"You can bury a lot of troubles digging in the dirt".
Donna Covais, the ONLY registered Horticultural Therapist in Vermont!
In 1980, I studied with Alice Wessels Burlingame in Pontiac, Michigan. She was a pioneer in the field of Horticultural Therapy and was a fabulous mentor. She wrote the book: Hoe for Health.
I find The Song Garden to be a place of healing and peace. I started the garden when my father passed away...I needed to 'bury a lot of troubles and sorrow in the dirt'...Without Dad, I felt I would float away and I needed something to anchor me, emotionally. The garden has been my anchor and my sanctuary.
In the 1950s, Alice Wessels Burlingame significantly advanced the field of horticultural therapy. In 1952 she formed a small workshop for those interested in using plant material to make others well. From this grew a nine-year study for the deaf, blind, and geriatrics to determine their needs. The findings resulted in Mrs. Burlingame’s publication, Therapy Through Horticulture. Her second book, Hoe for Health, contains research of her 25 years in horticultural therapy.
I would also like to add: She had me over to her apartment for lunch during my internship, and my friend, Teena, and I were delighted with the delicious soup that Alice prepared for us on the spot. She simply poured a can of Campbell's Tomato soup into a pot, heated it with a can of milk, added crumbled up pre-cooked hamburger that she happened to have in the fridge, and served it to us with a dollop of Sour Cream! Honestly, it was a memorably delicious lunch!