and creative problem solving.

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TO SEE OTHER'S INPUT: below each post on the right, click "links to this post;" or in the left side column, under "Labels," click the discussion link that interests you.

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Friday, June 4, 2010

Therapeutic Gardens

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Gardens are magical - that's my take on them. I have enjoyed gardening both for my relaxation but also to interact with our son. The garden offers many topics of conversation - from the weeds to the scents of the herbs to birds chirping to bees nesting. We have followed flowers from seeds to gorgeous blooms and grown vegetables and berries. The garden offers education in so many aspects of life - there are endless opportunities in the garden to use for education and therapy.

I have wanted to enroll in the Therapeutic Garden certificate program through the UW Continuing Education but do not have the funds or time right now - it's on the horizon of things to do though. I browsed through their site today and came across this video about an upcoming therapeutic garden. This is such a wonderful plan. It is so true that our disabled family members need a secured area to go outside and enjoy nature.

There is a lovely garden on the grounds of Fircrest. I have attached a couple of links to information regarding that garden. We love to go there to visit and walk the garden. We love how the planters are built so that people can garden from wheelchairs or waist height. The water is such a great addition to the garden too.

I know from our small garden how much enjoyment that our son gets from it. He knows where each herb is planted, where to get berries, where his pumpkins, cucumbers and tomatoes grow and loves the various colors of the flowers. We've arranged various sitting areas in the gardens for him from which he can talk to me while I'm out there too.

Gardens are magical!

Articles on Therapeutic Garden at Fircrest: http://larch.be.washington.edu/features/design_build/11505-L1.pdf

Short video on planned garden at Washington Soldiers Home: http://pce.uw.edu/basic.aspx?id=4392