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Therapeutic Horticulture with Scientist Elizabeth Deihl

Therapeutic Horticulture is the practice of gardening and plant based activities, facilitated by a licensed therapist, that help to achieve therapeutic treatment goals.
Gardening can be a great way to help develop and strengthen your fine motor skills

Elizabeth Deihl is the Director of therapeutic Horticulture at University of Florida's Wilmot Gardens, a greenhouse specifically designed to be accessible to people who are mentally and physically challenged.

About our Researcher

Elizabeth R. Messer Diehl, RLA, HTM, works in Environmental horticulture and is Director of therapeutic horticulture at the University of Florida. She is working at Wilmot Botanical Gardens doing research and programming, and she is focused on the education and connection of people with nature, particularly people with health related issues, elders, and college aged students. Elizabeth’s specialization, therapeutic horticulture, has shown to significantly benefit mental and physical health of humans. Deihl also teaches courses in therapeutic horticulture, and has many publications on her research and her findings. Deihl has received prestigious awards such as 2011 Master Gardener of the Year, and 2017 Champions for Change award.

DID YOU KNOW?

Horticulture and gardening is one of the oldest healing arts, but therapeutic horticulture is actually a new concept. The fascination of the connection between people and plants has boomed in recent years, and is becoming more popular as more research comes out.

Gardeners can also get creative at the Greenhouse. This gardener is making a planter out of an old book.
When we walk into a green place it’s relaxing for many groups” -Deihl

Right now, Deihl does not have an extension appointment and is not responsible for an extension program however, she considers her work at the greenhouse an extension program because she works with patients from outside of the University, and Wilmot Gardens also offers a lot of outreach programs. Deihl believes that everyone, impaired or not, connects to nature and plants in some way. Her work all across the US has helped people to improve their motor skills, communication, and given them an overall feeling of belonging in society. Her many awards and accomplishments show that her work is very important to the world of horticulture and people-plant connections.

“THERE IS A REAL CONNECTION BETWEEN NATURE AND OUR HEALTH, AND HOW TO HARNESS IT IS REALLY IMPORTANT” -Deihl
Created By
Hannah Shellenback Valeria Morell
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