During my HT program, my mentor, Ann Kent, passed along a very helpful Garden walk template to help our clients and/or ourselves put a little more emphasis on what we might see or feel while out in the elements. I thought it would be a terrific template to record my own “Wheel abouts”.
I’m hoping it will inspire my readers to take a closer look when out for even the shortest of walks. Get connected, remember not forget you’re place in our ecosystem… embrace the symbiotic benefits and gifts this offers.
Elements of Therapeutic Garden Spaces – Local Walk: ______________________________
(The intent of this exercise is to make observations and record questions for your personal use.)
1. What were your first impressions and sensations when walking in this space?
2. Can you isolate any particular sensory experiences (sound, sight, touch, smell, taste)?
3. Is there any particular foliage, bark, tree form, etc. that has special appeal to you?
4. Are there any particular small spaces or views that have significant appeal for you?
5. Is there anything intimidating or off-putting about this space?
6. Are there any “natural” plant or landscape elements here that you could imagine recreating in a
facility garden or other therapeutic garden setting? Note how you might do this.
7. Consider the population with which you work. Are you aware of their personal or life histories?
In what ways could you, as an activity leader, make a real or virtual walk to this space relevant?
8. While you often cannot remove plant material or other landscape features from some of the locales that you walk, what might you be able to collect and use from walks close to your home or work site?
(What could you photograph or bring by way of pictorial references to support collected material?)
9. Do you have any questions about the area walked for this activity that need follow-up or research?
10. If considering this area for HT program activities, what must be taken into account with respect to safety, accessibility, washroom access, etc.?
*Now remember this template is a gift from my mentor, so please be ethical. If you intend to use something similar be sure to create your own questions. Soon enough you won’t need it. With each breath you take, you’ll find yourself considering the blessings around you, if you don’t already.