Cover image for Restorative gardens : the healing landscape
Restorative gardens : the healing landscape
Gerlach-Spriggs, Nancy, 1950-
Publication Information:
New Haven, CT : Yale University Press, 1998.
Physical Description:
viii, 191 pages : illustrations ; 26 cm

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
RA967.7 .G47 1998 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



Restorative gardens for the sick, which were a vital part of the healing process from the Middle Ages to the early 20th century, provided ordered settings in which patients could begin to heal, both physically and mentally. In this book, a landscape architect, a physician and a historian examine the history and role of restorative gardens to show why it is important to again integrate nature into the institutional - and largely factorylike - settings of modern health care facilities. The authors present the history of restorative gardens and studies six American health care centers that cherish the role of their gardens in the therapeutic process. These institutions are examined in detail: community hospitals in Wasau, Wisconisn, and Monterey, California; a full-care mental institution in Philadelphia; a nursing home in Queens; a facility for rehabilitative medicine in New York City; and a hospice in Houston.

Reviews 1

Choice Review

Restorative Gardens is one of the very few works addressing nature's role in health care facilities. Reviewing the history, recent proliferation, theory, application, and future of healing gardens, it provides a thorough, up-to-date, and highly readable introduction to the subject. The authors represent very relevant disciplines (health care, landscape architecture, history) and enable diverse readers to appreciate the role and value of these gardens. Six case studies, each of a unique health care facility (including traditional hospital, hospice, nursing home, psychiatric hospital) that has embraced healing gardens, are treated in separate chapters. Descriptions of these gardens are thorough, with in-depth discussion of how each came into being, as well as how they are used. Readers are brought "into" each garden as well as into their regional/historic contexts. High quality color plates are used, supplemented by historic black-and-white images plus site plans. The latter are simple line drawings that do an acceptable though not outstanding job of detailing each garden's design. Consequently, the book successfully answers "why" such gardens should be used, but only begins to address "how" they ought to be created. All levels. S. E. Michael; Washington State University